Dispelling InsurTech lingo

I’ve been working in the “Tech” sector for about 10 months now (after a 6 year stint in pure financial services) and I’ve learned a lot about some of the fantastic initiatives out there.

Here at CPP Group UK, we’re an enabler for some of these niche businesses out there that are looking for a route to market, and we also own our IP (buzzword alert) where we’re deliberately aiming to make financial services more palatable and give customers a reason to engage.

During this time I’ve met with businesses up and down the country, and I have to say, my vocabulary has increased dramatically. Whenever you start a new role, there are always abbreviations, acronyms and the InsurTech sector seems to have its own dictionary.

If you put “tech” after your industry, you’re instantly associated with “being cool” and visitors expect you to have bean bags in the office – it’s synonymous with beer fridge Fridays (we have a couple of those), office ping pong tables (we don’t have these) and hoodie-clad colleagues (the odd one here and there).

I thought I would write this article (with some help from my senior marketing manager) to dispel some of the lingo used in the sector so next time you’re at the next big conference, you know what the buzzwords really mean!

Perry McShane is sales manager for CPP Group UK

1. Blockchain / Smart Contracts

Here’s the meeting scenario: “We’d like to use Blockchain” “What for?” “Because the business has asked for Blockchain.”

Blockchain, is one of those scary words (like Open Banking). It simply means the ability to distribute information openly but securely and cannot be copied. Smart contracts, in relation to blockchain, means the automatic trigger of a pre-determined response to information stored on a blockchain. For example, paying a claim instantly. It’s essentially a non-amendable excel spreadsheet!

2. Digital transformation

Sprinkle some digital on it. That’ll make it better.

Digital transformation is using digital tech to make business process better meet market requirements. Having an innovation department doesn’t mean you’re going to be the next Apple, but it does mean you can make incremental improvements. And if you don’t have an innovation department, you can always borrow someone else’s know-how – it’s sort of what we do here at CPP.

“You can’t digitise an analogue system – it’s like putting lipstick on a pig”


3. Challenger/Neo bank

Challenger banks are relatively new, digital businesses that are competing against the large retail banking sector. There are loads of great examples out there, they tend to have very little high street presence and are all about digital online fulfilment. A lot of businesses are moving this way, but without the legacy systems, these challengers can do it much faster.

My personal favourite; Starling Bank

4. Legacy systems

Speaking of which….. legacy systems. These are the traditional lot, the suits, the old school businesses which aren’t quite riding the tech innovation wave. Speaking truthfully most businesses still operate on legacy systems and in the majority of cases, the systems work satisfactorily so there’s no need to change them. The investment in energy, time, resources and funds required to change them is extensive and most businesses just don’t have the brain space. Hardly ground breaking though huh?

5. Eco system

Probably a word that invokes the most debate within our office. Like Marmite, you either love it or hate it. Me; I’m in the hate it camp.

Much like the Attenborough style biological community, this is the same, but for tech. It’s a combination of components with additional applications tagged on the outside. Keep building these out and these ecosystems offer solutions enhancements that are greater than the original concept. Any business’ product has limited value when used alone, but keep adding complimentary bits, the value and worth increases.

Your phone is a great example. It’s great for making calls but you’d feel lost if you couldn’t check your emails or your social accounts. With these additional features the value of your phone is much greater.

6. API

Otherwise known as…. Application Programming Interface. You can’t go through a full meeting without mentioning APIs. I learnt this one on my first day. Imagine a digital butler that you can send from your server to collect other companies information. It’s actually not a new piece of tech, it’s very functional and has been around a long time but it still baffles a lot of organisations. It just means data can be transferred directly into a database- it takes some setting up and testing but then it’s a piece of cake (or so our developers tell me).

7. Chatbots

You know when you call up your utility provider and you have to select from a long list of numbers to make sure you end up in the right department? Remember the days of trying to book cinema tickets over the phone? Well a chatbot is the new age version of that. Get a quote online and need some help? You’re most likely interacting with a chatbot. Here’s hoping they get better over time…


8. Unicorn 

Unfortunately, it’s not the mythical horse type animal that my kid adores, but instead, it’s a HUGE, massive, enormous, private tech company valued at over 1 billion.

About Perry McShane

Perry is the sales manager for CPP Group and has 10 years experience in the financial services sector. 

It’s in Perry’s interest to carve out those niche opportunities for our business partners to give them propositions with a competitive edge, that create customer loyalty and drives ancillary revenue. 

You may have guessed it, but he loves InsurTech so if this sounds relevant to you then you’ve come to the right place. 

If you’re interested in working with CPP, a truly global company with a 30 year history, and tapping into expertise across a variety of disciplines, contact us by emailing sayhello@cpp.co.uk

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