SOURCE: Clickatell

Clickatell

November 03, 2009 00:01 ET

Metropolitan's Cover2go Further Innovates; Deploys USSD Using Clickatell's Proven Platform to Streamline Mobile Insurance Sales and Business Process

Cover2go Offers Mobile Insurance to Lower Insurance Cost, Eliminate Paperwork, and Reduce Trips to Retail Outlet

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA--(Marketwire - November 3, 2009) - ITWeb Mobile Payments -- Plunging headfirst into mobile, Cover2go, created by Metropolitan, is employing mobile technology innovations to distribute insurance to millions of un- and under-insured people. Announced today, Cover2go implemented Clickatell's Enterprise USSD solution to improve insurance access, advance sales efficiencies, and streamline business processes -- by leveraging the mobile phone. As a result, Cover2go has greatly reduced the cost of insurance and improved insurance accessibility in remote areas.

"Given South Africa's large cell phone penetration, it was imperative to develop a well thought out mobile distribution strategy because Cover2go is designed to reach people who fall outside of the gambit of traditional insurance models," said Cover2go's Raymond Africa, head of IT Infrastructure and Process. "We chose Clickatell because they have seen what works and what doesn't when deploying mobility strategies in our part of the world."

Now, using the Clickatell-powered USSD solution, customers can activate insurance vouchers via mobile by texting Cover2go's unique short-code, 120*C2GO# (120*2246#), therefore eliminating the need for a sales representative. Cover2go's 'direct activation' allow consumers to simply enter the "voucher activation number," along with the necessary personal information, all from their mobile phone in a secure USSD session. Metropolitan Cover2go has also found tremendous benefits in leveraging mobile enrollment as a way of streamlining internal processes for accurate verification as well as automated data confirmation.

"Financial institutions, large and small, continue to be leading adopters of mobile and are successfully capturing new customers, satisfying existing ones, and fast creating new revenue streams as they move beyond the traditional means of commerce and communication. Companies -- local and abroad -- can learn a great deal from the deployment by Cover2go -- a global leader in bringing the next wave of financial services to a largely underserved market," said Pieter de Villiers, CEO of Clickatell. "We're excited about the market growth ahead and our role in enabling financial services providers to remain relevant with their ever-increasing mobile customers as they introduce successful mobile banking and insurance products in developed and developing markets."

Four billion of the world's 6 billion people use a mobile phone today, and in developing markets, mobile is often the only technology available. It has been predicted that the mobile phone will change communities and their economic outlook, especially in developing parts of the world. Mobile phone penetration and use continues to skyrocket each year, growing even faster in Africa than many other places throughout the world.

"Such ubiquity and simplicity created an opportunity for Cover2go to address the need for insurance, despite the traditional need to visit a physical office -- often a geographic barrier to access in itself," says Africa. "No need to make time-consuming and often frustrating phone calls and no requirement for incomprehensible paperwork. The message to the customer: just click and transact."

99% of all GSM phones come equipped with USSD, which runs over the same channel as SMS. Generally associated with real-time or instant messaging phone services, USSD provides a "session-based" transactional mobile service. Likened to a secure internet session via an "SMS-like" interface, once the USSD-session is established, it remains active until the transaction is complete or the session times out. USSD, widely used by mobile operators for airtime top-ups, is being made more available to enterprises looking to launch compelling services. Typical of other short-message protocols, response times for interactive USSD-based services are almost immediate.

Clickatell USSD solutions enable transactional data to be transferred real time across the mobile channel with enhanced security and reliability. The benefits to Metropolitan and their customers are tremendous:

--  Security: USSD allows session-based communication between the server
    and the mobile device with no information left on the device
    
--  Real-time Connections: very low latency due to the nature of the
    wireless networks and session-based communications; communications
    initiated by simply entering service codes; no need to install, open, or
    learn a new application
    
--  More Insurance Options: access to new customer segments; more
    returning customers; more insurance options for those who need it, when
    they need it
    
--  Improved Convenience: quick and easy activation capabilities on the
    spot with mobile access to services
    

About Cover2go

Metropolitan Cover2go offers innovative, affordable, no-fuss insurance cover to people from all walks of life. Offering insurance cover in a way that's convenient and hassle-free, Metropolitan is one of the most trusted life and funeral insurers in Africa. Metropolitan currently insures more than 10 million lives.

About Clickatell

Clickatell enables businesses, governments and communities to leverage the ubiquity of mobile messaging to inform, alert, notify, transact, interact and share information. Delivering mobile messaging solutions since 2000, Clickatell is a global leader in mobile communications specializing in SMS messaging as a service across 815+ mobile networks in 220+ countries, Clickatell serves 10,000+ customers including several of the Fortune 500, leading governments and communities globally. Clickatell has also formed strategic partnerships with a number of industry leaders including RSA Data Security, Entrust, S1 Corporation, mFoundry, Fundamo, Postilion, IBM and others. Clickatell products and services increase customer acquisition, improve loyalty and build trusted brands through direct, personal, easy, and immediate communications. Backed by Sequoia and Ethos, Clickatell is headquartered in Redwood City, CA, and has offices in South Africa.

Contact Information

  • Media Contacts:

    Clickatell, US
    Kelly Brieger
    650-704-1748
    Email Contact

    Clickatell, MEA
    Kerryn-Leigh Anderson
    Zenkai Communications
    +27-82-457-7236
    Email Contact

    Metropolitan Cover2go
    Sarah Rice
    Sentient Communications
    +27-21-422-4275
    Email Contact