FWD Group harnesses AI to elevate the customer journey

FWD Group is a pan-Asian life insurance business with more than 13 million customers across 10 markets, including some of the fastest-growing insurance markets in the world. Established in 2013, the company is focused on changing the way people feel about insurance. FWD’s customer-led and digitally enabled approach aims to deliver innovative propositions, easy-to-understand products and a simpler insurance experience.

A laser-focused dedication towards creating a seamless customer experience has led FWD Group to win the Best Customer Insights Initiative – Insurance award at the Digital CX Awards 2024, hosted by The Digital Banker in Singapore. It was also highly acclaimed as the Best Cloud Initiative for Digital CX in the insurance category.

FWD’s Smart Insurance Framework

In 2022, FWD Group’s data team launched the Smart Insurance framework, part of an extensive roadmap to transform the company into a digital organisation, and with the aim of embedding artificial intelligence (AI) to support its customer, partner, and agent journeys.

FWD Group and local data teams collaborated closely and leveraged advanced analytics to build in-house AI models to improve the experience of its customers and its cross-sell and retention capabilities. The ability to orchestrate an overarching data strategy with the Smart Insurance framework provided data-centric guidance for the development of many analytics and AI/ML initiatives.

FWD Group embarked on its AI journey in 2019 and now has almost 200 active AI models applied across its business, with over 600 use cases.

The Company has identified the need to build a collaborative platform to facilitate further improvements of its AI models and the collaboration within teams, at the same time recognising an opportunity to elevate the AI integration with internal systems to deliver better insights.

FWD Brain

Departing from the traditional approach of making isolated decisions at various stages in the customer insurance journey such as employing separate AI models for cross-selling and churn prevention, FWD Group’s goal was to seamlessly incorporate AI insights across the entire customer experience.

To achieve this, it conceptualised and launched FWD Brain, a centralised platform developed in-house that hosts AI models and outputs created by both FWD Group and local teams.

The FWD Brain platform boasts numerous innovative features. It embraces an “AI everywhere” approach which translates to a seamless AI integration across the entire insurance journey.

By leveraging AI and machine learning (ML), FWD Brain can analyse vast amounts of data to generate actionable insights and deliver personalised recommendations and services. The adoption of a data mesh architecture also enhances agility and scalability in data management.

Additionally, the platform also deploys a semi-automated machine learning ecosystem which reduces manual effort and accelerates development. Finally, FWD Brain adheres to strict regulatory standards with respect to AI, alongside regular feedback from clients, thus ensuring the trustworthiness of AI-driven decisions within FWD.

“FWD Brain has yielded transformative benefits across various aspects of our operations,” said Dr. Yao Yu Hui, Group Chief Data Officer, FWD Group.

“We are combining new digital technologies, data analytics and artificial intelligence to elevate the insurance journey of our customers. Through FWD Brain, we can embed AI along the customer journey, making it simpler for them to purchase, claim and engage with FWD.”

Cloud-First Strategy

FWD Group’s cloud-first strategy, which sought to reduce time consumption, retire redundant applications and maximise reusability to enhance agility and drive innovative changes has also been highly acclaimed by The Digital Banker.

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