Life insurance in the digital age

The omnichannel revolution

During the next ten years there will be a radical change in customer mix, with ‘traditional’ consumers reducing sharply in favour of ‘digital natives’


The life insurance landscape is changing at a rapid pace. As the market has embraced technological advancements, customers have grown used to the service levels in other industries and are expecting similar experiences from their life insurers.

Empowered customers have more demanding expectations, and life insurers can no longer rely on a single-channel sales strategy. They now need to look at a fully integrated omnichannel service that takes on a single view of their customers.

Technology has brought easy access to data, offering opportunities to vastly improve the overall customer experience and enabling life insurers to explore new revenue streams outside their traditional business models.

The three waves of change

Integrated digital capabilities and technology are required to provide life insurers with the necessary tools to meet the challenges outlined above. We believe that the life insurer’s journey to a holistic, integrated digital offering consists of three distinct waves.

Digital channel

In the first wave, insurers are using digital technology to offer their customers a new, online experience, laying the foundation for a fully integrated digital offering. The first wave involves the enablement of the digital channel, having life insurers cater for the surge in demand for online interactions while simultaneously trying to improve various parts of their business through automation and the use of connectivity.

Digital experience

The second wave encompasses digitising the end-to-end process; that is, making use of customer data, and integrating tools, systems and processes developed in wave one. Thus, wave two offers customers a seamless omnichannel experience.

New business models

The third wave entails leveraging customer data and advanced analytics to expand life insurers’ product offerings and business models. Wave three will see life insurers expand to find new revenue streams and vastly improve the customer experience, while simultaneously changing fundamental aspects of their business.

The rapid changes across the insurance landscape present exciting opportunities to life insurers. We believe that the life insurers that are most likely to succeed are those that develop and deliver new capabilities rapidly by adopting an agile approach, and focus on a minimum number of viable products.

Contact us

Paul Mitchell

FinTech and Blockchain Lead, PwC South Africa

Tel: +27 (0)21 529 2001

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