23 June 2008

Clickatell powers Santam Innovative Insurance fraud alert service

Clickatell partners with Santam Insurance

Redwood City, US - Clickatell, a leading provider of global mobile messaging, today announced its partnership with Santam, South Africa's leading short-term insurer, to provide a text-based fraud reporting channel, as well as improved results from Clickatell-powered Santam call center using SMS text alerts for claims processing. Jerry Chetty, Head of Forensic Services at Santam, says, "The main reason behind this innovative addition to Santam's current fraud reporting services is the confidentiality attached to it, as well as instant access to fraud reporting mechanisms.

Cellphones are the fastest growing means of communication and will address these concerns." Taking advantage of SMS as a ubiquitous communications channel, Santam now enables people that are involved in, aware of, or witnessing a scam to text fraud tip-off's anytime from anywhere using mobile shortcode 31640; thereby reducing the probability of fraudulent or false claims being paid out. The text message infrastructure provided by Clickatell allows for immediate, discreet, and assured delivery, increasing Santam's ability to respond quickly and appropriately to reported incidents.

All reports are treated confidentially unless the reporting party wishes to disclose their identity. Chetty advises those reporting fraud tips to provide as much detail as possible and answer basic questions such as who, why, how, and when in order to provide the agents with as much information as possible. Chetty commented further, "We expect our text-based fraud tip line to become the de facto standard across the insurance industry. We expect it will be an efficient and reliable form of communication as the immediate nature of SMS is providing us with the ability to quickly act on fraud tips and maintain high levels of service. We anticipate that it will evolve from receiving text-only messages to also be able to receive photos and video clips of unethical behavior as they occur." According to industry sources between 8% and 35% of car and household claims paid out annually to local policyholders are fraudulent, costing the insurance industry $15 billion per year. In the US, the insurance industry occupies such a central position in the domestic economy that the FBI's Financial Crimes Section views fraudulent claims as an investigative priority.

Combatting insurance fraud

The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud (http://www.insurancefraud.org/) estimates that the cost of fraud is as high as $80 billion each year. "By providing this innovative text-based tip line, Santam continues its leadership as a customer-centric organization that is leveraging the compelling mobile footprint in its market to reach more people, more often in a more relevant manner as they strive to reduce the high cost of insurance fraud and pave the way for closer customer relationships," said Pieter de Villiers, CEO of Clickatell. "SMS has proven itself to be an efficient and reliable form of communications in the Financial Services sector and has received widespread adoption due to it's immediate, real-time relevance characteristics and has, therefore, become a compelling mobile transaction and alert capability which has earned it the respect from heads of Marketing, IT and Operations in small and large Fortune 500 companies." In addition to fraud reduction services, Santam has been working with Clickatell to bolster its corporate call center to reach customers via SMS more effectively at a lower cost.

In less than a year, Santam has seen 500% growth in the utilization of its proactive claims service attributable to its simplicity, low effort, and cost, offering Santam's customer's true convenience and peace of mind. "Interacting with customers through a live agent costs roughly $5 - $9 per call - clearly the cost savings through the use of SMS is tremendous. And, the results are even more effective and pleasing to us and the customer," Fanus Coetzee, Santam's Head of Insurance Services commented. "Organizations across all industries should take full advantage of these cost savings by implementing text-based services."

About Clickatell

About Clickatell

We create a better world through technology, making commerce in chat accessible for everyone, everywhere. Consumers can now connect with brands to find goods and services, make purchases, track orders, and resolve issues with a simple text or chat. No need for cash, phone calls, in-person interactions, or apps. Founded in 2000 with now over 10,000 customers, Clickatell is powering the digital commerce transformation. Clickatell is headquartered in Silicon Valley, CA and has offices in Canada, South Africa, and Nigeria (www.clickatell.com).