ANZ Bank and IBM Develop Insurance Industry Blockchain Solution

Working in conjunction with Suncorp New Zealand, the companies aim to speed the data transfer and payment reconciliation process between brokers and insurers.

(Auckland from the Photo credit: Alexander Efimov.)

ANZ Bank New Zealand (Auckland, part of ANZ Bank, Melbourne) and IBM (Armonk, N.J.) in conjunction with Suncorp New Zealand (Auckland; a member of the Suncorp Group, Brisbane, Australia) are working together to develop a blockchain solution for the insurance industry that aims to help make the data transfer and payment reconciliation process faster and more transparent between brokers and insurers. ANZ and IBM have released a proof-of-concept white paper on the technology, and how it will benefit the insurance industry.

Paul Goodwin, Managing Director Institutional NZ, ANZ.

“Reconciling policy information and premium payments made by a broker to an insurer on behalf of customers is a slow and painful process,” comments Paul Goodwin, ANZ Managing Director Institutional NZ. “The blockchain solution will be much more efficient for the industry as well as being very secure. As a ‘single source of truth,’ it will provide greater visibility throughout the process, remove uncertainty and help make response times faster.”

“This technology will work with existing industry solutions to capture relevant information; ensuring payments can be forecast and made without the need for reconciliation,” Goodwin adds

ANZ describes itself as a leader in blockchain technology and says it will build on the results of its property guarantees blockchain solution.

Mike Smith, Managing Director, IBM New Zealand.

“Distributed ledger technologies are driving major efficiencies across many industries by enabling previously complex, manual processes to operate in real time with full transparency,” said Mike Smith, Managing Director, IBM New Zealand. “IBM used design-led thinking principles and practices to reinvent the business processes behind intermediated insurance at ANZ.”

“The result is an interoperable network that could not only decrease policy costs and improve customer service, but also build a foundation for the introduction of other transformative technologies, such as artificial intelligence,” Smith adds.

Speeding Reconciliation, While Improving Customer Experience

“We’re always looking at ways to generate operational efficiencies and the proof of concept was an exciting way to test whether a technology solution can speed up the reconciliation process for insurance premium payments, while at the same time improving the customer experience for policyholders and our business partners,” comments Tim Buckett, CFO, Suncorp New Zealand.

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Anthony R. O’Donnell // Anthony O'Donnell is Executive Editor of Insurance Innovation Reporter. For nearly two decades, he has been an observer and commentator on the use of information technology in the insurance industry, following industry trends and writing about the use of IT across all sectors of the insurance industry. He can be reached at or (503) 936-2803.

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