Dubai – MENA Herald: compareit4me.com, the Middle East’s leading financial comparison site, is showing off the innovative financial technology (FinTech) behind its insurance comparison platform at GITEX Technology Week 2016.
Exhibiting at the Dtec stand in Za’abeel Hall 4, compareit4me is spending the week educating IT and start-up professionals on the build-out of the first real-time insurance comparison service in the Middle East. Launched in March 2016, the FinTech behind the platform brings insurance aggregation to a region where it should not exist.
Insurance aggregation, allowing users to compare and buy insurance online, is the most prominent channel through which insurance is purchased in Europe. In the United Kingdom, over 60% of insurance sales are made through comparison websites. However, because of technological differences between the European and Middle Eastern markets, insurance aggregation has never before been possible in this region.
In Europe, insurance firms provide comparison sites with APIs, which allow the sites to display tailored insurance quotes directly from insurers – via the API. In the Middle East, however, insurers do not offer these sorts of APIs, meaning a completely different approach had to be taken to make insurance aggregation in the region possible.
“One option to pursue insurance comparison in this region is to simply log a request from a user and then manually go back to the insurer with the user’s details, and request a quote,” said Hussain Fakhruddin, Head of Tech at compareit4me.com
“However, this method is costly and time-consuming, so to automate the system, compareit4me.com built out a platform that uses the insurers’ own algorithms and logic, meaning that the website can make insurance quotes on behalf of the insurers.”
The major challenge came with inputting the insurers’ logic into compareit4me’s system, which the company calls its ‘rating engine’. Each insurer has a completely different logic for how it calculates the ratings, meaning that Fakhruddin and his team had to create a design that could incorporate any logic from any insurer into one rating engine.
After the rating engine had been built, it quickly became scalable and reliable, thanks to its back-end infrastructure powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS). Today, compareit4me can onboard any new insurer, using any logic, within two weeks – at zero IT cost to the insurer.
The technology behind the insurance rating engine is so impressive that compareit4me was this week awarded a Highly Commended recognition at the Arabian Computer News Arab Technology Awards 2016 in the category of Banking & Finance Implementation of the Year. The judges praised compareit4me’s platform development team, as well as the company’s innovative use of cloud-based architectures.
What’s more, compareit4me was the only SME to be shortlisted for this category at the awards ceremony – the other finalists were made up of the Middle East’s largest banks.
“We felt very humbled and honoured to be shortlisted alongside such large and well-known financial institutions – the biggest and most technologically advanced banks in the region. As we all know, the world of finance is often at the cutting edge of technological innovation, so just being shortlisted alongside the region’s leaders was such a privilege,” said Jonathan Rawling, CFO at compareit4me.com.
“And the fact that we walked away with a Highly Commended recognition, in such a fiercely competitive category, is something we couldn’t be more proud of. Our insurance comparison platform really has broken boundaries – it’s brought insurance comparison to a region where it shouldn’t exist, due to technological limitations. We’ve managed to not only work around those limitations, but also create new opportunities – for us, for consumers, and for insurers. We’re thrilled to be recognised for our efforts.”