UNCHAINED – Blockchain disrupting the financial industry
UNIQA Group / Wintersemester 2017-2018
The UNIQA Group is one of the leading insurance groups in its core markets Austria and Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and is recognizing the potential opportunities and threats of upcoming and state-of-the art technologies, which could disrupt the whole insurance business model. Therefore, UNIQA has launched the largest innovation program within the company’s history and is going to invest around 500m EUR for redesigning the business model and modernization of IT systems.
One of the most promising and discussed technologies to disrupt the insurance sector is the Blockchain technology. For this reason, an E&I student team was assembled to consult UNIQA Group in terms of the feasibility and possibility of the application of Blockchain in the insurance sector.
The main aim of this consulting project is to generate a fundamental knowledge-base on Blockchain technology and its possible applications in the field of the FinTech and InsurTech industry. It will provide UNIQA with a selection of analyzed use cases, ranked according to their disruptive potential and possible relevance for UNIQA. Furthermore, through analyzing and evaluating the three most promising Blockchain use-cases in-depth, this project also aims to support UNIQA in their decision-making process in order to best adapt to the fast-paced environment.
Basic analysis of potential Blockchain applications
To conduct a reasonable analysis, one of the very first steps was on the one hand to analyze UNIQA’s value chain and on the other hand to establish a fundamental understanding of the Blockchain technology and its application possibilities. Therefore, extensive secondary research was made and expert interviews were held. Based on this knowledge, a self-tailored elaboration framework and scoring model was developed, in order to be able to check and filter the 208 use-cases, which were found in the secondary research. The list of potential use-cases was shortened to a number of 25, which show highest disruptive potential and feasibility for UNIQA. As a final step, the three most promising use-cases were selected by UNIQA representatives and subsequently presented the content of the in-depth analysis.
In-depth analysis of the three most promising Blockchain use-cases
Know Your Customer (KYC), Parametric Insurance and Internet of things, with special focus on smart home were picked. They were decided to be the use-cases which were most indicative of successful implementation of the Blockchain technology and thus were chosen for the in-depth analysis. For each use-case a detailed description, implementation challenges, the impact on the business model, customer journey, market potential and the global first mover were examined carefully, to provide UNIQA with a 360-degree view.
The final recommendation is that UNIQA should definitely employ the Blockchain technology in all three domains. Implementational issues are not off the table yet, as the adaption of Blockchain itself is still in its infancy in the InsurTech industry as of Q1 of 2018. However, predictions indicate that within the next five years standards should be entrenched. Leading to the conclusion that UNIQA should definitely start initiating the R&D process as soon as possible to become one of the main players not only in Austria, but in the whole of the CEE area.
UNIQA Österreich Versicherungen AG
Untere Donaustraße 21
Mag. Georg Ioannidis