VANs set to shake up claims payments in personal lines 

Vehicle repairs

Insurers can save money, slash costs and improve customer service with a brand new technology backed by Mastercard and being trialled by Allianz.

Called Virtual Account Numbers (VANs), this method of payment does away with the old and inefficient processes, and Insurance Times is hosting a webinar so insurers and brokers can get up to speed. Click here to register.

This is how it works.

A supplier such as a garage that has managed a customer’s vehicle, gets a virtual account number - a unique code - which they then use to receive payment over the Mastercard network. 

Using the code means payment can be made very quickly; insurers don’t have to store the supplier’s sort codes and other information that could be hacked thereby reducing the risk of fraud or data theft; and finally, there is a charge back mechanism.

The charge back mechanism means if the supplier provides faulty good or services, then the insurer is able to charge back all or part of the money paid.

An example of this would be if a vehicle has had a spray paint, but it is later found out to be done badly, the insurer can immediately get back some or all of the payment.

Optal general manager Downes said: ”We have spent 18 months going around the insurance world, introducing our new digital payments service.

“A lot of insurance companies feel like banks are the only place they go for innovation in payments. In the B2B world, when it comes to paying suppliers, there’s not been a lot of innovation. The innovation on payments has mainly been done by the likes of Apple Pay. But we are breaking really new ground, and in particular, in insurance.”