The insurance industry is fast evolving for the better with the help of technology. We recently had the pleasure of speaking to Bente, an innovator of the revolutionary mTek app that allows low-income consumers purchase insurance without any paperwork. Everything is digital until the claim process.
Read on for more about Bente Krogmann and mTek.
Tell us more about yourself. Who is Bente?
Bente is an upcoming insurtech leader who is passionate about making impact in businesses through digital transformation. As the Chief Executive Officer at mTek, I inspire and lead the team to leverage on technology to drive homegrown innovations that will digitally transform – the insurance sector. I grew up in Germany, however my passionate for sustainable economic development led me to Africa. It is here that the idea of providing social protection to all using simplified solutions came to me birthing mTek.
How was the mTek idea birthed?
The insurance sector plays a very important role of poverty reduction through financial and welfare planning. mTek was birth from the idea of a transparent, accessible and affordable insurance offering for everyone. Furthermore, we looked at the issues that discouraged people from signing up to insurance and resolved them with our digital offering. mTek provides paperless insurance in less than five minutes – from set up, payment and receipt of insurance documentation for as low as Kshs 1000 monthly for a health cover. This aspect addressed the tedious paperwork and the product affordability. Secondly, we have over 35 underwriters whom mTek users can select from to get their services from, while comparing the premiums before they make a choice – all at their fingertips.
To our readers, kindly explain to us in how mTek works?
mTek is an innovative insurance mobile application currently available on Google Playstore – providing an entirely paperless end-to-end platform. The app allows customers to purchase insurance directly from the insurer and file for claims – all from the convenience of their phones. The application allows the users to compare the available options before purchase. Once one has made the decision, they can make a purchase and they will receive their policy document in less than five minutes. For those who seek flexible payment options, mTek provides the options which one can select from. In the event of a claim, the client can use the same paperless procedure to ensure their peace of mind.
What would you say are the advantages of signing up with mTek over the traditional insurance services?
The advantages of signing up with mTek are endless.
· We are available anyone in Kenya as long as one has an internet enabled device.
· We are offering fit-to-market products that address Kenyans specific issues
· We are 100% paperless from signup to claiming.
· We offer access to over 35 insurance companies to our users to select from
· Our digital processes are transparent, and one can see their records anytime
· We are affordable as we allow our clients to pay in up-to daily instalments
· We have grown and we now offer the whole scope and range of general and life insurance products
How old is mTek and how are Kenyans embracing it?
We are touched by the confidence the Kenyan market has shown mTek just two years since our launch. Over 65000 active users continue to rely on us to facilitate their social welfare. In addition, we have built valuable partnerships that have enabled us to offer more value-adds to our users.
What informed your decision to venture into digitized insurance?
mTek ventured into digitized insurance because we want to reach more than the current 3% of the insurance market. With over 59 million mobile phone devices connected to mobile networks in Kenya as of September 2021, we felt we could reach more people via their phones. At mTek Services, we always believed that insurance is part of welfare planning and financial inclusion. We believe that fintech has the potential to be a force for social good. Our technology therefore provides choice, transparency and empowers individuals to have an end-to-end ownership of their insurance experience… because everybody should „insure“ to have a safety net when nobody else is there to catch them!
What do platforms such as mTek mean for the traditional insurance salesman/woman?
mTek provide the traditional insurance stakeholder and partner the opportunity to reach more people with their product and services. With more insurance companies embracing digital transformation, mTek is the right partner to help them FastTrack this agenda.
Insurance uptake in the country is and has mostly been dismal. Is the availability of digital products increasing uptake in general?
The uptake of insurance has been affected by lack of transparency, cumbersome claim settlement processes, lack of awareness among other issues. However, I believe that digitization can help with all this issues especially transparency. It is helping with innovations that make accessing insurance very convenient to customers. In addition, with players like mTek we are reducing the time and costs of processing claims.
What are your key strategic goals for expansion of mTek in the next two years?
To be able to reach more Kenyans, we are investing heavily in research so that we can continue to provide our users what they really need. We are also looking developing products that target the SME sector as we believe they are the drivers of the Kenyan economy. Lastly, we will continue to run awareness campaigns on the importance of insurance in our day-to-day lives.
How does digital insurance work with age old industry habits and laid down government directives and regulations?
I must say that the Kenyan government has been a great champion of digital transformation especially in bolstering government services in the country and digital financial inclusion. In the insurance sector under the guidance of the Insurance Regulatory Authority, digital platforms like mTek come in to complement and support the industry’s vision to reach more people – the uninsured.
What are some of the challenges anyone who is seeking to enter into insurtech should prepare to face?
One must be ready to build trust as the insurance industry is suffering from a trust-deficit. One must show people that they value and have their best interests at heart – both at signup and claims payment. Secondly, one must seek some form of investment which will enable them to reach more people. Lastly, one must be ready to invest in customer services because insurance is about being a great listener.
What is your take on upcoming insurtech competition?
With a 3% market penetration, the insurance industry and in particularly insurtech is still a very open field. Competition in any business is important as it drives high quality products and services which means the market benefits in the long run.