Short-term insurer Santam has partnered with Clickatell for a text-based fraud reporting channel, as well as improved results from Clickatell-powered Santam call centre using SMS text alerts for claims processing.
Jerry Chetty, head of forensic services at Santam, says: "The main reason behind this innovative addition to Santam¹s current fraud reporting services are the confidentiality attached to it, as well as instant accessibility to fraud reporting mechanisms. Cellphones are the fastest growing means of communication and will address these concerns."
Taking advantage of SMS as a ubiquitous communications channel, Santam now enables people that are involved in, aware of or witnessing a scam to text fraud tip-offs anytime from anywhere using mobile short code 31640; thereby reducing the probability of fraudulent or false claims being paid out.
The text message infrastructure provided by Clickatell allows for immediate, discreet and assured delivery, increasing Santam's ability to respond quickly and appropriately to reported incidents. All reports are treated confidentially unless the reporting party wishes to disclose their identity.
Chetty advises those reporting fraud tips to provide as much detail as possible and answer basic questions such as who, why, how, and when in order to provide the agents with as much information as possible.
He adds: "We expect our text-based fraud tip line to become the de facto standard across the insurance industry. We expect it will be an efficient and reliable form of communications as the immediate nature of SMS is providing us with the ability to quickly act on fraud tips and maintain high levels of service. We anticipate that it will evolve from receiving text only messages to also be able to receive photos and video clips of unethical behavior as they occur."
According to industry sources between 8% and 35% of car and household claims paid out annually to local policyholders are fraudulent, costing the insurance industry $15-billion per year.
In the US, the insurance industry occupies such a central position in the domestic economy that the FBI's Financial Crimes Section views fraudulent claims as an investigative priority.
The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud estimates that the cost of fraud is as high as $80-billion each year.
"By providing this innovative text-based tip line, Santam continues its leadership as a customer centric organisation that is leveraging the compelling mobile footprint in its market to reach more people, more often in a more relevant manner as they strive to reduce the high cost of insurance fraud and pave the way for closer customer relationships," says Pieter de Villiers, CEO of Clickatell.
"SMS has proven itself to be an efficient and reliable form of communications in the financial services sector and has received widespread adoption due to it¹s immediate, realtime relevance characteristics and has therefore become a compelling mobile transaction and alert capability which has earned it the respect from heads of marketing, IT and operations in small and large Fortune 500 companies."
In addition to fraud reduction services, Santam has been working with Clickatell to bolster its corporate call center to reach customers via SMS more effectively at a lower cost. In less than a year, Santam has seen 500% growth in the utilisation of its proactive claims service attributable to its simplicity, low effort and cost, offering Santam¹s customers true convenience and peace of mind.
"Interacting with customers through a live agent costs roughly $5.00 to $9.00 per call – clearly the cost savings through the use of SMS is tremendous. And, the results are even more effective and pleasing to us and the customer," Fanus Coetzee, Santam's head of insurance services comments. "Organisations across all industries should take full advantage of these cost savings by implementing text-based services."