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March 29, 2019

Reaching the untapped Thai Emerging middle class market with mobile-enabled insurance

Building upon its long-lasting partnership with AIS, Thailand’s leading mobile network provider, AXA now offers insurance to AIS’ 33 million prepaid emerging customers. This partnership continues to produce examples of how novel distribution channels can be used to access first-time insurance users.

In Thailand, insurance is still reserved to a limited portion of the population and distributed through traditional channels, such as banks or agencies. Most of Thailand’s population is left unprotected, particularly because traditional insurance offers are not suited to the specific needs of the Thai emerging customers, the low income to mass market segments of the population.

40%
of Thailand’s population
is made up of Emerging Customers
33million
AIS’ prepaid customers
Total customers: 41M
90%
of Thailand’s adult population
use a mobile phone

Mobile phones have emerged as a successful channel for distributing insurance in the country, as 90% of adults own one, and 40% have at least two SIM cards. AXA and AIS’ program leverages the mobile device to bring protection covers to this emerging middle class : it provides insurance free to customers already enrolled in AIS’s prepaid loyalty program, and covers accidental death, disability (including road accidents) and hospitalization.

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The enrollment is done through a fully digital process which enables customers to access protection offering by simply topping up their phones – the more they top up their phone, the more insurance they get. Subscribers dial “*221# + Call” to enroll and benefit from personal accident insurance protection for one month. To renew the cover, they simply top-up as they would normally through AIS and receive insurance at no extra cost.

AXA and AIS have been working together since 2015, through a test and learn approach. The strategy draws inspiration from the “freemium” model, which consists of offering a line of free and open-access services alongside a line of “premium” services available for a fee.

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