Interview with Christof Mascher, COO Allianz Group
In the financial service industry, Blockchain could already gain a lot of traction. Why do people in the insurance industry need to pay attention to Blockchain? How will Blockchain change the insurance industry?
Blockchain is an enabler for a fully digital economy. With the benefits of distributed ledger, cryptography and Smart Contracts the insurance industry can increase efficiency through direct and digital data processing which enables faster and better services for customers.
What do you think is necessary for Blockchain to be adopted in the insurance industry?
Blockchain is a peer-2-peer technology which allows business partners to transact efficiently. Therefore the definition of industry-wide standards, e.g., like the B3i initiative where Allianz has been involved since its start in 2016, is important to leverage this technology and supports a network effect of industry participants An active communication towards regulators is also important to enable broader Blockchain adoption.
What do you see as the most promising use cases for Blockchain in insurance? What cases will Allianz analyze further?
The Business-2-Business and especially the reinsurance business are the areas where the Blockchain technology is showing benefits. Allianz already developed several proofs of concept in those areas both internally and with the B3i initiative together. Blockchain experts across the Allianz Group are constantly identifying further use cases in collaboration with internal and external business stakeholders.
What is your advice for companies wanting to start with Blockchain?
Start with the identification of use cases that have a real business value and which are leveraging the advantages of the Blockchain technology (e.g., the immutability of transactions, the cryptography security, the shared database, smart contracts).
What are your favorite resources/websites to stay on top of innovation things in the insurance space?
I do not have a particular website that I read. I enjoy much more the discussions that I have with people both in and outside from Allianz. To me, the exchange and collaboration produces the most information value.