Digital identity technology insight from ATB Ventures

Azim Esmail, Head of Growth & Partnerships, at ATB Ventures, the innovation arm of ATB Financial, shares insight on digital security

Azim Esmail, Head of Growth & Partnerships, at ATB Ventures, the innovation arm of ATB Financial, shares insight.

Given the increasing incidents of fraud and cybercrime in Canada, what emerging trends and industry shifts should insurance companies keep at the forefront of their growth plans?

To combat rising cybercrime, Canadian insurance companies will continue to prioritise measures for fraud detection and lean into scalable solutions for their customers, such as leaning into digital identity technology. Insurance companies can benefit from emerging cybersecurity technologies like biometric authentication and blockchain-backed tools for secure data sharing. As regulations around data transparency and compliance continue to evolve, leaning into scalable technology solutions to strengthen security measures is crucial for mitigating risk long-term without sacrificing customer experiences.

What are some of the challenges that insurance companies are currently facing when it comes to ensuring the security of digital identities?

Insurance companies grapple with evolving fraud schemes, data breaches, and identity theft. Between 10% and 20% of insurance claims are fraudulent, and insurance fraud costs the US US$308.6bn annually. Balancing security with a seamless customer experience can be a challenging task, particularly for mid-market insurance companies and insurance tech challengers who can’t lean back on their economies of scale. Companies also need to be proactive in complying with data privacy regulations, while leveraging digital identities for efficiency, creating a complex landscape for their strategic prioritisation.

What are some examples of the steps insurance companies should be taking to safeguard sensitive customer data through technology?

To safeguard customer data, insurance companies will continue to invest in robust data identity verification technology, implement multi-factor authentication, and regularly update security protocols. With cybercrime tactics continually evolving, organisations need to assess the maturity of their security practices, and establish security solutions that provide a level of agility for evolving with that landscape. AI and machine learning solutions can help with real-time fraud detection through not only analytic-driven indicators, but also  through realness-detection within verification processes.

In your experience, how can insurance companies strike a balance between enhancing security through digital identity technology and ensuring a seamless customer experience?

Striking this balance requires a user-centric approach, as it does in any industry. What makes insurance particularly unique in this category is the high volume of transactions as consumers request insurance quotes. Building frictionless verification methods for first-time or new customers will facilitate more accurate quotes (stronger data quality and fraud mitigation) in real-time. Digital identity practices reinforce downstream customer experiences as well. They can be critical enablers to get insurance claims processed faster, with a lower risk of fraudulent claims. Balancing security and seamless customer experience is the key differentiator of digital identity’s value — across the entire customer journey. 

How is ATB Ventures working to address some of these challenges and gaps?

ATB Ventures has developed Oliu™, a cutting-edge digital identity verification solution that prioritises both security and user experience for enterprises. The technology streamlines your customer’s onboarding while incorporating robust fraud prevention measures. We are committed to collaborating with organisations that manage identity and data flow in their customer experiences, like insurance companies, to enhance their digital identity strategies and protect the sensitive data of their customers.

What do you see as the future of digital identity technology in the insurance sector, and how can companies best prepare for these developments?

The future of digital identity technology in insurance lies in decentralised identity ecosystems, where end-users have more control over their data. Insurance is an industry that is elegantly placed as a conduit to many other sectors in a customer’s journey; as such, they are well positioned to extract the value of digital identity. Companies investing in digital identity solutions to enable adaptive authentication for their customers and real-time, trusted verification, will be critical enablers of this future. Preparation will include collaboration at an industry and policy level, staying informed about regulatory changes, and fostering a culture of security awareness for their customers and teams.

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