As a technology company, Zhongan Technology has not been in the front line of anti-epidemic in the past six months, but has witnessed and participated in the rapid transformation of the insurance industry from offline to online.
The epidemic has plunged the insurance industry into a dilemma.The first quarter of the previous year was the peak season of the insurance industry. In some companies, the annual revenue can account for more than 40% or even more than half of the proportion. To achieve a “good start”, intensive offline visits are essential.However, under the epidemic, these activities have basically returned to zero, which has seriously affected agent channels and the growth rate of new orders; and under this year’s economic situation, the investment income of insurance companies is also expected to be greatly reduced.The superposition of various factors has increased the pressure on insurance companies.
However, on the other hand, the epidemic has made people more aware of health protection, which has deepened the concept of “insurance surname protection” that has been promoted in recent years, and has made up for the loss of the industry to a certain extent.According to data from the China Insurance Regulatory Commission, my country’s health insurance premium income increased significantly in the first quarter of 2020, and the original insurance premium income in the first quarter was 264.076 billion yuan, an increase of 21.60% year-on-year.After the epidemic, people’s demand for health insurance is expected to continue to increase; for the insurance industry that adheres to long-termism, the economic situation has limited impact, and the industry has continued to develop in the long term.
The situation of ice and fire happens to be the “touchstone”, bringing a wave of changes in the insurance industry.In this battle, Zhongan Technology hopes to become a booster for the digital transformation of the insurance industry.
As a subsidiary of ZhongAn Insurance, ZhongAn Technology, established in 2016, is particularly capable of highlighting the characteristics of ZhongAn Insurance-since its birth, it has been based on the “insurance + technology” dual-engine drive, and internally provides the underlying technology for ZhongAn InsuranceSupport, externally provide customers with technology, products and industry solutions, covering almost all aspects of the insurance business from front to back.
Supported by various services such as product launch, online claims settlement, and intelligent customer service, Zhongan has accumulated seven years of scientific and technological power.At the end of 2019, Zhongan upgraded and launched the cloud-based distributed core system “Unbounded Mountain 2.0”, which can support the scale of hundreds of billions of premiums, provide rapid expansion of business lines, and optimize new products for 1-2 days.The scene can be launched on the day of cooperation.With the support of intelligent operation and maintenance and other technologies, ZhongAn can release more than 200 times a day, and the release order operation is completed in an average of 5 minutes, and the core application automation test rate has reached 80%.
Recently, Zhonghai Technology CEO Liu Haijiao accepted an interview with 36 krypton.She told 36 Krypton that from the perspective of the general trend, the impact of the epidemic on the insurance industry can be summed up as “dangerous and organic”.Facing the rapid iteration of products in special periods and the needs of the exhibition industry, ZhongAn’s technological capabilities have enabled the service to be always online, such as supporting the development and rapid development of Zhongan Insurance’s “anti-epidemic public welfare insurance” and “business interruption insurance for small and micro enterprises”.online.
In addition, the rapid increase in online business during the epidemic also forced insurance companies and insurance institutions to quickly transition to online, which became a major opportunity facing Zhongan Technology.At present, Zhongan Technology has three main product lines of insurance business production series, security series and growth series. The core products include insurance middle platform, Jingdai middle platform, X-Man intelligent marketing platform, AI intelligent training assistant Zhong Huishu, etc..In February, when the epidemic was most intense, ZhongAn’s intelligent customer service handled more than 1.5 million user consultations and more than 2.5 million online sessions.
After the epidemic, Zhongan Technology will continue to promote the three product lines, and will be more flexible to integrate into more new formats.
From a larger industry perspective, this year, the digital transformation process of the insurance industry will undoubtedly also take a big step forward. In 2013, when Zhong An was born, most insurance companies are still in the stage of trying to increase the scale of premiums.The proportion of investment in insurance technology is not high. Today, the industry’s understanding of insurance technology is quite different.
According to estimates by the Prospective Industry Research Institute, the investment in science and technology of Chinese insurance institutions will reach about 32 billion yuan in 2019, and will maintain a growth of about 20% in the next five years. It is expected to increase to 95.5 billion in 2025.As the demographic dividend decreases and the size of the head insurance company’s agents gradually falls back to a reasonable level, insurance operations have gradually evolved from the increment of manpower available to the stage of refined operations, and the trend of increasing the proportion of online insuranceNext, the future competition in the insurance industry will be the competition of technology.
Liu Haijiao, CEO of ZhongAn Technology
The following is a conversation between 36Kr and Liu Haijiao, CEO of Zhongan Technology, edited by 36Kr:
During the epidemic: organically in danger, respond quickly
36 Krypton: During the epidemic, what kind of industry development did Zhongan Technology see?How would you generalize?
Liu Haijiao: In general terms, the impact of the epidemic on the insurance industry can be said to be “dangerous and organic.”Because it is impossible to visit customers and sell in stores, offline business is affected to a certain extent, and it will have an impact in the short term.It was only recently that various localities began to unblock, and since the CBRC epidemic, it is also discussing how to improve the online level of the industry, thereby reducing the accumulation and visits of offline personnel.
