121Advisor: Transforming Financial Services with Innovative Business Solutions

121Advisor Kevin Steer Fintech Disruptive technologies Industrywired

121Advisor is a visionary technology solution and consulting services company formed in 2010 catering to both the FinTech and InsurTech sectors. Over the past 10 years, the company has implemented many disruptive online solutions including Referral Management with Marketing Automation, Mobile Point of Sales, Online Direct Selling, Online Claims, Agency Distribution, Online Customer Service Portals & Corporate Websites. With the growth of AI and chatbots, the company has implemented disruptive solutions including multilingual Chatbots and Robo Advisors along with AI-based Predictive Analytics/ Machine Learning for predicting new products, Lapsation, Fraudulent Claims and future predictions for Investment Funds.

121Advisor’s product called ‘Customer First Connected Enterprise Digital Framework’ integrates all of the above solutions.

The company’s motto is “We Don’t Follow Trends, We Pioneer Them”.

With the current ongoing pandemic, 121Advisor saw the need to offer financial services and health services online with lifestyle financial and health advice. The company recently launched a knowledge portal u12know (www.u12know.com) in Malaysia that provides lifestyle financial advice (for single, married, family, retired & my business). The service will continuously be extended to include lifestyle financial goals with recommendations for financial and business products, including the company’s multi-lingual chatbot and Robo Advisor (which provides advice on financial goals).

121Advisor plans to sign up with several banks, insurers, takaful operators, unit trust companies, and will-writing services to offer their services online.

In the future, u12know will include health and wellness calculators to advise people on their health and what they need to work on to get healthy. This will also include a total health score, based on the health calculators to indicate whether the users are very healthy, healthy, unhealthy, or at risk. Moreover, 121Advsior will also include another solution u12renew, which is a mobile app integrated with WhatsApp for Business that enables customers to receive reminders and renew their policies online.

In September, the company plans to launch u12know in the Philippines and Indonesia, subsequently expanding to other countries in the Asia Pacific Region.

 

Mission to Disrupt Financial Services

Having worked in the insurance and takaful sector for a number of years, 121Advisor’s mission was to provide disruptive InsurTech and FinTech solutions for insurers, takaful operators, and banks.

Kevin Steer, Founder, and CEO of 121Advisor has always been looking for new disruptive solutions to continue evolving the business. He worked for an Artificial Intelligence Company in 1986, and that piqued his interest in AI. When 121Advisor started seeing the evolution of Chatbots, Robo Advisors, Predictive Analytics, Behavioral Intelligence, and Robotic Process Automation, the company started researching AI solutions. The 121Advisor team implemented 24×7 multi-lingual Chatbots, Robo Advisors for lifestyle financial planning, as well as implementing Predictive Analytics solutions for predicting new products to buy, lapsation of policies, fraudulent claims, and future grow/decline of investment funds, which are integrated with RPA solutions to trigger workflows to notify the relevant people.

By 2014, the company was profitable and used the profits for R&D on developing new disruptive solutions. The graph below shows the company’s growth over the past decade.

 

The Directive Leadership

Kevin has always been a ‘techie’ with deep knowledge of banking, insurance, and takaful. He worked with his team to help them understand the Banking & Insurance processes and guided them in the design of data models for different business processes.

Over the years, the team has built a great understanding of financial services and insurance processes so that they can implement new solutions; based on new disruptive solutions proposed by Kevin.

 

Empowering Financial Practices with Quality Services

Kevin believes that most millennials in the Asia Pacific do not understand financial planning, and often max out their credit cards and get into debt, there is a need to help educate them on their lifestyle financial goals and recommend products that they can buy online. With the launch of u12know, 121Advisor sees that this will become a disruptive knowledge portal offering advice on lifestyle financial and (in future) health goals. This will enable them to understand their needs and create a plan to help them build their lifestyle and business financial plans. For each country, this will be translated into the local language.

 

Enabling Growth with Strategic Partnerships

Since Big data and AI are generating much interest in the FinTech and InsurTech sector, 121Advisor is already providing these disruptive solutions. In addition, the regulatory authorities now allow cloud computing, (which requires delivering regulatory compliance). The company has delivered a number of cloud services for insurers, takaful, and banks, and is working with one bank in the Philippines, along with a Healthcare solution provider in Malaysia to further develop its Health & Wellness within u12know.

 

Rising Over Difficulties

Speaking on initial business complications, Kevin emphasizes that in 2010, the terms ‘FinTech’ & ‘InsurTech’ were not available, so it took a while to convince customers of 121Advisor’s digital skills & capabilities. In 2011, the company started implementing various solutions, and subsequently, by 2014, 121Advisor started growing customers, providing solutions for banks, insurers, and takaful companies.

 

Delivering Business Excellence – Accomplishments

121Advisor has always been at the forefront of assisting its clients and feels proud to meet customers’ business objectives by delivering the best quality of services. Below are some of the use cases:

  • Referral Management 

A bank in Malaysia, wanted 121Advisor to deliver a Referral Management solution in 3 months, this included defining KPIs for each product, interfacing with back-end sales, and synchronizing status of agents daily, then auto assigning to the relevant sales agents based on the referral product required. The company delivered the solution and went live in 3 months.

Currently used by 6,700+ users referring an average of 170,000 referrals per annum.

  • Mobile Point of Sales for Insurance 

One of 121Advisor’s insurance customers wanted an agent mobile sales solution delivered in 4 months, this includes product setup, quotation, and proposal, auto-underwriting, and online submission to the insurer. The company delivered the solution and went live in 4 months.

Currently used by 700+ Agents across 3 insurers.

  • Agent Distribution Solution

With its agent distribution solution, a number of Agent Leader Corporations (ALCs) wanted 121Advisor to compute their commissions, bonus; then based on n-tier hierarchy, manage the performance and track KPIs for agent promotion/demotion (depending on whether they met their targets), including integration with their insurance/takaful companies. Once the ALC managers approved the payments, the company makes online payment directly to the agents. 121Advisor delivered these solutions in 2– 4 months, based on the integration requirements with the insurance/takaful company.

Currently used to compute 2,000+ agents across 4 insurers.

Further, 121Advisor has garnered precious acknowledgments for its invaluable solutions and services. The company has been recognized as Top 10 InsurTech Consulting/Services Companies in APAC 2018 by Insurance CIO Outlook, as well as Recommended Insurance Tech Solution Providers for 2020 by the Enterprise World.

 

The Promising Future Ahead

With the pandemic, 121Advisor sees its future growth in offering the disruptive u12know knowledge portal, with direct online sales, to multiple countries in the Asia Pacific. The company is also planning to expand this to Europe and the US. Within u12know, 121Advisor will include predictive analytics, machine learning, robotic process automation with multilingual chatbots, and Robo Advisors.