New technologies are disrupting industries by driving more efficient ways for businesses and customers to interact. Industry leaders, such as Allstate Insurance Company, are harnessing this disruption by adopting innovative tools that help meet their customers’ changing expectations.
Allstate spotted an opportunity to speed claim disbursements by switching from paper to mobile payments. The company adopted Digital Disbursements from Bank of America (BofA), which enables Allstate’s customers to quickly receive funds via text message or email. The results? Higher customer-satisfaction scores and greater security.
TAKING A NEW APPROACH
Allstate started shifting away from checks in 2013, seeking greater efficiencies and reduced fraud. “We first began offering claims via ACH, but adoption was low since most customers didn’t know their routing and account numbers,” says Lynn Cirrincione, Allstate’s cash and banking director. Cirrincione reached out to BofA about a payment method that would accomplish the company’s goals while making it easier for customers to receive funds.
BofA's disbursements team recognized the power of Allstate’s opportunity. Drawing on its history of payments innovation, the bank leveraged the Zelle® platform to launch Digital Disbursements, a fast, safe and easy way for companies to send money to almost anyone with a bank account in the U.S.1
ENABLING MOBILE B2C PAYMENTS
Since 2011, millions of individuals have used Zelle to send money using just the recipient's email address or U.S. mobile number without the need to share bank-account details. With Digital Disbursements, BofA helped Allstate become the first company to leverage the technology for business-to-consumer payments. After a successful pilot, Allstate began offering Digital Disbursements to all customers in 2015.
The process is easy to navigate. Allstate initiates a payment using the customer’s email address or U.S. mobile phone number. During a simple one-time enrollment, the customer links his or her bank account information to the email address or U.S. mobile phone number, through their bank or clearXchange.com (clearXchange® is the online version of Zelle used for receiving payments from companies when your financial institution doesn’t offer Zelle). Funds arrive directly into the customer’s bank account to help them quickly get back on their feet. And since Zelle maintains a record of the enrollment, customers only need to enroll once. All future payments to enrolled customers are completed automatically.
ACHIEVING MUTUAL BENEFITS
“We initially sought this solution to achieve greater efficiencies and reduce fraud, and Digital Disbursements has definitely helped with that,” notes Cirrincione. “But the positive customer response has been even greater than we expected. Our satisfaction scores are rising, and we attribute this largely to the speed and convenience of our mobile payment program.”
Being an early adopter places Allstate at the cutting edge, confirming its reputation for innovating on behalf of its customers. “Advances in tech have created the expectation for real-time connections and service, especially among millennials, who already use P2P networks and prefer text messages to phone conversations and face-to-face meetings,” Cirrincione concludes. “In the next few years, as this generation becomes a bigger part of our customer base, we expect these trends to accelerate.”
Brought to you by Early Warning Services, LLC, an innovator in payment and risk management solutions, Zelle makes it fast, safe and easy for money to move. The Zelle Network® connects financial institutions of all sizes, enabling consumers and businesses to send fast digital payments to people they know and trust with a bank account in the U.S. Funds are available directly in bank accounts generally within minutes when the recipient is already enrolled with Zelle. To learn more about Zelle and its participating financial institutions, visit www.zellepay.com.
Case studies are for illustrative purposes only and intended to demonstrate the capabilities of Bank of America. You should not consider these case studies as an endorsement of Bank of America. Case studies do not necessarily represent the experiences of other clients. Results may vary.
1If a consumer banks at a financial institution currently not offering Zelle, they can register for disbursements at clearXchange.com.