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Allstate streamlines claims process with launch of fast mobile payments

Customers can have the Northbrook, IL, insurer send payment directly to a bank account with Fast Mobile e-Payment, a part of the new Allstate ExpressPay portfolio. The service, which Allstate said is the first of its kind in the United States, shows how insurers are stepping up efforts to meet the demands of consumers who are growing increasingly comfortable with using mobile devices for important matters, including insurance claims.

“Fast Mobile e-Payment allows us to get the spendable funds out faster than any current method,” said Justin Herndon, an Allstate spokesman. “That means added convenience for people who want to be paid by this method.”

“More than half of our customers use a smartphone,” Mr. Herndon said. “More and more, we’re seeing customers and consumers get connected and we want to be on the leading edge of innovation – offering solutions before consumers even know they want it.”

Eliminating delays
Fast Mobile e-Payment eliminates delays that can occur with snail mail and lost checks by requiring only an email address or mobile phone number to process a payment.

Catering to mobile-empowered insurance customers.

It works with any bank to handle Allstate auto and property insurance claims that have a single payee.

“This new payment method works for all claims and all coverages – auto, property, catastrophe – any claim with a single payee,” Mr. Herndon said. “This means I can pay you and your lienholder or body shop separately, but I can’t pay two of you with the exact same payment – each payment is tied directly to a single bank account, but there can be multiple payments.

“Essentially, everything I can do today but much faster.”

A customer first confirms he or she wants to be paid through Fast Mobile e-Payment. Allstate then gathers the customer’s email address or mobile phone number and sends it to Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The consumer receives an email or text message with instructions on how to receive payment.

Once the customer completes the one-time registration process, payment will automatically go into the account.

ExpressPay is the latest example of Allstate’s growing ability to create positive customer experiences via mobile.

The insurer’s mobile offerings also include Digital Locker, which lets consumers inventory valuables and belongings, and QuickFoto Claim, which allows auto claims to be filed by submitting pictures through a smartphone application.

Insurers generally are responding to connected consumers’ demands for technology that lets them do business simply, instantaneously and on-the-go.

State Farm, for instance, recently leveraged object recognition technology to let users of the CarCapture mobile application snap a photo of the back of a car to receive detailed purchase-research information. State Farm insurance quotes are available to the app’s users.

Getting personal
In June, Geico updated its app to make access to its auto-insurance services easier and more personal, including features previously available only on desktop.

Mobile-supported services are a necessity, not a luxury.

“This new method is extremely valuable to the overall claims experience,” Mr. Herndon said of Allstate’s fast claims-payment service.

“The widespread use of mobile devices makes innovation in everything we do a necessity, not just a luxury anymore.”

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York