Zurich partners with Amazon Payment Services for online policy purchases that take just minutes.

The Zurich Insurance Group is a leading multiline insurer that provides a range of life insurance and casualty products to customers in 215 countries around the globe. That includes individuals and businesses in the Middle East and Asia who are served by its subsidiary – Zurich International Life (Zurich).

Efficiently collecting insurance premiums is an important aspect of operations at Zurich. However, it became increasingly apparent that Zurich’s manual payment processes simply didn’t fit into the insurer’s vision to create a simplified, fully online policy payment process.

To help it embark on a digital transformation journey, Zurich set out to find an online payments partner that met several key qualifying criteria: the ability to offer secure, cost-effective payment processing in the context of legacy systems and complex payment flows, and the capacity to centrally process payments across international markets.

The challenge

Before beginning its digital transformation journey, Zurich International Life was using an expensive and labor-intensive process to collect policy premiums. Among other challenges, they were facing excessive costs associated with payment processing, as well as a customer experience that wasn’t fit for a digital-first world. For example, customers that purchased a policy from Zurich were required to share their payment card details on a paper form. The form was then manually processed by the company—far from a speedy policy-purchasing journey.

Moreover, currency conversion fees were making cross-border transactions needlessly expensive both for Zurich and for a significant subset of its customers. The company needed to improve both the payments experience and reduce the costs of handling payments.

Choosing Amazon Payment Services

Zurich needed its new payments partner to offer a seamless, secure, and reliable online payment experience to policyholders. It also needed that partner to do so with high levels of technical competency, given the complex payment processing requirements of a multinational insurer and the unique payment flows behind policy premiums.

The company had a second important requirement. Due to the cross-border nature of its business, Zurich’s partner of choice needed to have strong relationships with financial institutions in the Middle East to ensure a cost-effective payment experience for both insurer and policyholder.

Amazon Payment Services started engaging with Zurich International Life in 2019 with a proposal for an automated payment experience. It was quickly apparent that we could deliver on their requirements, and we also passed a rigorous due diligence process with Zurich which covered important security, compliance, and legal concerns including a review of our internal policies.

We then worked with Zurich for two years to build a deep understanding of the business processes and the legacy system architecture inside the company. To do that, we deployed a solutions architect and an integration engineer, who performed rigorous technical reviews to construct a complete picture of the complex payment workflows behind Zurich’s policy enrollments.

Seamless, automated payments

By using our API to integrate with Zurich’s legacy business systems, we rapidly rolled out an automated payment process that eliminated the existing manual, paper-based steps and replaced them with a user-friendly, seamless online payment experience. We automated the entire insurance premiums collection process—including the recurring payment transactions inherent to regular insurance premiums.

Equally important, of course, are the commercial aspects of handling payments, particularly where recurring payments are at stake. Thanks to our extensive relationships with financial institutions across MENA, Amazon Payment Services negotiated highly competitive arrangements with acquiring banks, reducing the costs for Zurich and its policyholders.

Quick, user-friendly onboarding

Engaging with Amazon Payment Services met one of Zurich’s most important goals: to deliver a digital-first customer experience that met the company’s digital transformation objectives.

Two of the insurer’s products can now be purchased online instantly:  life and critical care policies. This process is possible because integrating our API with Zurich’s legacy systems automates the collection of premiums across both direct and broker channels.

Thanks to this automated collection process, Zurich’s customers can choose on which day of the month they would like to pay their premium. Customers can now also pay in the currency of their choice without having to pay the currency conversion charges levied by their payment card issuer.

Secure and efficient

Notably, the new online payment process is also integrated with the company’s ZurichPro platform for advisors. ZurichPro is a digital front-end for onboarding customers, and it played a critical part in ensuring ongoing customer enrollment throughout COVID-19 restrictions.  

Due to the automated payment processing, brokers can now sign up clients for Zurich’s instant life and critical insurance products, YourLife and YourCare, respectively, within a matter of minutes.

Zurich’s new centralized, all-online payment processing arrangement made the insurer’s operations significantly more efficient, with a dramatic drop in administration fees. And all of its payment processing was now handled in a central location by a single provider: Amazon Payment Services.

Ready for growth

Amazon is delighted to now act as a single point of contact for all of Zurich International Life’s digital payments requirements—including liaising with all parties in the payment ecosystem.

Through close cooperation with the Amazon Payment Services team, Zurich became one of the first insurers in the Middle East to offer its clients a fully automated, fully online policy purchase experience.

It’s a significant step in the company’s digital transformation journey, as the insurer can now offer online payment processing and policy purchases, substantially enhancing the company’s competitive position.