|MIDAS 是香港保險業聯會聯合 CryptoBLK 開發的 DLT / 區塊鏈汽車保單認證系統，旨在解決汽車保險欺詐行為，並實現行業數字化。MIDAS 在2020 年榮獲由政府資訊科技總監辦公室發起的「香港資訊及通訊科技奬」的金獎殊榮； 在 2019 年獲《亞洲保險評論雜誌》選為「年度創意大獎」得主。
在 CrypoBLK 新一期的「齊來創新 Innovate Together」系列專題中，我們希望透過與行業領袖的對話，讓大家更加了解車保行業的現況、挑戰和機遇，以及 MIDAS 如何透過區塊鏈技術為整個行業帶來「信任」，解決行業痛點。
Joyce: 2015 年泰加開始投入網上汽車保險業務，這也是我們在數碼轉型的第一個項目，目的是使我們的銷售渠道更加多樣化。我相信由於每家公司的發展背景和經歷都不同，其數碼轉型的策略也會不同。對於我們來說，雖然我們是一家本地公司，之前的業務也是集中在商用汽車，例如小巴、的士，我們一直考慮如何將我們銷售渠道變得多樣化。尤其在上市之後，我們更加看到業務多樣化的必要性和迫切性。
而 MIDAS 的出現，最大程度上是處理了一個「信任」問題。當客人收到保單的時候，上面直接提供了 QR Code，而客人可以在 MIDAS 的官網上直接上傳 QR Code 核實保單真偽，這就有助建立一個“信任”給客人。
Joyce: 當初和保險業聯會討論做 MIDAS 的時候，最主要是想解決業界痛點。業界的分銷渠道很分散，區塊鏈技術或許是一個可以滿足我們現在保險業這麼多樣化的解決方案，首先其整合成本不算很高，同時可擴展性高。
其次從客戶角度來看，MIDAS 提供了一個工具讓他們可以驗證保單真偽。現時很多公司都有網上平台，保單也是電子版。同時當他們拿着保單到運輸處，便能透過 QR Code 辨別保單真偽。
保險業聯會和會員一起討論過技術整合的問題，大家都明白在整合技術上，每間公司都不一樣，外界以為大型的保險公司在整合新技術方面相對小公司容易，但情況未必如此。不過我們可以確認的一點是起碼在方向上是一致的。在保險業聯會的推動下，保險公司可以在自己的能力範圍內整合 MIDAS。當然，最後還是由每間公司的狀況去決定是否將 MIDAS 整合到現有的系統。保險業聯會在推動 MIDAS 的時候，保險公司也會邀請主要的汽車中介人去嘗試使用 MIDAS，現在也有個別的中介人已經開始使用。
問：為何泰加考慮加入 MIDAS？您覺得如何評估一個新產品對公司是有價值的？MIDAS 能否提供您們想要的功能和價值？
Joyce: 首先 MIDAS 本身的整合成本不是很高。我們並沒有將 MIDAS 整合到所有系統，而是選擇性考慮，比如傳統車保業務沒有整合，因為會涉及到核心系統。我們有考慮過MIDAS到底對哪些客戶最有效，然後我們發現私家車客戶群是最有好處，而他們是最想要得到保障的一群。所以在 MIDAS 的整合上，我們最先考慮的是我們網上追索平台。慶幸的是，我們的網上平台是一個獨立模型，整合成本相對來說非常有限。而將 MIDAS 整合到所有業務會是我們一個長遠方向。 其次我們管理層也很支持 MIDAS 的整合。因為有了他們的支持，整件事情的推動都比較順利，內部的審核也容易通過，整個整個流程都比較流暢。
在商言商，我們都希望這個解決方案的成本是在我們的能力範圍內。能用一個合理的價格做到一個具區域性的保安系統，我們覺得 MIDAS 都達到這個目標的。現在大家都有意識到 MIDAS這個系統，現在也開始有一些公司到了 API整合的後期階段，我們相信越多公司整合 MIDAS 之後，其他公司也會隨之而行。
問：在 API 整合過程中，泰加有遇到任何挑戰嗎？整個過程是否流暢？
Joyce: 首先，在初期整合階段，有些時候很難產生 QR Code, 主要原因是其中一個關鍵信息 – 底盤號碼。很多水貨車沒有這些號碼，因此無法產生 QR Code 。而這些問題也是因為我們沒有對市場有一個透徹的了解，慢慢使用的時候發現的。
其次，QR Code 儲存也是一個問題。有很多公司在做 API 整合的時候，需要考慮如何儲存產生的 QR Code。對於很多公司來說，如果整合到核心系統，需要另找一個地方去儲存這些 QR Code 反而比較困難，而如果在打印那一刻可以直接產生 QR Code 的話，會變容易很多，所以這也是公司在做 API 的時候需要考慮的其中一個技術點。由於我們本身的網上平台就是雲端儲存，所以在儲存空間不用太擔心。
最後，就是使用者的體現。當初 QR Code 沒有一個標準化的設計，大小的問題沒有掌握好，所以運輸署在掃描的時候不容易看清，這就無形中增加了他們的工作量。
Joyce: 整合 MIDAS 之後日常的操作沒有太多變化，最主要是提供辨認保單真偽的工具，增加了客戶對我們的信任，同時也讓管理層開始思考區塊鏈的應用。
我們還需在教育方面下功夫，客人的教育都很重要。當客戶意識到有保單認證的保護，他們才會使用。運輸署也在他們的客戶中心放很多宣傳單張，但是香港最大的分銷渠道還是中介人，如果中介人沒有將這個信息告訴客人，客人未必有機會去體驗 MIDAS 和感受它的價值所在，因為很多中介人是直接幫客戶去登記。這也是為什麼我們首先選擇我們網上平台做 MIDAS 整合，因為這部分的客人才會自己動手去登記。因此網上平台是最能體現 MIDAS 價值的一個渠道，其他渠道還是需要更多的教育。
MIDAS 最重要的信息就是將區塊鏈帶到保險業界管理層的眼中。大家一直討論區塊鏈的應用場景是什麼，到底怎樣去使用區塊鏈才能使整個保險生態獲利。雖然每家公司都有自己內部發展區塊鏈的方向，如只是個別公司使用區塊鏈是達不到經濟效應的，也發揮不到區塊鏈本身最大的效應，要推動區塊鏈的發展，需要業界上的合作。MIDAS 的出現，首先是業界有這個需求，同時也推動了保險公司對區塊鏈運用的重視，並做出相應的配合。長遠來看，要推動區塊鏈在整個保險業的應用，需要整個業界的配合。
|MIDAS is a collaborative effort between the Hong Kong Federation of Insurers (HKFI) and CryptoBLK that harnesses Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) or blockchain to ensure the authentication of motor insurance documents and fight against fraudulent cases. In 2020, MIDAS won the Gold Award from Hong Kong ICT Award; and in 2019, it was awarded the Innovation of the Year from Asia Insurance Review in Singapore.
