Mobile app simplifies financial contracts


Financial services provider Metropolitan is using cutting edge technology to help
clients understand and interpret the finer details of their contracts.

Liezel Gordon, Marketing Manager at Metropolitan, explains: "The financial
services landscape is complex to navigate at the best of times and it is evident
through our research that many people don?t fully understand the insurance products
and benefits that they buy.

Jargon-heavy contracts that are mostly interpreted by consumers whose second
or third language is English, add to the confusion. "Our first step was to turn the
traditional jargon-heavy contract into a simple user guide and contract. The
document is legally binding but easy to read without any "fine print?. To take the
client experience a step further, we used innovative augmented reality technology to
create a first-of-its-kind experience for our clients,' says Gordon.

As a result, the Metropolitan augmented reality mobile app was created. The
"understanding your policy in 10 easy steps? roadmap in the user guide and contract
is the trigger for the app. When holding your phone?s camera above the roadmap, a
three-dimensional view is superimposed on the screen. Each step on the map
features an animated clip that explains an aspect of the policy, in a direct, engaging
way. Users can "swipe? the page to continue on to the next step, or jump ahead by
using the buttons which appear at the top of the screen.

The specially created audio-visual experience explains the critical elements of
the contract, including details around the policy, its benefits, and how to claim. It is
in simple English, isiXhosa and isiZulu. For more detailed information the client can
page to the relevant section of the user guide.

"Animation cuts across literacy and cultural barriers and the gamification element
engages people in a fun yet purposeful way,' explains Gordon.

The app was developed in conjunction with Sea Monster Entertainment, an
animation studio based in Cape Town. Glenn Gillis, Managing Director of Sea Monster,
explains: "We looked at how we could clearly explain integral information to
Metropolitan?s clients, without challenging the necessary legal nature of the
contract. Mobile penetration is high in South Africa and the penetration of smart or
feature phones is increasing at a rapid pace, so together we decided to build a
mobile app featuring augmented reality technology.

"Our challenge was to get the right product information, at the right time, to the
right person - optimising engagement.'

Currently only Metropolitan?s funeral products benefit from this technology, but the
company plans to expand the roll-out across its other product lines in the near

Gordon concludes: "Buying insurance is a long term commitment. Our clients
expect - and deserve - to have their contracts explained to them in a simple, direct
and engaging way. The app also speaks to the Treating Customers Fairly (TCF)
principles recently adopted by the Financial Services Board (FSB), which state that
financial services providers need to communicate clearly with consumers. This
innovation underlines our commitment to improving the lives of our clients.'

The app can be downloaded by Metropolitan clients free of charge from the Apple or
Android app store (excluding standard data charges - not applicable if downloaded in
a WIFI zone).