Bancassurance with a twist: a new insurance solution for Africa?


Fiona Zerbst chats to Dushen Naidoo, managing executive of Absa’s pan-African insurance business, about the future of insurance on the continent – and the company’s brand-new digital solution.

When Barclays withdrew from its African businesses in 2016, leaving Absa to rebrand, critics wondered if the banking group could win back some of the market share lost when Barclays was at the helm. But although the Johannesburg-headquartered company had a rough year in 2018 (Absa was the worst performer of six banks on the SA banking index), it still looks as if it has everything to play for on the continent.

Part of the Absa Group’s strategy has been to continue to drive its bancassurance business outside South Africa – and this plan will be accelerated thanks to a new digital solution with potential pan-African clout. Absa’s insurance business is rolling out an insurance product so new that it doesn’t have an official name yet, which will be available from mid-year within the non-life space.

The product will cover the full value chain of the insurance experience, with the front-end app being the point of contact for the customer.

“We have gone fully digital from start to finish, adapting the best technology available globally, since this will be the primary way people interact with insurers in the future,” says Dushen Naidoo, managing executive of Absa Insurance Group. “The mobile platform will be our dominant channel going forward.”

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