CryptoBLK is thrilled to launch the “Innovate Together” Talk, where we will have an in-depth conversation with industry leaders, who will update us on the challenges and opportunities the industry is facing, and how MIDAS can bring “trust” to the whole industry through the blockchain, and hence solving the industry pain points.
We are honored to have Ms. Joyce Lau, Chief Financial Officer of Target Insurance, as our first guest in our “Innovate Together” Talk. She will share her views about the application of blockchain in insurance, the value and benefits of MIDAS to law enforcement and public interests.
Q: When does Target Insurance start the journey of digital transformation?
Joyce: Target Insurance provides online service for motor insurance customers since 2015, which was our first project by applying an online platform for diversification of our sales channels. Since then, we began our digital journey. We believe each company’s digital transformation strategy is different from others’. There is a necessity and urgency for us to diversify after listing, though we are just a local company focusing on commercial vehicle insurance such as minibuses and taxis.
Currently, the intermediaries still account for majority of our business. When we explored our business model, we found that the information distributed by intermediaries is more generic, which cannot differentiate the value of Target. This is the main reason for driving us to develop online insurance and diversify our sales channels.
Q: What do you think about the digital transformation in Hong Kong’s insurance industry?
Joyce: A great number of the motor insurance companies offer online service. However, due to underwriting involving various elements and uncertainties, it is still little risk to proceed online. Insurance is a platform providing “trust”, so intermediaries still have their value as one of the sales channels.
For insurers, when establishing an online platform, we must first consider how to integrate the new system into the existing system, and whether the combination of the new and the legacy systems can achieve the most beneficial effect. Further, we have to observe how our customers react to the online service. Though there are so many online platforms in the market, customers are still cautious about these platforms. Some customers still prefer choosing a trusted intermediary instead of an online platform to avoid time spent on background check .
The launch of MIDAS has solved the issue in “trust”. When customers receive the insurance policy with QR Code, they can directly upload the QR Code on MIDAS’s official website to authenticate the insurance policy, and this greatly enhances the “trust” to the customers.
Q: HKFI is making an effort on digitizing the industry, such as investing blockchain technology to develop industry-wide platform MIDAS. What is your view on it?
