Luiz Enriquez is the Head of Transformation at XBitV, and the Managing Partner for Latin America at Blackcombconsultants, a consulting group focusing on digital HR, finance and insurance transformation. Recently, he founded Quelupa, which aims to bring services like blockchain-based insurance to Latin America.
First, let`s talk about Quelupa. What is it doing?
Well Quelupa.com is more than just an insurance aggregator; Quelupa.com is an E-commerce portal focused on the needs of the people, the client, the community that needs an insurance product, a financial product or a real time advice or concierge service which reviews the insurance policy of an indivual or group and provides recommendations on how to get a better deal or product offering. These services may be offered in the US and Europe, but in Latin America, where 65% of the population is 18 to 33 years old, the services that Quelupa.com offers can not be found at a regional level. Today, we are operational in Argentina, offering products for car, home and personal insurance. We have AON as one of our regional partners, and now we are in the process to expand to another 9 countries in Latin America over a 42 month period. We are also bringing new p2p insurance models based on the Takaful insurance product and smart contracts using blockchain technology. We are unique in that sense that no other E-commerce portal in Latin America will offer smart contracts and also take Bitcoin as a payment option, plus remittance capabilities on the same platform.
Our message is very simple: “With Football, Mate, Malbec, Tango and Love from Buenos Aires, Argentina, we make insurance experience fun.”
What is Takaful insurance?
We are taking the Takaful insurance product from Islamic financial practices. Takaful is a co-operative system of reimbursement or repayment in case of loss, paid to people and companies concerned about hazards, compensated out of a fund to which they agreed to donate small regular contributions managed on behalf by a Takaful operator. This concept has been practised in various forms since 622 AD. Muslim jurists acknowledge that the basis of shared responsibility laid the foundation of mutual insurance.
How can blockchain make a difference in insurance in Latin America?
Well it already has made a difference. XAPO, one of the few Bitcoin banks, started in Argentina and exploded in the past 24 months; bringing day to day use of bitcoins in Argentina, and by default making people in Latin America aware of blockchain technology. So now many companies like AXA are taking experiences from Latin America in the area of blockchain and making it part of their future insurance offerings.
As you are also focused on remittance, how would it be possible to combine remittance and insurance?
The secret of insurance is distribution. The more diverse your distribution channels, the more insurance that the insurance company will sell. So remittance brings a very large distribution channel of people that is receiving cash every month, so they have a purchase power and cash in hand, insurance can sell products related to home, personal accident, retirement, mobile and many others via cross-sale.
Are you looking to combine blockchain insurance with other blockchain services, if yes, how?
Our focus in blockchain is on smart contracts, in that way we can provide a trusted straight-through processing for the generation of the policy document.
What are your next plans?
Well now Quelupa.com has a detailed plan of expansion to 9 countries in The Americas, we have numbers, product expansion plan, organisation plan, building the business realtionships with regional insurance carriers, we have a detailed P&L, but more important, a platform that has been working in Argentina for the past 17 months. Now we are going to the market to look for investors to come along with us in this Latin American journey. So tell people that “with Football, Mate, Tango, Malbec and Love from Buenos Aires, Argentina” to join us in the 2F (fast and friendly) way of doing insurance.
Luiz also consults international insurers, about which he said
“a reason big insurers are looking at blockchain for insurance is the “younger population in the emerging markets who are the key target clients and are technology savvy, so they are demanding new tools, new ways to purchase without any middle men, and blockchain brings that into the picture.”
Concerning their interest in P2P insurance, “P2P is a distribution method or a way to collect more clients to provide a group a series of products. Blockchain is a technology which will facilitate the insurance product offering. So P2P is a key focus for insurance carriers since it brings another dimension to the concept of client and service for the insurance company.”