We’re less than a month away from closing applications for the ePayPolicy InsurTech Award!
ePayPolicy believes that great technology can change the insurance world. That’s why we are committed to recognizing the agency that has best adapted and leveraged technology to grow and improve their sales, marketing, and customer service in 2018.
Additionally, each applicant will receive an Insurance Technology Adoption Score (i.e. an “ITA Score”), a subjective measure of an agency’s tech adoption in the insurance space, along with comprehensive reporting including feedback, tips, and opportunities to improve that score.
If you haven’t entered yet, there’s still time!
– A $1,000 cash prize
– $1,000 toward an insurance conference of winner’s choice
– Two FREE years of ePayPolicy’s Custom Plan
– Consulting time with Mike Stromsoe and Chris Paradiso
– Website services with Alicor Solutions
– A gift basket stocked with local treats from AustiNuts
– BRAGGING RIGHTS!
“If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.”
This is a common phrase people use to convey that if something works at least somewhat well, then leave it alone. It’s good enough.
This is sound advice for some things, like if you have a perfectly good car but want a new one, just because.
However, this practice falls short in other areas of life. Take insurance for example. Insurance is an industry that places heavy emphasis and value on tradition. And in this case, tradition dictates that business practices remain largely the same, and adopting new tech isn’t necessary since, after all, what’s already in place is good enough.
“If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.”
Not so fast. Let’s talk payments.
Insurance professionals everywhere have been accepting paper checks since the dawn of the modern insurance industry. The practice reigned supreme for a long while, and for some agencies, it is still the preferred way to accept payments from insureds. However, paper checks, and its cousins wire transfers and cash payments, come with a slew of caveats and complications.
Both paper checks and cash have to be snail-mailed or handed off in person. Wire transfers are costly, require a ton of manual work, and both of the participating banks require representation on the phone to initiate the transfer.
What if an agent is pressed for time and needs those funds immediately? Every insurance professional has been there — when it’s 4:45 PM on a Friday, the banks are closing soon, and there’s nothing to do but watch the clock tick by while waiting on the insured, impending doom hanging overhead.
“Inconvenient,” is an understatement.
Traditions are great. But even good ones need updating every once in a while.
That’s where electronic payments come into play.
According to a Federal Reserve Payments Study, paper checks have been on a staggering 6% yearly average decline since 1999, and by 2014, only 3% of consumers said they preferred to use paper checks.
Conversely, and unsurprisingly, the preference for electronic payment options has been on the rise, with the Federal Reserve Study reporting that credit card payments were recorded as the “highest growth rate” (at a 10.2% increase) among core payment types from 2015-2016.
At the end of the day, e-payments are undeniably more convenient and easier to track than old-school methods.
“In our space, if you don’t have an electronic payment solution, you’re way behind the times,” said Russ Goldstein, President of Agile Premium Finance.
It’s truly astonishing what a little mobility can do to help a business’ overall bottom line.
For insurance professionals and customers, the entire process of making and accepting payments has flipped on its head. Funds can be remitted in seconds and deposited into a bank account just as quickly.
This instantaneous gratification may seem the norm in 2018, but a few years ago this was still unheard of.
More and more, insurance professionals everywhere want a more seamless, end-to-end solution for tracking and reconciling payments. Paper checks, wire transfers, cash, and the like may not be broken, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best option.
With mobile payments, the question isn’t “why?” it’s “why not?”
ePayPolicy is the simplest way to collect insurance payments online. The processor allows insurance professionals to accept electronic payments via credit card and ACH, while also allowing agents and brokers to pass on transaction fees to the insured. ePayPolicy serves over 800 national clients and continues to expand its growing list of independent association endorsements and management system integrations each day. To find out more, visit www.epaypolicy.com.
Technology has the uncanny ability to influence and shape our lives. From the invention of paper in 105 AD to the unveiling of the first iPhone more than 10 years ago in 2007, great tech has the power to solve problems, altering the way we do things forever.
This is especially true for the insurance industry.
Insurtech, the practice of using new technology to help modernize the insurance space, is at the forefront of the industry, and changing the way agents, brokers, carriers, and insureds all interact with each other and do business. In an industry where so many processes are rooted in tradition and face-to-face interaction, the individuals that are utilizing technology are nudging the landscape towards more cost-effective and efficient practices.
