FWD Life Insurance (Cambodia) Plc was fully launched in September 2021 with the vision of ’changing the way people feel about insurance’.
CEO Rotha Chan began his life-insurance journey at a major international company at the very birth of the sector in the Kingdom in 2012, before joining FWD Cambodia at its creation in 2020. As one of the pioneers of the Kingdom’s life insurance sector, he tells The Post how FWD is ‘making the insurance journey simpler, faster and smoother, supported by digital technology’ as it celebrates its first anniversary in Cambodia.
How is FWD changing the way people feel about insurance, especially in Cambodia?
Changing the way people feel about insurance is our vision, and it’s our guiding principle in Cambodia.
We really want to change people’s experience in how they engage and interact with an insurance company.
To do this, we simplified the way we do business with our customers.
We have brought clarity to ensure it is easy for the customer to understand. We steer clear of jargon, with a concerted effort to simplify the language of insurance.
The adoption of technology, to be digital at heart, is key because we want to offer speed to our customers, which is something they demand.
Nowadays, you have to be very fast, as well as being able to offer the right options. Digital has been the platform to ensure that, and at affordable prices.
E-commerce makes purchasing anything very simple and easy, and very fast. While in Cambodia, we have many e-commerce platforms, I would say we are a pioneer in offering a fully fledged e-commerce experience.
The launch of “LifeCancerCare”, our digital insurance product that covers both life and cancer protection, is a testament to our commitment towards enhancing our customer experience and digital transformation.
With just a few clicks on their smartphones, our customers can get the protection they need by themselves.
Why has FWD gone fully digital? Can you tell us about the benefits of your fully digital insurance ecosystem?
Digital technology allows us to bring simplicity to everything we do, and simplicity in the insurance industry means a lot for our customers.
With our 100 per cent cloud-based infrastructure, we are able to provide great flexibility and scalability of collaboration and resources within our team, and much more, for our customers and stakeholders.
This architecture makes FWD Cambodia a future-ready insurer for Cambodian families.
As well as our LifeCancerCare product, we’ve also recently introduced to the market the “Omne” mobile app, which allows customers and the public to experience useful and entertaining content and activities, including music, games, sketching, health and wellbeing features, and much more.
Omne is more than just a place to store our customer’s insurance policies – it is also a digital platform that users can engage with every day to celebrate living.
By going digital, we also can help protect the environment.
With the paperless journey, we’ve been able to initiate a community campaign called “One Policy, One Solar” to light up communities through solar-powered lamps, especially underprivileged communities lacking lighting at night.
Every lamp has the name of each customer on it. We have now provided up to 1,000 of these lamps across the Kingdom, in Phnom Penh, Takeo, Kampot, Mondulkiri and Kampong Speu, among many other areas.
The Cambodian Children’s Fund at the Stung Meanchey community is one of the organisations we have provided lamps to.
I was so moved to meet people from that community, who told me how their quality of life had improved. Now their children, thanks to the gift of the solar lighting, can go to school and come home safely in the evening, with the parents
having peace of mind.
Being able to do this is just a part of the benefits of going fully digital. Building a brand this way is much more positive – for the environment, for the community, for the customers, and for the company itself.
FWD Cambodia is an international company in the Kingdom fully run by Cambodians. How do you feel about this?
Our management team are all Cambodian, with support from Group Office, and this allows us to best understand what Cambodian people need.
For example, with the community projects, we know where support is best needed, and what is most beneficial for both the community and the customers, while we receive full support from the Insurance Regulator of Cambodia.
Changing the way people feel about life insurance is reflected by customer experience. We cannot claim to have done this until customers tell us we have.
Another achievement we have done for and with our customers is to develop an edutainment platform for the children of our customers, which we call “E-Gen Kid”.
If you come to FWD Cambodia’s Head Office on a Saturday morning, you will see many of our customers with their children attending coding class.
We offer coding classes for the kids of our customers, and we also run a reading club, as well as drawing classes.
These are all part of our efforts to change the way people feel about life insurance. And by doing so, customers come back every week.
Can you tell us about your partnerships with local companies? For example, you have just announced a partnership with Chip Mong Commercial Bank.
People have different needs and wants, and by working with partners we are able to expand our capability in serving our customers in many different ways.
With customer engagement, when we run the coding classes for the children of our customers every weekend, we work with Tech for Kids as a partner.
And to provide the reading club, we work with the Sipar organisation, which specialises in storybooks and reading materials for kids.
In the same way, to distribute our products and services to a wider customer segment, we work with a range of other local partners.
We are proud to work with such a prestigious bank such as Chip Mong Commercial Bank, which is also a young company that is growing very fast and adopting a high-tech approach.
We share the common purpose of providing the best financial services for customers using technology.
We also work with First Finance, a number of hospitals, RMA Cambodia, and many other partners because we want to provide better services and benefits to our customers.
Our door is always open, and we look forward to working with even more partners. We keep adding partners because we want to add value for our customers.
Our customers have needs outside insurance. They need access to education and healthcare, they need a house, they need a car – so when you become an FWD customer, you get assistance with these aspects of life.
How do you apply simplicity into your product innovation?
Our team has many years of experience, so we understand what is needed.
So coming together, we blend the vision and the purpose of FWD with what is needed in the Kingdom to come up with even more innovative products for our customers here in Cambodia.
“Our Short Savings” product is one example. Cambodians are sometimes looking for something shorter term with longer-time protection.
So we offer our customers a solution that allows them to save for five years with the protection of 10 years.
That is the beauty of being a customer of FWD.
Another example is our LifeCancer-Care product. At FWD Cambodia, we also focus on cancer, as it is one of the major critical illnesses in this country.
So we provide cancer protection regardless of the stage of the illness.
When a customer is diagnosed with cancer, we provide 100 per cent protection benefit.
If you are diagnosed with cancer in the early stages, with us you get the money and you go to hospital for treatment. It is simplicity like this that makes us stand out.
We don’t encourage fear – we encourage people to celebrate living.
The FWD ethos is that insurance should be a source of empowerment to enjoy and celebrate life. How do your campaigns such as ‘press play’ help achieve this?
We have recently launched our group-wide “press play” campaign because we know that everyone has something they want to do.
But sometimes we pause. We say let’s wait.
We say not now, maybe next year. So with “press play” we want to encourage people to take that course of action now.
Don’t pause, be courageous, do whatever you want to do, and do it now – and that is how we celebrate living.