But why is it said that it is dangerous and organic?Because in this environment, people have more attention and purchase intentions on personal health and security.The health insurance business of the entire insurance industry in Q1 this year increased by 21.6% year-on-year. From this data, it can be seen that the protection awareness of the majority of users has increased.
36 Krypton: In view of these circumstances, what is the most important capability required during the outbreak?
Liu Haijiao: During the epidemic, the company’s online exhibition industry needs are very urgent, so rapid response is the core.
During the epidemic, ZhongAn Insurance quickly launched many products, such as anti-epidemic public welfare gifts, all C-end users can be exempted from receiving it; and there are business interruption insurance for small and micro enterprises to help resume work and production.These insurances themselves are not uncommon and can be designed, but whether they can achieve rapid response, go online and operate, there is a relatively strong technological force behind this.
These capabilities are not only applicable during the outbreak.When new technologies such as 5G, new applications, and new users after 90s are used to appearing, we can also help many enterprises to Internetize these scenarios by relying on such capabilities.
36 Krypton: Let’s start with the difficulties encountered by enterprises. From the perspective of Zhongan Technology, what are the main sources of short-term pressure faced by enterprises in the industry?How does Zhongan Technology help them?
Liu Haijiao: Give two small examples.Taking life insurance companies as an example, life insurance accounts for more than 70% of the business of intermediaries in China, and because of the high insurance coverage, they rely heavily on face-to-face orders. From the data in March this year, only one of the leading life insurance companies is positive.To the growth, the other several are down year-on-year, the increase of agents and training are very urgent problems for them, so we quickly launched the targeted training product “Zhonghuishu”.
There are many details involved in online training, such as how to get agents to participate, rapid online training content, monitoring effects, etc., we all have business thinking.In order to have a better experience, we have also set up exams, strong interactive interaction, human-machine training, etc., to innovate and optimize the product experience.In this way, customers do not need to have relatively medium- and long-term planning, budget, and IT cooperation to start business quickly.
The second example, in response to the problem of being unable to visit customers during the epidemic, we launched the intelligent marketing platform X-Man to help insurance companies reach customers online.For example, if the insurance company wishes to make a special gift product for female medical staff in Wuhan in the “March 8” section, X-Man can help the insurance company to select the user group that meets the positioning, reach it through the WeChat public account and APP, and carry out public welfare activities., So that they can receive free insurance.
36 Krypton: The epidemic has accelerated the speed of digital transformation of life insurance companies.Apart from life insurance companies, what other parties are in urgent need?What are the different services they need?
Liu Haijiao: Intermediary companies are also an indispensable part of the insurance ecosystem. As a connection channel between customers and insurance companies, the marketing and training product capabilities just mentioned are also very needed.
For example, we cooperated with iCloud Insurance during the epidemic to provide training courses for hundreds of thousands of agents on the platform, embedding e-commerce, short video, and live broadcast gameplay.In terms of online marketing, our insurance agency can solve problems such as channel docking, exhibition industry, customer acquisition, and training.For intermediary companies, these pain points are very painful, and SaaS deployment is very light, the input cost is relatively low, and it is an acceptable service cost.
In addition, our Zhongan College also provides a lot of insurance marketing methodology. Many excellent insurance marketing teachers will communicate with insurance intermediaries, agents and C-end users through live broadcasts, short videos, graphics, and interactive forms. The platforms are allIs open.
After the epidemic: Take the three major product lines as the main line and enhance product capabilities for subdivided industries
36 Krypton: How do these products that provide services during the epidemic link with our original product line?Will product delivery change?
Liu Haijiao: Many products are derived from our previous product line.In response to the unneeded demand during this period, we will disassemble the product into more modules and combine them flexibly.For example, in the past, our generational centers were packaged and recommended to customers. During the epidemic, the individual functions will be carried out to make a product.And, for products that go online during the epidemic, we all use a plug-and-play plug-in model, and the user’s decision-making costs are not high.
In addition, our product concept is also very open, and we cooperate with many partners in the ecosystem.For example, intermediary companies will have meetings sooner or later. Our training products and Dingding and other office software are integrated, and customers will feel completely useless.
36 Krypton: In the insurance field, ZhongAn Technology covers a full range of business links, ranging from front-end users to back-end claims.How does Zhongan judge whether a function point should be done or not, and what is the internal innovation decision-making process?
Liu Haijiao: Judging whether or not to do it depends on whether we have business precipitation and understanding in this field.Usually the products we export are used and verified internally, it needs to achieve two effects, one is that it can indeed generate business value, which is the foundation; the other is the ability to integrate this product in the complete business process.An Technology has experience in running through, which is the basic principle of our export or not.
