Consumers overwhelmingly want to do business with your company – over their mobile phones. They want to be able to make purchases and get information they need over the mobile channel, in which many companies are coming up short. Is the insurance industry ready to interact on a grands scale with customers this way?

A survey recently commissioned by SAP, asked 12,424 consumers around the world who own a mobile phone (basic or smartphone) what it would take to do more business through this emerging channel. The majority of users (82 percent) say they want and will buy goods and services through their mobile devices in the future. More than half (53 percent) have not used their mobile to buy goods, but wish to do so in the future, whereas 29 percent have used their mobile to do so, and wish to continue. Only 1 percent has used their mobile to shop for goods and shows no desire to do so in the future.

The study found that consumers would be more likely to increase their use of mobile commerce services if they had greater choice of payment methods (64 percent), if mobile payments were accepted by more retailers (51 percent), received regular order updates (41 percent) and if they were further incentivized by brands and services (32 percent).

The study did not address the specific opportunities or challenges within the insurance sector. The insurance industry's challenges in this regard would be enabling the ability to submit or track claims, start an application process, get updates on new products and services, find an agent, and pay a premium.

The key takeaway from the SAP survey data suggests that those insurers that fully support the mobile channel will have a highly competitive edge over carriers that don't have mobile-based services. A majority, 80 percent, of users agree that organizations should use any available technology to make life easier for their customers. More than half (54 percent) agree that they would switch to a different service provider if they could interact with them better on their mobile phone.

The study also explored what holds consumers back from using more mobile commerce and services. Nearly half of the respondents globally (46 percent) indicated the hassle of having to enter a lot of personal information, security concerns (45 percent) and lack of Internet access at the time of transaction (43 percent) were factors.

Joe McKendrick is an author, consultant, blogger and frequent INN contributor specializing in information technology.

Readers are encouraged to respond to Joe using the “Add Your Comments” box below. He can also be reached at

This blog was exclusively written for Insurance Networking News. It may not be reposted or reused without permission from Insurance Networking News.

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