Payments, for example, used to all be handled manually. Not long ago, if an insured needed to make a payment on their policy, the only available options were to pay either via cash, wire, or paper check. That was it.
But here’s the thing — Cash has to be handed off in person. Wire transfers can take as many as five days to be processed. And paper checks have to be handed off in person too, plus deposited at the bank.
What if the agent needed that payment immediately? Talk about inconvenient.
Today, however, there are more options. Electronic payment options, to be exact. Fueled by passion and empowered by tech, our team created a payment processor that simplifies the entire process of submitting and accepting insurance payments. Agents and brokers now have the luxury and ability to offer insureds the choice to pay electronically. And the positive implications of that are crystal clear for ePayPolicy customers.
“It used to be that if a policy was due to cancel that day, agents were scrambling to figure out how to get the funds to us,” said Teresa Hamm, Accounting Specialist for Towerstone Inc. “But now, agents can go online and immediately make payments. They’re helping their insureds’ policies from canceling, and I can turn around and get the funds to the carrier. It’s a win-win situation.”
Our integration capabilities also play a huge role in making things easier for agencies. ePayPolicy is integrated with several management systems, including Vertafore’s AIM, Sagitta, and FinancePro, as well as NowCerts, MGA Systems, and i-Engineering’s ALIS. These seamless system integrations mean that agencies, and more specifically, agency accounting teams, can process invoices faster and more efficiently. Gone are the days of paper checks and manual payment reconciliation.
“ePayPolicy has significantly improved the user experience for us as well as our clients,” said J. Archer Butler, Underwriter for Piedmont Premium Finance. “And, it saves our accounting team the extra work of going between multiple systems,” said Butler.
Insurtech has the power to improve communication in-house as well. Using a cloud-based service like Slack significantly cuts down on pesky back-and-forth emails between colleagues, for one, and offers a plethora of other bells and whistles to keep teams organized (i.e. Chat room “channels” organized by topic, direct messaging, search functionality, integrations with Dropbox, Trello, GitHub, and much more).
Google Drive, another cloud-based tool, is something we use in-house that continues to keep our practices up-to-date. Drive is a file storage service that comes with a suite of tools such as Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Think of these like the cousin to Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, respectively. What’s great about these tools is that they are auto-saved to Google Drive, and, users can collaborate on projects together, in real-time.
For insurance professionals, the advantages of Slack, Google Drive, and various other tech and software applications are plentiful. We live in a fast-paced world where things are expected (and where we expect things) to happen immediately. Thankfully, there are mobile apps for Slack, Drive, and just about anything these days, making the desire for immediacy a reality.
Old habits die hard, but when electronic payment processors, mobile banking, messaging services, file sharing, and the whole darn world can fit in your back pocket, it’s hard to justify not adopting technology.
With insurtech, the question isn’t “why?” it’s “why not?”
The ePayPolicy team is so passionate about insurtech and the positive impact it has on the insurance industry, that we’ve launched our first annual ePayPolicy InsurTech Award. The award aims to recognize the insurance agency that has best adopted and leveraged technology to grow its sales, marketing, and customer service in 2018.
The winning agency will receive $7,500 in prizes, including a $1,000 cash prize, complimentary consulting time with insurance experts Mike Stromsoe and Chris Paradiso, a free two-year subscription to our industry-leading payment processor, and much more.
Additionally, each applicant will receive an Insurance Technology Adoption Score (ITA Score), a high-level score of an agency’s adoption of tech. Applications are free to submit, open to all agencies in the United States, and not exclusive to ePayPolicy customers.
For more information, or to apply for the ePayPolicy InsurTech Award, visit www.insurtechaward.com.
Insurance is one of the oldest industries, and the opportunity for innovation, disruption, and growth is ripe and for the taking.
Built In Austin (the local site of the larger Built In, the Chicago-based company) noticed what we’re doing at ePayPolicy and piqued their interest.
A few weeks ago, our team had the pleasure of speaking with Kelly O’Halloran with Built In, and we chatted about everything from tech, to the insurance space, to ePayPolicy’s plans for the future. Needless to say, we were thrilled. It was a great way to shout our message from the rooftops. And that message is: We make insurance payment processing simple. That’s it.
We really wanted to stress that what we do is relevant and exciting because there’s a need and demand for electronic payments, but that what we do isn’t rocket science.
We’re just the best at it.
Click here to read the full article on Built In Austin.