In most global financial markets, regulations demand that customers wishing to buy insurance products or pension plans, receive advice about the risks and complexity of each insurance or financial product. Such advice includes the suitability of specific products to each potential customer’s “financial or investment profile” and the level of financial risk a particular customer can bear.
This regulatory framework slowed down advisors from going digital; until Gefen International’s platform Moments came along, disrupting the traditional ecosystems of customers seeking advice before buying an insurance policy or pension plan.
Moments does not aim to replace the agent. It provides tools such as messaging and support to sales and marketing activities tailored explicitly to the role and its regulatory requirements. In a way, it is like Shopify, a platform that enables a website owner to start selling online and manage sales and customers through a portfolio of tools. Moments empowers an agent to move to a digital operation through a set of tools. There are millions of agents globally, and Gefen International has sold its platform to big corporate players like Generali, Lloyd’s, and Manulife.
Gefen’s platform turns a network of agents into an ecosystem connecting advisors, companies, and consumers, automating communication between them. Customers’ data and activities are analyzed, looking at buying preferences and past decisions. The platform looks at how long a customer spent on a specific website page, how they reacted to offers in the past and other information that can help advisors suggest suitable products to their clients.
Moments also connects agents; if an agent only offers insurance policies and the client mentions an interest in pension plans, the agent can recommend a financial service advisor in the same network. Splitting commission should not represent an issue because the second agent would have virtually no acquisition cost for that specific customer. The Gefen platform reduces the acquisition cost for the whole network of advisors.
Gefen also offers a marketplace version of the Arena platform that independent agents can join and become part of the ecosystem described above. Independent agents joining Arena will be charged a 30% commission on their revenue generated by the marketplace.
Insurance agents are increasingly adopting a digital engagement with their clients. Sometimes it is just used to support their face-to-face conversations when required by regulators. Gefen International platform enables agents to have a personalized digital engagement with their clients. Gefen’s CEO Orni Daniel sees the personalized aspect of digital engagement as the primary tool to build trust between advisor and client in a digital relationship.
2021 was a very successful year for Gefen International. The company’s IPO raised AUSD 25 Million on the Australian Stock Exchange. The funds raised in the IPO were used to expand Gefen’s sales and marketing team, fund research and development of its unique platform, introduce two new revenue streams (advertising solutions and processing fees), and other strategic growth initiatives.
By the end of 2021, Gefen added additional features to the Moments platform:
- New WhatsApp integration – including chat transcripts, deep integration to the CRM, attachment management, and joint conversation management across the agency.
- New ‘Open Insurance’ data integration capabilities for prospecting and existing customers.
- New self-service customer portal with access for the agents from the back-office and for customers via the agents’ websites.
- New recommendation capability to support consulting on new and existing orders without altering their actual content.
- New direct email tracking capabilities.
- New ‘managed by’ capabilities allowing ad-hoc and permanent sharing of customers between agents, agencies, and departments – without “losing” agent’s control and view over their assets.
- New task management and tasking between collaborating entities in the agency and across service departments.
On top of the new features listed above, Gefen made several improvements to the infrastructure and the Graphic Query Language distribution tool.
The last quarter of 2021 was particularly successful for Gefen:
- Cash receipts from customers up 7.67% quarter on quarter (QoQ) to US$2.93 million
- Number of end customers using Gefen Arena platform up 66% QoQ to 296,000; a total growth of 365% in 2021 compared to 65,000 customers at the end of 2020
- Number of premium Arena agents using the platform up 17% QoQ to 2,210; at the end of 2020, 1,332 agents were using the forum, total growth of 69% year on year.
- Number of Arena events recorded in the Gefen platform up 78% QoQ to 1,139,334 thousand
- Completed onboarding of five midsize agent networks which are expected to have a full impact on revenue from 2022 onwards
Plans for 2022 include more implementation of AI Technology to continue being a disruptive force in the market for insurance and financial advisors, estimated to be around USD 400 Billion.