The potential for blockchain to deliver substantial value to financial services is enormous.
Not only does blockchain offer the promise of cost reduction and efficiency, but it could also enable revenue growth, as insurers attract new business through higher-quality service.
Blockchain technologies can help the wholesale insurance sector fulfil its role in underpinning the global economy more effectively. Just as blockchain is being pursued as a force for positive change in other areas of society – from identification for refugees to better public service delivery – it can also help wholesale insurance to discharge its responsibilities for the common good.
Find out more about how blockchain technology can help wholesale insurers in our summary video exploring the blockchain proof of concepts developed by the PwC UK blockchain lab.
Mutual distributed ledger technologies– commonly known as blockchain –have the potential to transform the global insurance industry. Still, while there is no doubt that blockchain now looms large on the radar screens of financial services businesses, it’s also the case that many businesses are only just starting to get to grips with what is possible. In one recent PwC study1, 56% of firms said they recognised the importance of blockchain, but 57% conceded they did not yet know how to respond.
Insurers, in particular, are less likely to be familiar with blockchain technologies and applications, the PwC study shows. That’s in line with the more general perception that insurance often lags behind other sectors of financial services in modernising its business processes and technology. This reflects the need to work with large clients, provide bespoke cover, and manage specialist risks; these require data-heavy interactions between multiple participants including brokers, insurers, and reinsurers.
This study was commissioned by PwC to be a rapidly completed analysis of how blockchain technology might impact wholesale insurance. The study looked to identify areas where a problem or opportunity existed for which blockchain could be part of the solution.
The core of the work was interviewing some 50 market participants and other stakeholders. The focus of the interviews was to identify business processes perceived as needing improvement and to discuss where blockchain technology might be part of a solution.
The definition of low and high barriers and benefits relies upon the view of industry specialists. The priority was to have confidence that the resulting short list was genuinely low Barrier/high Benefit, and therefore the process erred towards excluding doubtful cases from the short list.
If the following conditions apply, then blockchain has strong potential to provide a solution:
If you can’t tick at least four out of six ask “why blockchain”.
The recommended next step is to identify a group of firms willing to join a consortium to investigate the business case for at least one of the potential use cases. The consortium firms would also work together on areas of common interest by, for example: