DBS Bank India expands bancassurance partnerships

Ropes in Tata AIA Life, Birla Sun Life as additional partners

New Delhi, May 21:  

DBS Bank India has expanded its bancassurance partnerships with two new partners in Tata AIA Life and Birla Sun Life, in addition to Aviva India Life.

With this move, the Singapore headquartered DBS Bank has become the first bank in India to adopt a new open architecture model with three life insurers on a single platform.

This is expected to give its clients the freedom to choose using an analytic-driven, intelligent and interactive process.

Single platform

Elaborating on the development, a DBS Bank India spokesperson said: “The trend that we have set in this single platform approach is that across channels, across customer segments we will not differentiate. There will be no preferred partnerships or exclusive tie-ups. It’s an open architecture that has gone live.”

As long as a product exists from these three insurance companies for a customer need, it will be offered to the customer to make a choice, the spokesperson added.

It may be recalled that the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) had in 2015 allowed corporate agents, including banks, to partner with up to three insurers in each segment — life, general and health.

Prior to this, a bank could tie up with only one insurer in each of the three segments.

“While the insurance regulator in 2015 increased the cap, many banks in India are still hesitant to opt for this. DBS Bank sees this as an opportunity, and hence, this move to expand our strategic partnerships,” said the spokesperson.

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While the induction of additional partners will expand insurance offerings for DBS Digibank customers (about one million), they will not be able to purchase the insurance products of these three insurance partners directly through the digital route.

However, the relationship managers of DBS Bank India can engage with the Digibank customers and help them exercise their choice of insurance products.

To help arrive at a decision, an analytic-driven online tool has been developed.

Digibank platform

Meanwhile, DBS Bank India is working toward enhancing its offerings in Digibank platform for insurance products. It is filing with the IRDA (under its e-commerce guidelines) to register its Digibank platform so that the bank can start putting the insurance products in this digital platform.

The IRDA’s e-commerce guidelines were issued in March.

Except for select digitally approved products, the IRDA does not allow customers to buy complex products directly through online channel.

However, in recent times, the IRDA has been moving fast to make the insurance buying process more smooth and digitised and adding more product classes into the allowed list.

(This article was published on May 21, 2017)

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