• Start-up manages broker payments

A New Zealand start-up is promising to make it easier for insurers to reconcile broker premium payments.

Grappler co-founder Colleen MacCarthy said many insurers were still working with manual systems but there was scope to automate the process. “It’s a problem for indirect insurers, all of those working with brokers on distributed systems send payment data in varying form and insurers have to reconcile each one against all the policies in their systems.”

Artificial intelligence and machine learning had helped Grappler improve match rates significantly from the 50% that could be achieved with traditional rule-based matching.

 “That’s been fantastic for us,” MacCarthy said.  “We now manage to use AI technology to get match rates up to 100%.”

She said insurers had traditionally dealt with the problem by “throwing more and more people at it” but Grappler allowed them to
bring back to New Zealand a process that had been outsourced to workers overseas.

It had been promoted via word-of-mouth so far, she said. Grappler is hoping to pick up more insurer clients in the near future. Tapping into the Australian market was a challenge, she said.

It currently has three insurers on its books, two in New Zealand and one in Australia.

MacCarthy said the only other innovation that had tried to tackle it was ANZ’s exploration of blockchain. But that would require
all brokers to be operating on the same system. “It’s still an
untouched niche.”

June 2018

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