Having built the world’s first ever solutioning optimizer that synergizes life insurance and wealth management, 360F, a Singapore-based startup founded in 2017, automates solutions that have the best and self-verifiable fit for anyone, anywhere and anytime. This technology enables banks, insurers, wealth managers, agents and advisers to transform what is usually a product-pushing and uncomfortable exercise for their customers into an assuring and motivating one. They help to keep up the momentum of this transformed experience by additionally offering their expertise to build and integrate the infrastructure for seamless and instant execution – making advisory a highly scalable business.
Why do customers not trust financial advisors to have their best interest in mind?
For the retail customers, financial advice is synonymous with product sales pitch. Until financial advisory is able to prove its value-add to the customer, few are willing to pay advisory fees, as much as they complain that commissioned sales drive biased advice. Unfair experiences witnessed or told by their parents’ generation are more memorable than stories of lives saved by insurance. The mistrust of advisors is thus an instinctive reaction. More importantly, instinct takes over reasoning as most are in a state of helplessness.
Financial products are complex. To understand these products, the customer should have a good grasp of financial concepts and terminologies. But the reality is that global financial literacy is low. Not only do most people lack the fundamental concepts, they also do not upgrade their financial knowledge as they go through their life stages, which associated financial needs become more complex. Meanwhile there is no standard, simple and personally relevant benchmark to help alleviate the impact of poor financial understanding. Simply said, there is no best or recommended route to help the hapless navigate the foreign land in real time.
How are you empowering users to influence their future financial situation?
We build our flagship offering, 360-ProVestment®, on the backbone of Nobel Prize-winning research in behavioural economics, namely Prospect Theory. It processes all of the customer’s insurance and investment priorities and profile including loss aversion and constraints within a mathematical function that ultimately quantifies the customer’s self-defined financial satisfaction. The outcome is a set of solutioning options based on the financial advisor’s accessible product universe, i.e., it customizes virtual bundles of insurance and/or investment products that yield the highest financial satisfaction for the customer.
The sister module, 360-HappiU®, standalone or add-on, forecasts the customer’s financial future with respect to the ability to fulfil the financial priorities even if personal crises and market risks should occur. A self-explanatory scoring system, the 360-HappiU® spearheads buyer empowerment in financial advisory as it provides a simple and reliable reference for customers to gauge their financial satisfaction, on the basis of their personal values, priorities and desired lifestyles, throughout their lifetime.
Both modules engage computing-intensive simulation to stress-test for optimality, therefore minimizing room for subjective judgement in financial advice.
Notably the 360F offerings not only attract the digital business models, but also carriers who have huge but legacy-ridden advisory sales force, giving rise to a range of use cases crossing direct-to-customer engagement, hybrid advisory and employee benefits offerings.
Why is the German market particularly interesting for you and how does it compare to the Asian market?
The German market is ripe for disruption in financial advisory. With the government’s fundamental change from ”Die Rente ist sicher“ (social welfare minister Norbert Blüm, 1997) to a fully-fledged 3-pillar concept, the society is stuck in-between. But the transformation takes place now and over the next 5 – 15 years. We have seen a lot of success stories in the P&C insurance and retail investment space, where the customer behaviour is transformed. New trends in the banking space in which customers are willing to take control and express interest in levelling up their financial literacy, had been initiated by the neo-banks. We foresee similar trends in the life insurance industry and the financial advisory market, where insurtechs will lead the transformation. The Asian market is experiencing trends in the same direction but the ecosystem is much more competitive. Asian countries tend not to have a strong social security system, giving room for the private sector, financial and non-financial institutions, to reach out to educate and sell.
360F is one of the 10 startups joining InsurTech Hub Munich FIN:SURE Innovation Sprint. Want to see how 360F makes financial advisory intuitive and scalable? Check out their website.