Optal has come a long way in a short space of time. Today we count some of the UK’s biggest insurers among our clients. But we’re also keen to engage with the industry in as many ways as possible, sharing our expertise and learning from key stakeholders on what their major challenges and business aspirations are. That’s why we were at the I Love Claims (ILC) Motor Conference in Coventry on Wednesday.
It was a great opportunity to join the debate over the future of the industry, and drive home the importance of innovation in B2B payments as a route to future success.
At the show
Over 400 motor claims professional descended on the Ricoh Arena for the event, including CEOs, Finance and Claims Directors, and Loss Adjustors representing all parts of the supply chain: from accident management firms to brokers, vehicle repairers to law firms, paint suppliers and even medical-legal providers.
They came to hear a range of leading industry figures, analysts and others share their thoughts on the future of the industry. We were delighted to see the topic of digital transformation highlighted time and again. LV= CEO, Steve Treloar, spoke passionately about his ambition to turn the firm into “Britain’s best loved insurer” by putting the customer front-and-centre of everything it does. He wants to make it easy for suppliers to work with LV, recognising that claimants want their car back as soon as possible after an incident.
Claims expert, Rob Smale, added that change can be technology and data-driven, but companies must make sure that new initiatives are ultimately customer-focused.
Innovating to succeed
These sentiments chime with a lot of what we’re seeing in the motor claims and wider insurance industry. At Optal, we believe that supplier payments can have a crucial impact on the end customer experience.
Yet there are challenges to doing so. Legacy payment processes like cheques and bank transfers are saddled with inefficiencies, human error and administrative overheads. The very diversity of the attendees at the ILC show is a reminder of the complexities inherent in the supply chain: these different types of organisation may have very different payment preferences, for example.
Optal Virtual Account Numbers (VANs) are an innovative new way to overcome these challenges. These 16-digit, single-use card numbers can be used to pay all suppliers digitally, stripping out the cost, inefficiency and risk associated with manual processes and physical cheques. Most importantly, seamless, automated payments mean suppliers can get to work as soon as possible, enhancing the customer experience at what can be a stressful time.
That’s the key to driving positive change in the industry through digital innovation.