Joyce: When discussing with HKFI about MIDAS, our goal is simple which is to solve the industry pain points. The current distribution channels in the industry are very fragmented while blockchain may be a solution to address the industry’s diversified needs. First of all, MIDAS’s integration cost is low but with high scalability.
Secondly, from the customer’s perspective, MIDAS acts as a tool to verify the insurance policy. Nowadays, many companies are providing electronic cover notes and policy. When the car owner carries it to the Transport Department, their staff can verify them by scanning the QR Code instantly.
HKFI also discussed how to adopt MIDAS with the members. We understand that each company faces different levels of challenges to adopt a new system. People may think that it is easier for large companies to adopt new technology than small companies, but this may not be the case. However, one thing we can be sure of is that our direction is aligned. It depends on the decision of insurance company whether integrates MIDAS into their existing systems. When HKFI introduced MIDAS, the insurance company also invited their intermediaries to experience MIDAS. As a matter of fact, some intermediaries have already implemented MIDAS ahead of some insurance companies.
Q: Why do you consider implementing MIDAS? How do you evaluate the value of such a new solution? Does MIDAS bring the value that you are looking for?
Joyce: The integration cost of MIDAS is not very high. We intentionally did not integrate MIDAS into the entire system but part of it. For example, we did not integrate it to the traditional commercial motor insurance business as it involves our core system. In reaching this decision, we have been looking at what type of customers are most appealing to use MIDAS, and we found that the private car customers are the group who needs to authenticate their policy online. Therefore, we first considered adopting MIDAS into our online platform. Fortunately, our online platform is an independent platform, so the integration cost is limited. However, integrating MIDAS into all existing businesses is our long-term direction. Also, our management supports MIDAS integration. With their support, the whole process is going smoothly, from solution implementation to internal control review.
Business is business, we do hope that the cost of this solution is within budget. Delivering territory-wide security system at a reasonable price, we think MIDAS has achieved this goal. Now everyone is aware of the MIDAS system, and some companies are at the later stage in their full API integration. We believe that with more companies integrating MIDAS, others will follow.
Q: Any challenges in the API process?
Joyce: In the early stage of integration for QR Code generation, it is difficult to generate QR Code. The main reason was the chassis numbers. We found some cars did not provide a correct chassis number which was hard to generate the QR Code. The lesson we took from that in fact we did not have a thorough understanding of the market.
In addition, many companies need to consider the storage of the generated QR Code while doing API integration. For many companies, if the integration involves the core system, they need to find another place to store these QR Codes. It will be easier if the QR Code can be generated directly at the same time of printing cover note or policy. So this is one of the technical points to consider during the API integration process. For Target, as we use cloud computing, we do not worry too much about the storage issue.
Furthermore, the capability of IT vendor to integrate with a blockchain system is another critical factor for success, fortunately, our vendor was also very cooperative. Since we are using the same cloud computing platform, the integration was relatively simple. If the system uses customized coding, it will be difficult to integrate.
Finally, it is the user experience. The QR Code did not have a standardized design at the beginning. Therefore, the Transport Department experienced some difficulties when scanning, which increased their workload.
Q: How does your customer say about your new system after using MIDAS?
Joyce: After the integration of MIDAS, the daily operation has not changed much. The most important thing is to provide a tool for insurance policies authentication, which increases the trust of customers in us, the positive feedback allows management to start thinking about the application of blockchain in other aspects.
We still need to work hard on market education. When customers realize the value and benefit to them, they will start using MIDAS. The Transport Department has put a lot of promotional posters in their registration centre. But intermediaries still play an important role in the distribution channels in Hong Kong. If the intermediary does not tell the customers about MIDAS, they may not have the opportunity to experience MIDAS and feel its value. This is why we chose our online platform to integrate MIDAS in the first place, which requires the customer to register by themselves. Therefore, the online platform is a best channel that reflects the value of MIDAS, while other channels still need more education.
The most important message of MIDAS is to bring blockchain to the eyes of the management. Everyone has been discussing what are the use cases of blockchain and how to apply it to make the whole ecosystem profitably. If only a few individual companies use blockchain, hardly can they achieve greater economic effects, nor they exert the greatest effect of the blockchain. Blockchain needs the cooperation of the entire industry to maximize economic benefits. The happening of MIDAS, not only it can solve industry pain point, but also draws attention from the top management. For the long term, it requires the cooperation of the entire industry to promote the application of blockchain.
Ms. Joyce Lau
Chief Financial Office
Ms. Joyce Lau is the Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer of Target Insurance Company, Limited. She has over 15 years of experience in the accounting and finance industry specializing in general insurance. She is elected as General Insurance Councilor of Hong Kong Federation of Insurers.