4IR may help popularise insurance policies, cut operational costs, expert tells seminar

FE REPORT | Monday, 6 June 2022

Inclusion of different modules of the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) in the insurance sector may popularise various insurance policies among customers and minimise operational costs for the insurers, according to a keynote paper presented at a seminar on Sunday.

The paper also said the 4IR elements like big-data analysis and artificial intelligence (AI) could be used for designing customised and need-based insurance policies and providing reliable customer support.

Dr Mohammad Mahfuzul Islam, a CSE professor at the BUET, presented the keynote paper titled "4th Industrial Revolution for Life Lnsurance: Bangladesh Perspective".

Jiban Bima Corporation (JBC), the state-owned life insurance company, organised the event at its headquarters in the city's Motijheel area.

JBC Chairman Md Asadul Islam was present as the chief guest while JBC Managing Director (MD) Md Saiful Islam presided over the function. Nahid Hossain, Joint Secretary at the Finance Ministry's Financial Institutions Division, also addressed the programme.

In his keynote address, Dr Mahfuzul Islam said the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) has already come into the forefront with highly disruptive features.

"Unlike previous revolutions, the 4IR is transforming everything fast and it ensnares three worlds -- namely cyber or digital, biological and physical -- together to disrupt the traditional ways of conducting almost every activities in our day to day life," he said.

"We need to develop all three worlds to scale up development".

The scholar also said people expect quick, hassle-free, and new & comfortable services in the financial sector, where some private entities have already set examples such as mobile financial services in Bangladesh.

The keynote paper also identified challenges for the flourish of insurance sector such as less awareness among public, centralisation, lack of government supervision and instability of businesses, among others.

Sharing experiences of developed countries, he said: "Insurance is a must to become a developed country."

He suggested using 4IR elements for insurance sector to facilitate the services and help clients trust the insurers through the use of ICT, self service online portal, online and real-time support.

As a whole, innovation, commercialisation and developing human resources in the light of 4IR are essential for development, he said.

In his speech, Mr Asadul Islam underscored the need for taking comprehensive measures to integrate the 4IR modules in the JBC activities.

Mr Saiful Islam said enhancing mindset is a must to accept the changes with the 4IR.

The government is now eying to establish a smart Bangladesh following a digital one, for which the JBC should play its due role.

Referring to a study, he said use of technologies could reduce operating costs of insurers.

Mr Nahid Hossain identified unavailability of data with different entities including insurers as one of the big challenges to mobilise the opportunities with them.

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