16 February, 2018 07:00
Michel Bergeron | Photo : Réjean Meloche
The advisor still has advantages that artificial intelligence has not. Is this enough to cope with the technological changes sweeping the industry ? The key : offer a value-added, ” says Michel Bergeron, a partner at EY.
“First, it is necessary that the industry should define what is the added value, where it is located and how it is defined. Realizing that it faced an inevitable change and know why he is there, ” said Mr. Bergeron on the occasion of the Conference 2017 of the insurance and the investment, which was held on 14 November, in Montreal.
He recounts that a few years ago, a gap existed between what the customers wanted and what the industry could offer them. Now, the technologies are there to fill this gap.
Do not become the next Blockbusters
“It is no longer just a customer who wants something, it has the technology to meet its needs. It is not necessary to panic in front of all of this. It is important not to keep the status quo. We must not become the Blockbusters of this world in the face of Netflix, while the first did not consider their new competitor as a threat two years before finally closing their doors “, he warned.
However, it is important not to see technology as our enemy, but rather as our friend, ” added Mr. Bergeron. Since its existence, and its advent is inevitable, that it will be part of the landscape, as well integrating it in the development of the business. Rather than dismiss it and focus on the elements that artificial intelligence cannot be addressed.
Mr. Bergeron has even attempted to describe what it would be like the advisor of the future. It was noted as the first feature of the specialization.
“The products tend to be more personalized. The advisor should know all the details of the various products offered on the market and not be afraid to cover them all “, he added.
The advisor of the future will be also integrated the digital platforms to practice and will be at the leading edge of trends. “Be aware of digital platforms in the fintech and the ease with which one can navigate through it. A company whose platform is more old will present the positive notes that the clients will be granted. For its part, the fintech spread all of the customer comments and will not fear a note imperfect. For the first, people say that the company has chosen the comment to be displayed. They appreciate in contrast to the gesture of fintech, ” said Mr. Bergeron. He also mentions that consumers are looking for transparency and access to data to make their own interpretation.
35 days to be adopted by 50 million users
Mr. Bergeron compares the digital revolution in which the industry is at this time in the great revolutions which the world has witnessed. He said that, as at the time of the industrial revolution, people have to change and adapt to the novelty. Especially because the basis of this revolution is spreading rapidly. A new technology need only 35 days from its launch to be adopted by 50 million users.
“We have migrated to a world that is predominantly agricultural to the cities filled with factories. This has not been easy for the people at that time. The world is now richer and more powerful. It was able to adapt and become better as a society because we focused on the added value that brought these changes. This is the same recipe that we must apply here, ” he explained.
The adoption becomes increasingly important. By 2020, 50 billion objects will be connected, he mentioned. “Everyone is connected and everyone has access to a wide range of data. The companies also have access to it. This allows you to have all kinds of new products, ” added Mr. Bergeron.
Alex Veilleux, co-founder, chief innovation officer and strategist of products in Vooban, noted during the speech of Mr. Bergeron that the connected objects bring in new players on the market. “When one thinks, for example, Google, which has launched the product to the Nest that lets you control the temperature, lighting, and many other aspects of a house, this offers the company a wealth of data that would allow him to start for home insurance. Of course, the regulators pose in front of them. With the Exception of these last, one could see new players in the industry, ” he explained.
Technology : help or threat ?
And the advisor in all of this ? A survey conducted by EY with advisors revealed that they consider the changes in the market towards online sales, and administrative tasks such as the two elements that slow down their growth. “In both cases, the technology can help, but also be a threat,” says Mr. Bergeron.
All in all, the advisors do not have to be afraid of losing their place because of the technology, summarizes Mr. Bergeron. In its Index of technology adoption-financial, published last July, EY reports that 18% of consumers are ready to embrace the fintech. For insurance specifically, the rate is lower. The firm expects, however, that the proportion will increase to 24 % quickly, despite the delay that the Canada shows. In the rest of the world, this rate will reach 40 %.
“The technologies financial will never be taken to 100 %. One clearly sees that the banks do close ever their branches. They have and will probably be a new format. People want to be served the way they wish to, and these branches are part of it. Businesses may not be in control of the channels with which consumers interact. Rather, it is them that need to be. One thing is certain. This is a senior advisor to digital-only will also meet problems “, concluded Mr. Bergeron.