Aviva has launched a ‘Digital Garage’ in Singapore. This is a four story space on Armenian Street where technical specialists, creative designers and business leaders can collaborate and test new insurance ideas and services.
The objective, said Chris Wei, executive chairman of Aviva Asia and global chairman of Aviva Digital, is to make financial services more tailored and accessible for customers. He explained the launch of the Digital Garage in Singapore is an extension of the insurer's global ‘digital first’ strategy, which is crucial to the company's future success.
The core team will have about 100 people, supported by a further 200 technology specialists based in Singapore.
Aviva first established a Digital Garage in London in mid 2015 to develop and explore turning innovative ideas into real financial products and services for customers. In its capacity as a global and regional centre of digital, analytics and innovation excellence, Aviva’s Digital Garage will bring together four functions:
-Innovation and New Business: will turn radical and disruptive ideas into digital prototypes that can be tested in the market
- Digital Projects: which make life easier for customers, and digitalise Aviva’s businesses around Asia
- Digital Businesses: which have extensive experience of helping real customers, will bring a commercial edge to the Garage
- Collaborators: who will bring their respective expertise to the Garage Digital is a central part of Aviva’s group strategy, because its customers are increasingly choosing this as their preferred way to interact with the brand.
The two Digital Garages, in London and Singapore, will come together as a global function, sharing expertise and insights into digital insurance to create a platform from which to serve customers, both in their local regions and across the international markets.
According to Aviva, through digital, it can now support customers more quickly with their enquiries and transactions. Aviva has designed new propositions based on insights from its research and analytics. These include Aviva Poland’s proposition for young, single and urban professionals, which recognises the specific insurance and lifestyle needs of this group.
Wei said: “Digital technology has the potential to transform how we look after customers, making it significantly easier to interact with Aviva."
When asked how the business would differ from other innovation hubs popping up in the insurance industry, Wei clarified that at the end of the day, Aviva is putting digital at the core of all its processes and it rethinking of ways to disrupt the business for the future.
"I don't hear many people talking about digitizing and transforming the entire business or understanding that customers do not want to be segmented. With the Garage, we are not just looking for the next big idea. It is a journey we are on and results will not show instantly but we are making a commitment of financial and human resources for the next millennial," said Wei. However, the exact investment details were not shared during the press conference.
Andrew Brem, global chief digital officer, added the digital revolution has only just started to hit the insurance agency. But he is certain the wave of change will be fast and furious.
“Technology has changed the way we live our lives, and it is now time to bring the digital revolution to insurance. The Digital Garage underlines Aviva’s commitment to leading the digital transformation, and we are excited to extend the successes of our London Digital Garage to Singapore. Given the vibrant FinTech community, strong digital capabilities and deep talent pool in Singapore, the Garage here is the perfect platform for digital champions to collaborate and make things happen,” he added
Setting up of the Digital Garage follows Aviva’s signing of the statement of intent with the Monetary Authority of Singapore and Her Majesty’s Government of the United Kingdom in July this year, in an agreement to support and promote digital innovation initiatives in Singapore and across Asia for the benefit of customers.