ZimSelector, the Luke Ngwerume founded online financial services aggregation startup, announced yesterday that they have just enabled ZimSwitch Vpayments on the service. With the new internet payments option insurance buyers in Zimbabwe will be able to select and buy insurance on the website using bank cards issued by any of the ZimSwitch shared services enabled banks locally. These include CABS, CBZ Bank, FBC Bank, POSB, Trust Bank and ZB Bank.
Speaking yesterday at the presentation of a prize for a competition that they ran on the site as part of the launch, Ngwerume said the new payment feature means Zimbabweans don’t need to physically visit an insurance company to be insured. “The whole process, end to end, can now be completed online including the payment. the policy and other things can then follow”
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Ngwerume said in the coming weeks more insurance companies would be signed up to service starting with CIMAS (a medical aid society) in the next coming days. Other companies to be added in the coming weeks include Zimnat, Old Mutual and CBZ. ZimSelector is currently creating mini sites on ZimSelector for all the individual companies and will only introduce the actual aggregation – where visitors can search and compare quotes from different insurers on one page – in the second phase.
Ngwerume said they had to build the mini sites first as the financial institution’s websites are currently not built for transactions, and transacting is essential the ZimSelector’s model as they will make their money when visitors transact.
When the aggregation service is live, visitors won’t see the insurance brands on the homepage but will be presented with a list of products that they can choose and compare quotes at the click of a button. ZimSelector tech integration manager, Paul Muchenje, demoed the aggregator version of the website yesterday. Our view from that is the product is positioned to significantly change how people, especially young professionals and Zimbabwe’s Diaspora market, access insurance and other financial services in Zimbabwe.
Yesterday’s event was attended by Zimbabwe’s Insurance and Pensions Commission Commissioner, Marnet Mpofu, who said that ZimSelector was a new type of player, to register it, they “had to go back to the statute books of the insurance industry” to understand how to deal with the startup. The main issue, according to her, was the new multiple agency type of company which, before ZimSelector, just wasn’t there. Mpofu also said as a commission they are excited with the new service.