Telco operators are offering new commerce services, primarily relating to insurance, in response to COVID-19, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
Natasha Rybak, Principal Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Many mobile operators with an interest in commerce are already leveraging insurance provisioning as an avenue for new revenue generation, customer relationship development and non-core business diversification.”
The coronavirus pandemic can be viewed by telcos not only as a crisis, but also as an opportunity to boost users’ discovery of their service ecosystems – possibly opening new service upgrading, upselling and cross-selling avenues.
AIS has partnered with Prudential to offer free COVID-19 health and life insurance for all AIS customers in Thailand, Russia’s Beeline has enabled online purchase of Alfa Insurance COVID-19 policies and Ufone Pakistan has launched USehat medical insurance with partner MicroEnsure for general medical expenses. Also in Thailand, dtac has expanded on its existing insurance line-up with new COVID-19-specific options available to prepaid and postpaid mobile customers topping up with extra data.
Rybak continues: “For those with existing coverage offers in place, it is entirely logical to extend that capability, if possible, with options specific to COVID-19, which conversely also presents a clear point of entry for operators that are unveiling and looking to publicize the availability of newly launched insurance products. The value proposition for the carrier customer is straightforward: convenient, potentially operator-billed or simply free, and for consumers in some regions, also a simple, quick and hassle-free alternative for acquiring critical kinds of insurance coverage.
“COVID-19 has highlighted carrier opportunities specific to medical insurance, but operators will also catch on to broader openings in the insurance segment that can be leveraged for longer-term diversification.”