In the past two years, a multitude of mainstream enterprise players prodded into the world of blockchain, seeking to enhance their current operations with the technology. A recent trend shows many large players are now exploring blockchain to develop their own tokens and value transfer systems. Insurance giant Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty SE (AGCS) is developing a “token-based” ecosystem, utilizing blockchain, for its global insurance payments.
A spokesperson for Allianz explained to me in a July 22 email,
“AGCS is further exploring blockchain technology to simplify and accelerate cross-border insurance payments for its corporate customers. A project team is in the advanced stages of development for a token-based electronic payment system to allow for frictionless, transparent and instantaneous money transfers for a range of different types [of] payments.”
Many sizable mainstream players in 2019 have announced they are working on their own tokens for payment uses cases. February 2019 saw banking behemoth JPMorgan Chase announce JPM Coin, a blockchain-based asset pegged to the U.S. dollar for internal usage, according to a report from CNBC.
Facebook, with its Libra coin, aims to create a digital asset tied to a basket of currencies and investment products. The endeavor, however, has been covered in regulatory red tape since its white paper release in June 2019.
Allianz Dives Into Token Space
The “internal token” Allianz is developing will address issues and clunkiness currently surrounding worldwide money transfer for “its global affiliates,” CoinDesk noted in an April 2019 article. The token will run on “a proprietary blockchain” built for the endeavor by the blockchain company Adjoint, CoinDesk added. The token has the potential to benefit both Allianz and its customers, an Allianz spokesperson explained, pointing out the plethora of global transactions required during day-to-day operations, and the space for improvement in those processes.
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Regarding the asset’s progress, Allianz is still in a phase of experimentation, according to the Allianz spokesperson. “The basic core infrastructure has been built and tested, and the next step will be to trial money transfers with a limited scope and for a short period of time to conclude testing and prove hypothesis,” he said.
Allianz Already Uses Blockchain For Flight Delay Insurance
Developing a blockchain-based token is not Allianz’ first rodeo when it comes to blockchain application. India-based Bajaj Allianz General Insurance leveraged blockchain to start its Travel Ezee solution back in 2017, the Allianz spokesperson noted.
Flight delays can be common in the world of travel. Sometimes these delays can require the traveller to pay for an extra night in a hotel or pay for additional travel accommodations. Flight insurance can help with those additional expenses.
A hiccup in that system, however, is reimbursement for such additional costs can be cumbersome and inefficient. Essentially, Travel Ezee, “a travel insurance product with an instant settlement for flight delays,” utilizes blockchain to improve and quicken the process, the Allianz spokesperson said.
“The entire travel insurance policy is put on a smart contract and in the event of a flight delay, the claims process is automatically initiated and fulfilled. The claim amount is then automatically transferred to the customer’s bank account within a few minutes. This concept is unique since it is not the customer who initiates the claims process, rather it is the insurance company that keeps track of claim events and initiates the payout.”
The spokesperson detailed several different options customers can choose when opting into this type of insurance program, which is only available in India at present. “Flight delay is a major challenge for customers and the service is accepted positively. This feature was introduced with a customer-centric approach,” he added.