Based on this principle, we have deposited three main product lines today, namely business growth, business production and business security series.The different modules of each type of product are decoupled and can be independent or integrated, running through the business of insurance ecology.We have verified, precipitated, and understood that such external output and empowerment are valuable.
36 Krypton: In a special period like the epidemic, the specific needs of similar training and reaching users have soared. How will this affect Zhongan’s product strategy this year?
Liu Haijiao: The three main product lines mentioned just now will not change. This is a relatively mid- to long-term plan.
The changes are reflected in two dimensions.The first is the changes in the industry and market brought about by the epidemic. For example, X-Man and “Zhonghuishu” used to be a module in our products. Under the current environment, their importance and promotion efforts will beIncrease.
The second is that we will continue to pay attention to changes in the market and the Internet environment and enhance product capabilities for subdivided industries.In the past, the conversion of traffic on platforms such as live short videos focused on e-commerce and game products. As the traffic ecology matures, it will slowly spread to the financial sector in the future, such as insurance and banking products.Therefore, our customer acquisition and delivery tools will also strengthen the research and integration of live streaming, short video and other formats.These two points are continuously optimized with the environment, but overall, the thinking of the three product lines is stable.
Talking about competition: there is room for differentiated competition in the industry
36 Krypton: Since the establishment, what kind of customer group does Zhongan currently serve?What do you think of market strategy and customer acquisition strategy?
Liu Haijiao: We did not make a distinction in terms of customer size or scale.Because in the insurance field, especially institutions such as insurance companies are licensed institutions, no one will be particularly small, and their needs are not so different in terms of tools.Therefore, Zhongan Technology basically takes productized output as the main mode, hoping that different modules can be matched to suitable users, and we will continue to expand customers and provide services in the future.
In the future market strategy, we will still be based on the field of insurance technology to see where the insurance business of insurance companies, intermediaries or Internet companies extends, so as to extend our business outward.For example, from the insurance field to customer acquisition marketing, training, and operations in the pan-financial business, there will be many opportunities in other fields in the future.
36 Krypton: In addition to the three product lines, Zhongan Technology has also invested a lot in blockchain since its establishment. What is the progress at this stage?
Liu Haijiao: Blockchain involves lower-level technology research and development, covering many subdivided fields such as cryptography and privacy computing.From 2015 to the present, we continue to apply for patents, publish various types of works, and implement them in business empowerment.For example, when we carry out a business and need to make a data connection, we will specifically consider whether we can use information technology content on cryptography and data security.
Not long ago, we also joined the Digital Transformation Partnership Initiative organized by the National Development and Reform Commission, and were the first batch of sponsors of the Digital Transformation Partnership Initiative.The national focus is now on helping the financial industry to resume overall production and production. We call the first phase the “Protection” plan, such as providing insurance technology to more than 200 insurance companies, more than 2,400 intermediary companies, and vocational colleges across the country.Related courses to help them do digital transformation.
Our blockchain’s underlying capabilities have also landed.In the future, Zhongan Technology will provide a blockchain credit risk control platform for 1,000 small and micro restaurants to help financial inclusion; we will also open financial blockchain privacy compliance risk identification and detection services to small and medium-sized APP development companies for free.
36 Krypton: In the future, the degree of investment of all parties in the insurance ecosystem in insurance technology will increase significantly.From the perspective of the industry, there are already many startups in the current insurance technology field, some of which are platform SaaS, and some have breakthroughs in single-point capabilities. How does Zhongan Technology view competition and its own advantages?
Liu Haijiao: First of all, the field of insurance technology is still in the early stages of development, so with the continuous development of the field of insurance technology, the number of players increases, indicating that everyone is starting to pay attention to this field, which is more beneficial to us than harm.
Second, at the level of competition, this is just like when Zhongan Insurance was first established, everyone will also ask Zhongan how to think about new Internet insurance startups, or Internet companies entering the insurance business, etc. The answer is similar-and the insurance fieldSimilarly, there are too many subdivisions and vertical points in the field of insurance technology. Everyone is choosing their own focus areas.One way is to change from technology output to model output. For example, exporting technology alone may not help customers. Eventually, it is necessary to output a closed-loop process or a model of vertical subdivision. Whether it can be effectively output depends on the precipitation in the model and business.
The same is true of our differentiated advantages. Due to the accumulation of Zhongan Technology in the insurance business throughout the year, the understanding and precipitation of the business makes our technology and solution output more confident.
Third, even if many players enter the game, different types of companies need different technological empowerment. Whether the company is large or small, they need modular, plug-in, or vertical subdivision solutions.Therefore, each participant remains open to the introduction of third-party products, and we still have opportunities at this level.Like small and medium-sized, regional insurance companies or intermediaries and agents with weak IT investment, their technology investment is even more uneven. To serve them well in this field is the value of our layout and exploration.

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