EP 88 – Melissa Wong – Group Chief Digital Officer, bolttech – How Do We Make Insurance Contextual?

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Michael Waitze has been podcasting with some of the best investors and business builders globally and discussing all things startup with them from an Asian perspective. Michael worked in Global Finance for more than 20 years, employed by firms like Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs, primarily in Tokyo. Michael always maintained a particular focus on how technology could be used successfully to make businesses more efficient and to drive P/L growth. Michael is quite skilled at connecting people and capital to innovative ideas and is a trusted advisor to both investors and founders. Michael is a leader in the digital media space, having pioneered the concept of a podcast network in Asia while building the biggest and fastest-growing listener base in the region. His flagship website, AsiaTechPodcast.com, has listeners in over 100 countries and is available on virtually every podcast player that supports RSS feeds.

Guest
Melissa Wong

Melissa works closely with colleagues in customer experience, product and distribution as part of a wider mandate to build and enhance our digital ecosystem. She has a proven track record as a digital leader in the financial sector, having worked in banking and financial services for over a decade. She joins us from DBS Bank Singapore, where she spearheaded customer-led digital transformation projects and customer journey initiatives. In her spare time, Melissa enjoys crewing on sailing yachts, trail running, and road biking.

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We talked to Melissa Wong, the Group Chief Digital Officer at bolttech. Like insurer FWD, bolttech is part of Pacific Century Group (PCG) and the group’s latest international InsurTech business. It was launched in Asia in 2020 and is integrating three capabilities including device protection, insurtech exchange, and digital insurance.  

Melissa comes from a digital banking and FinTech background and has experienced the disruption in that sector first hand. For her, InsurTech can be grouped in two areas: developing innovative underwriting products and efficiency around creating exceptional customer experiences in distribution. 

bolttech has developed a new device protection insurance that not only covers the costs of a broken smartphone but also offers repair and replacement services. The company is focused on building a digital insurance ecosystem with different partners to establish new alternative distribution channels. In Thailand, bolttech has established a partnership with Line Rabbit Pay and is leveraging its established ecosystems by offering insurance solutions to their millions of daily users. Bundling users of a mobile messenger service with innovative smartphone insurance solutions, creates a highly contextual product.  

bolttech is further bringing together the different companies within PCG, such as FWD as the insurance underwriter, to create synergies and to leverage the group’s footprint in Asia. In Hong Kong, bolttech is partnering with Hong Kong Telecom (HKT) to offer device protection to their customers. In Thailand, bolttech integrated InsurTech Frank.co.th and is leveraging their tech solution, which was originally developed for D2C distribution, for FWD agents. 

Other companies mentioned in this episode: Frank.co.th, Zhong An, Sunday, JustInCase, Lemonade, Qoala, Bolt Inc., Progressive.

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