123.ie and Cation Chat Up Customers 24/7 for Better Experience

Executive Summary

When Irish insurer 123.ie wanted to create a more convenient process for onboarding motor insurance customers, it turned to Cation Consulting and AWS. By providing real-time automation of customer document processing and launching an AI chatbot assistant, 123.ie can serve customers 24/7 and process motor insurance policies in minutes, instead of hours or days.

123.ie and Cation Chat Up Customers 24/7 for Better Experience

123.ie stands out in the competitive insurance space by offering excellent value coverage combined with a best-in-class customer experience. With over 150 employees based in Dublin, 123.ie allows customers to quickly receive quotes for home, motor, and telematics insurance, as well as sign up for new policies and manage existing policies online. It also prides itself on promoting a positive working environment for its employees that enables it to attract the best talent. Noticing that customers embraced digital interactions with the insurer, 123.ie wanted to give them more of what they liked. It saw how using chatbots and automating processes could speed up the onboarding process for motor insurance customers, as well as reduce manual tasks for its customer service team so they could focus on higher-value interactions. In 2020, the shift to homeworking due to the COVID-19 pandemic increased pressure on customer service staff. So, 123.ie decided to base its motor insurance improvements on Amazon Web Services (AWS) because it believed its wide range of services would provide the fastest path to launching new digital capabilities.

123.ie reached out to AWS Partner offering consulting services and Contact Center Intelligence Partner Cation Consulting for its expertise with AWS, its experience providing AI-enabled chatbots and real-time process automation for customer service situations, and its superior technical problem-solving skills. “It was a great fit,” says Patrick Moriarty, Head of Digital and Transformation at 123.ie. “We had knowledge of our existing technology and customers, and Cation knew about building the best solutions with AWS. Cation was, like us, engineering- and IT-led. They were also really dedicated, even working with us over Christmas on systems integrations and development." "It felt like we were all one team,” says Alan Kiernan, Chief Technology Officer and Co-founder at Cation Consulting. “We shared the values of working hard to solve tricky problems and get things done.”

“Relying on AWS reduced our time to market for the solution. Without Cation’s knowledge of AI chatbots, real-time process automation, and how to enable them with AWS, the project could have taken years to do on our own.”

- Patrick Moriarty, Head of Digital and Transformation, 123.ie

Speeding up Motor Insurance Sign-up with Real-time Document Processing and AI Chatbots

123.ie and Cation focused on real-time automation of customer document processing and validation for motor insurance, a previously manual task that required hours or even days of customer service time before a policy could be awarded. Cation created a solution that 123.ie built on Cation’s Parly platform that processes the 50 different versions of customer documents that might be needed when applying for motor insurance. Now, when 123.ie customers upload documents such as driver’s licenses, the solution validates the documents in real time using AI. It first checks documents with the customer to ensure the image is correctly captured, and then performs automated checks to validate authenticity and data accuracy. This automation reduces the time needed for the customer service team to manually proof documents. The confidence level for validating the two most common documents—driver’s licenses and proof of a no-claims discount—is nearly 100 percent. For other documents, the confidence level for validating automatically is closer to 60 to 85 percent, with the figure constantly improving as the solution is fine-tuned.

Throughout the document upload process, a conversational AI chatbot powered by Amazon Lex uses natural language technology to guide customers on their journey and answer any questions about which documents to share. It also provides instant checks on whether documents have been uploaded correctly, spotting errors such as a driver’s license with a blurred photo. Prior to the introduction of the chatbot, customers experiencing difficulties with document uploads would have been forced to phone an agent during call center hours for assistance.

The new service launched in April 2021, after five months of technical development and chatbot training. Cation launched a full-featured prototype within ten weeks of beginning the project, thanks to bootstrapping the solution with Parly. This is an AWS-native system that relies on over 40 AWS services, including AWS Lambda for on-demand compute power and Amazon Textract, to extract text from scanned documents. “Relying on AWS reduced our time to market for the solution,” says Moriarty. “Without Cation’s knowledge of AI chatbots, real-time process automation, and how to enable them with AWS, the project would have taken significantly longer to do on our own.” 

Motor Insurance Processed in Minutes, Not Hours or Days

123.ie has met its goal of improving customer experience. Thanks to the automated document processing and chatbot assistant, customers can now sign up for motor insurance 24/7, without the need to ever speak to a service agent. And motor insurance policies can be now processed in a matter of minutes, compared to many hours or even days previously.

Eliminating manual document processing frees up the 123.ie customer service team for higher-value tasks, such as speaking with customers who require specialized agent assistance. The team is also able to provide a better customer experience with fewer agents, and turnover is no longer as risky for the business, because the new solution codifies knowledge that was previously learned by agents. 123.ie is seeing high uptake of digital processes, a crucial capability for the company. As many as 60 percent of customers choose online options for certain new insurance-related functionalities. The automated solution has raised the team’s morale, too, by creating new roles and allowing them to imagine new opportunities for automation. “Seeing the job done by a chatbot inspired the customer service team to come up with more ideas for improving customer experience that they might have thought before would have been impossible,” says Moriarty.

Since launching the new solution, 123.ie can award more motor insurance policies per week with less effort. It’s improved the success rate for customers signing up online, and customers’ feedback has been positive—they consistently rank the process between 8.5 and 9.0 out of 10. 123.ie is now able to process over 75 percent of driver’s licenses without manual intervention, and the call center team fields very few document-related queries, which used to account for 10 to 15 percent of all calls.  Alongside the business success, the technical satisfaction of the project was significant. “With AWS, we’re always working at the forefront of what’s possible,” says Kiernan. “We collaborated closely with AWS to get the most out of their services and create a quick and accurate solution for 123.ie. The attitude throughout the project was, ‘Let’s do the next great thing.’”


About 123.ie

123.ie offers home, car, and telematics insurance coverage. Based in Dublin, Ireland, it allows customers to receive quotes and sign up for and manage policies online. 123.ie insurance products are underwritten by RSA Insurance Ireland DAC, which is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.  

About Cation Consulting

Cation is a global servicing, Dublin-based organization specializing in conversational AI, bots, voice services, and cloud consulting. It offers product and integration services with seasoned experience across the telco, edtech, travel, and customer care industries.

Published December 2021