Is It Time to Redefine Straight-Through Processing? (STP Blog Series #1)

A person pointing at a digital futuristic screen

Almost 15 years ago, the insurance industry tried to bring about fundamental change. Efforts to begin automating the typical tedious paper-based process were underway. However, digital transformation was still in its infancy.

The primary focus was streamlining e-application processing. We as an industry wanted data collection with fewer errors. We wanted e-signature to avoid the need to leave the digital environment. We wanted something that could fill all the gaps in the sales experience. We wanted to make the process both easier and more efficient.

The term straight-through processing (STP) was born.

A Decade Late and a Dollar Short

Flash forward to today.

Industry regulations and insurance sales processes are more complex than ever. Advisor workflows—and the consumer buying journey—have remained fragmented. Electronic submission of applications is far from 100%. E-signature adoption rates across the industry remain low.

Too many firms have a version of STP that remains focused on a small fraction of the entire sales cycle. The original workflow for STP is now a decade-old definition. It is outdated and no longer reflects the technological advances available.

As an industry, we never implemented the wider workflow. Nor did we tie what was introduced together to create a truly cohesive STP process. Instead, in the years since STP was first defined, companies and vendors have constructed a proliferation of single-purpose technologies.

The result is a variety of technologies that support individual sales process stages. Or, you may have different technologies cobbled together into a disjointed system.

Solutions like these still contain disconnected data and workflow gaps that hinder sales.

Living Up to Expectations

In today’s world, consumer expectations are through the roof. You can apply for—and receive—a mortgage on your mobile phone. You can visit the doctor virtually. You can track your pizza to your front door.

The consumer has more power than at any other time in history.

In the modern landscape, the big question is: when will insurance start to live up to—maybe even exceed—consumer expectations? Why doesn’t insurance have true straight-through processing yet? It is time to redefine what STP can and should look like for the insurance and financial services industries.

The best part? True straight-through processing can be achieved using the technology available today.

Stay tuned for the rest of our straight-through processing series. We’ll talk more about what true STP looks like and how you can achieve it.

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