What can speed up insurance payments?

What can speed up insurance payments?

One Inc. is all about providing a fast and efficient digital payments network for the insurance industry. A new partnership with Visa will take that to another level, according to CEO Ian Drysdale (pictured).

Their partnership and integration will introduce network tokenization into the process - a kind of payment card system that replaces primary account numbers and other card details with a token issued by the credit card brand, enabling that information to be continuously updated.

As of May 01, Visa’s Token ID product enables One Inc’s PremiumPay inbound payments platform to tokenize cards directly with Visa and other major card brands. This is a big step, Drysdale explained, because it allows a credit card within an insurer’s system to be updated continually rather than letting it simply expire. Claims payments and other transactions continue seamlessly as a result.

“If somebody loses their card, it is stolen and replaced or the card expires, it is always up to date, and that dramatically helps with renewals for insurance companies and just reducing the pain factor for consumers,” Drysdale said.

A modern way to pay

One Inc., based in Folsom, Calif. with about 500 employees, has grown steadily since it debuted 15 years ago. In February, the company reported it had more than 200 insurance carrier customers who processed over $23 billion in payments annually, with 40 new insurers added during 2021 alone.

Carrier clients include eight of the top 15 insurance companies, Drysdale said.

One’s central premise is focused on helping the insurance industry go electronic with its payments processing, something that has been a long time coming.

 “Like every other industry in the world, payments in insurance are going electronic,” Drysdale said. “There are, by some estimates, trillions of dollars of checks still written in insurance [company business], both to insurance companies as well as [from] insurance companies paying claims. Our goal is to digitize all of those claims in the form of payment that the consumer or the insurance company is looking for.”

The idea is to make digital payments as smooth as possible, of course. That’s hard when customers want to pay with credit card and cards expire, are lost or stolen and replaced. One’s partnership with Visa is meant to smooth over those issues by using tokenization to constantly update payment information on file.

“As many as 3% of cards expire a month. That’s well over a third per year, so it’s a big deal, because when the insurance companies go to renew, they can’t. The consumer theoretically would end up uncovered if the insurance company could not get a hold of [him or her],” Drysdale explained.

The technology should help increase card authorizations by 2% or more, which Drysdale noted “is considered a very big deal” for the insurance industry.

“Insurance companies can go about the business of paying claims and getting new customers and they don’t have to worry about chasing consumers,” Drysdale said. “It’s a big differentiating feature in our space. We’ve had multiple clients say that they chose us because we are basically able [now] to have a card number that lasts forever – that’s how they view it.”

Weaving Visa into the equation

One’s platform is cloud-based and works with a payments gateway – an interface between the company’s system and the internet. It required some programming to enable integration with Visa’s tech.

“We had to code to certain Visa technology so that when we got a card number we could run it up to Visa, Visa would either look at their own systems or American Express’s or MasterCard’s,” Drysdale explained. “Then they go back to the card issuer, say Chase or Citibank or whatever, get the network token and pass it back to us. In the future, we simply offer that network token at the authorization rather than the card number, so it’s much safer, and, importantly, never expires.”

The integration process took about six months, Drysdale said, starting with One’s articulation of its vision for e-commerce in insurance being as good as for digital goods or retail.

After some planning and research, One picked Visa as a partner and negotiated a deal.

“We then designed the e-commerce, or consumer-facing mobile and web base solution for the consumer, and we coded to their API where we could pass the card number and back would come a safe token that would be forever live and everlasting,” Drysdale said.

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