Nationwide makes aggressive push for digital partners

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Nationwide says the digitalization of its business is opening up new avenues for partnering with companies of all kinds. Through its “Partnership Platform,” launched in August, companies interested in leveraging the insurer’s products and brand have a streamlined way to pitch their ideas and begin a relationship.

“It’s a way to integrate Nationwide insurance and services into the customer journey,” says Angie Klett, Nationwide’s SVP of corporate development. “When a customer comes online and interacts with a retailer, for example, they offer their product, and then they can offer other value like insurance.”

Nationwide examined how the ad-hoc partnership process it had experienced to enter relationships with companies ranging from Ford to Amazon to the National Council for the Aging in developing the online experience for the Partner Platform site. Interested companies submit an application through partner.nationwide.com and are contacted by a corporate development associate to discuss terms and gain access to the full platform. Once an agreement is reached, a Nationwide associate will work with the partner company to use the carrier’s 60-API library to provide various types of offering on their own sites.

“Everyone from small to large corporations is interested in providing value to customers, and often their customers are in a digital experience already,” Klett continues. “We believe we are ahead here with an experience that other insurers don’t have, from simplicity to product breadth to the brand.”

There is no fee to use the platform once a partner is approved, Klett says. While her corporate development unit is still devoting employees to managing these relationships as they come in, she’s hopeful that one day more of it could be automated.

Michael Carrel, Nationwide’s SVP and CTO for marketing & enterprise growth solutions, agrees that this avenue is going to be explored at a higher level by Nationwide, and says that its investment in modernization of its platforms was key to being able to deliver this partnership experience. Currently four lines of business, including pet insurance and auto, as well as some commercial lines, are available on the platform with more to come.

“We’re planning to enhance the platform with bundling additional products, and even things like a testing sandbox, to make it even easier and simpler for partners,” he says. “We want an open Nationwide, and that’s a key element of our technology strategy that is manifested in the partnership platform.”

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