FWD Takaful to offer mobile therapeutics service

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on February 6, 2020.

Salim says certificate holders can access the application upon submitting their claims. (The Edge file photo)

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KUALA LUMPUR: FWD Takaful Bhd, previously known as HSBC Amanah Takaful (Malaysia) Bhd, is partnering Naluri Hidup Sdn Bhd to provide a digital therapeutics programme to certificate holders of its online family cancer plan, FWD Care Direct.

“The Digital Therapeutics Programme will provide an optional value-added service for our FWD Care Direct customers that is personalised to support their emotional, mental and physical needs upon cancer diagnosis,” said FWD Takaful chief executive officer (CEO) Salim Majid Zain.

Salim was speaking to reporters after FWD Takaful inked a partnership agreement with Naluri Hidup that will make the programme be available on Naluri’s mobile application to FWD Care Direct certificate holders.

Certificate holders can access the application upon submitting their claims, said Salim.

Naluri CEO Azran Osman-Rani said its application will provide access to health coaching.

“Naluri’s digital application will provide access to health coaching that combines much needed, but often neglected, psychological support with disease and lifestyle management,” Azran said.

According to FWD Takaful chief strategy and digital distribution officer Wan Ahmad Najib Wan Ahmad Lotfi, its online products currently have 140 certificate holders.

The FWD Care Direct plan provides instant coverage of RM100,000 to RM250,000 — offering a 100% payout for cancer diagnosis. FWD Care Direct offers cancer protection for an entire family of up to four people in a single plan.

According to Azran, the Naluri application has some 8,000 users. Naluri offers access to health coaches, medical advisers, pharmacists and dieticians to its subscribers.

Speaking to The Edge Financial Daily following the event, Salim said FWD Takaful has sold 3,000 certificates via its agents since August 2019 — of which 116 are online takaful certificates.

“As of now, we have a 1.3% market share. Of course, we want to grow, and are looking to grow to 10% to 15% at the end of five years,” he said.

Wan Ahmad also shared that since FWD acquired its 49% stake in HSBC Amanah Takaful, it has been changing the way the Malaysia Takaful business operates.

“While the outlook is gloomy, there are always opportunities. What we are doing right now since we acquired HSBC Amanah Takaful, we are changing the whole model,” said Wan Ahmad.

This, he explained, means while its slightly over 1,000 agents are still the main drivers for FWD Takaful’s products, the company is gearing up for sales via its digital channels.

Already, its online products are seeing more traffic, Wan Ahmad said, with the average certificate holders it has registered from digital channels being those in the 25-40 age group.

“We are actively growing in all channels, and in all channels, we are growing actively digitally. It is not just the direct to customer business, where they go onto our website to get [certificates]. Even our agents and Banca are doing digital,” Salim added.

This year, some 60% of FWD Takaful’s capital expenditure goes into digital initiatives for its business. FWD Takaful has 82,000 customers, inclusive of 2,600 group members.

FWD Takaful is 49% held by Hong Kong-based Pacific Century Group’s FWD Group, which acquired the stake in 2018 from HSBC Insurance (Asia-Pacific) Holdings Ltd.

Pacific Century is founded and headed by Richard Li, the son of tycoon Li Ka Shing.

Tycoon Robert Kuok, through JAB Capital Bhd, holds a 31% stake in FWD Takaful, while the Employees Provident Fund owns the balance 20%.