During the past month, companies in various industries have decided to utilize faster disbursement, push-payment methods in the hope to account for customer demand. From ridesharing platforms to financial service providers, these companies are making the move away from traditional payment methods—like cash or checks—toward real-time transactions and same-day Automated Clearing House (ACH). In a recent study on national disbursement standards and practices, researchers found that companies, particularly in the insurance industry, are looking to improve their speed of managing transactions for the sake of customer satisfaction. To better understand this trending topic, it is critical to know more about the insurance companies offering this option and the reasons behind this change.
The Industry of Disbursements
Disbursements, or the act of paying out money, is helpful to consumers in managing their funds for things like health and travel insurance. In the insurance industry in general, a growing number of providers are hoping to streamline and advance the claims process with the assistance of push payments. By giving their customers easier, quicker access to funding, the public can more readily receive the services or products they need.
Two health insurance companies have already made generous strides in the direction of streamlining and speeding up payment processing. Blue Shield of California, which teamed up with San Francisco-based provider OODA Health, recently built a cloud-based system that allows customers the chance to pay in real-time. Swiss insurance provider, Etherisc, is also in the process of moving its workflows to a distributed transactions ledger, which will make it easy for companies to construct policies with its smart contract system. Etherisc’s technology proved extremely useful in disbursing disaster relief funds following Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico last year.
Push Payments Making Life Easier for Travelers
Recently, several travel insurance providers have also integrated push payment technologies to make the entire process of traveling simpler. Insurance provider FWD announced a new mobile app with hopes that it will improve the speed of transactions. The app, FWD Flyer, is meant to provide customers with real-time payment processing for travel-related claims, such as flight delays or lost baggage. And, as an expansion to this trending service, the app will also offer users cashless payments for medical-related procedures and treatment.
A second travel insurer that is on-board with push payments is Allianz Travel Insurance. Allianz recently announced a new program, SmartBenefits, which aims to alleviate pain points associated with travel delays. Members of SmartBenefits will be able to take out insurance policies which, in the event that their baggage goes missing or their flight is delayed, will compensate them with cash. The best part is: the compensation will be able to processed same-day. This program hopes to be a solution to the high consumer demand for real-time transactions in the travel industry, which otherwise normally take days or weeks to process.
With peoples’ expectation for payments to process near instantly, travel and health insurance companies have begun to adjust their offerings to reflect current trends in push payments.