The insurance and investment industry strives to provide the best advice and support to New Zealanders. As with most industries, technology is changing the financial services landscape, creating significant change in how insurance and investments are distributed and advice given.
There are a range of direct distribution channels used by insurance and investment companies for customers to access products, as well as indirect channels via third-party brokers, intermediaries and financial advisers.
In the indirect channel, there is a network of 1,884 Authorised Financial Advisers listed with the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) the industry regulator, and a further 6,920 Registered Financial Advisers in New Zealand, totalling 8804.
These more traditional channels of distribution are being challenged through areas such as the Government work to improve access to financial advice via the Financial Services Legislation Amendment Bill (FSLAB), advancing behaviours and customer needs. It is common place for insurance and investments to be accessed digitally in both direct and indirect channels, but there is a need to adapt further into digital processes as technology continues to evolve and deliver more cost-effective services.
Technology is also changing how the sector manages its end-to-end processes and how it uses and shares data. With new start-ups appearing across the world using blockchain, artificial intelligence and other technologies, traditional companies may need to adapt quickly to not only provide more tailored products and services, but also consider how best to develop their distribution and claims processes for the future.