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Prudential to boost technology spending in Asian expansion drive

In Action Summary

Prudential Plc is planning to boost its technology investments in Asia by 20% to GBP300mn (USD427mn) and will invest in automation, online sales service and support operations. This effort is part of the UK insurer’s plan to attract younger customers and double its earnings in the region every five to seven years.

Although Prudential recently spun off the company’s operation in the UK to focus on Asia, Africa and the US, it is ramping up its presence in Asia with 1,500 technology staff that includes data scientists, robotics engineers and automation specialists.

According to Nic Nicandrou, CEO of Asia, “Technology will enable Prudential to bring in more clients by shortening the time to issue policies to minutes from days and expanding an online chat service to deal with queries.

Currently, almost 60% of Prudential’s new business is now submitted online which allows policies to be issued within 30 minutes in China and within two hours in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Indonesia.

In addition to the renewed focus on Asia and digital methods, Prudential plans to roll out an artificial intelligence system which will allow it to settle hospital claims on the day of submission. The system will first be deployed in Singapore and will use Optical Character Recognition to scan for keywords and treatments in photographed invoices, and then examine prices and compare the information against its database and similar claims.

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