GlobalData Plc

FinovateEurope 2017: Introducing Stewart McEwan

Head of Content, UK General Insurance

Stewart is a self-proclaimed insurance geek. He is particularly interested in the green shoots of insurtech and the ways in which the edges of the traditional market are being pushed, as well as the parallel developments and lessons to be learnt from other realms of financial services.

  • Which areas of financial services are you most interested in and why?

We are ever more interconnected and able to access the services we need in the most convenient ways. The benchmark being set by the best of these digital-first brands is the bar for all paid-for services.

My mobile phone will now organize my life for me, plan schedules, remember my common visited places, suggest activities or exercises for me to do, and remind me to do them. It will listen to my voice and perform actions based on my requests. The opportunities for targeting customers in smart, nuanced ways are multiplying. Where this can be taken in the next year and beyond for financial services is an exciting prospect.

The general insurance industry is sadly under-represented at Finovate, where a smorgasbord of innovation from most other realms of financial services congregate. Even so, I can be intrigued by the solutions on offer and vizualize where we need to be.

  • What do you think will be the hottest trend in fintech in 2017?

The use of machine learning within financial services is a fascinating space to watch develop.

Big data has been a buzzword bandied about for a while now, but now businesses – be it through investment, partnerships, or bringing in expertise – have woken up to the fact that information holds little value if it is not mobilized and made actionable.

We can see AI being harnessed within retail banking – with “chatbots” improving engagement points with customers – or within wealth management, with the emergence of robo-advice. For insurance, the same technology could shake up distribution, with solutions sitting halfway between the direct and broker channels.

  • Which demo are you looking forward to in particular and why?

I’m going in with an open mind and am looking forward to picking up on key themes and trends. From my perspective, if I put my general insurance hat on, I’m looking for which platforms, solutions, and ideas could – if applied in the right ways – make a difference within the insurance space (a market slightly behind the curve but now making up for lost time!).

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