Groupama Hungary: New, multi-channel self-service solutions and architecture modernization

Le Groupe Groupama, a leading insurance and financial services company, was founded in France in 1900. It has 31,000 employees, including 6,000 internationally, and serves 12 million members and customers, including 5.5 million internationally. The Group is present in 9 countries outside France. In Hungary, Groupama is the 4th largest insurance company (based on 2022 revenues).

Groupama decided to change its business strategy, started to develop new and flexible products, redesigned business processes, communication channels and practices with clients and planned to speed up services with a long term perspective. For this renewal effort, Groupama had to start the modernization of its architecture to serve as a solid foundation of the huge changes of business and service lines. Our team embarked on this journey together with Groupama, at the very beginning of this strategic renewal period.   

The Challenge: How to create and put into practice the digital transformation mindset and transform IT so that it becomes a key enabler in this process?

The Solution

Milestone 1: Multi-Channel Payment Solution (2017)   

The first action of the architecture modernization aimed to design and implement a new, multi-channel, self-service payment solution for Groupama, but the project aimed not only to design and implement it, but also to design forward-looking solutions towards a long-term FE architecture, also implementing it in terms of the payment domain of Groupama. 

Thanks to the new payment solution, clients can manage their payments directly, via Groupama’s public websites (online payment). This module is available for their proposals (first payment) and contracts (regular fees, casual payments for their investments). Agents can receive payments from clients via their mobile, using it as a POS terminal. They can handle cash, standard POS terminals, bank transfers, and send emails with online payment link to clients etc. Employees / contracted partners (agents, call center, customer services, back office users) of Groupama can check and get real time payment information about the payment status of  clients’ proposals and contracts. All of the business processes were integrated with the new payment solution including:

  • Tarification process, 

  • Payment notifications,

  • Kind reminders,

  • Campaigns,

  • Investment-solutions,

  • Intervention processes, etc. 

The solution is available via API for applications getting payment data, payment status of proposals and contracts 7/24.

Milestone 2: Claims System (2019)

The second largest area of client interaction is in Claims. Its modernization involved redesigning the claims processes with a focus on submitting claims via online channels. The new online claim submission application is highly integrated in real-time with core systems, using them to validate entry data. Simultaneously, an independent file uploader system was implemented in the online claim application, which calls virus scanners to check the files attached to the entered claims.

The solution speeded up the claims process: helping to avoid mistakes in entries by validating the covers, claim dates, risk addresses, duplicate claim entries, etc. Because of real-time validations, at the beginning of the claim process (during the wizard of claim entry form) can base its logics and workflow on the validated data: the speed and quality of claims process significantly improved in addition to reducing manuality in the further process steps.   

The solution accelerated the claims process by validating various aspects such as coverage, claim dates, risk addresses, and duplicate claim entries, thereby helping to prevent entry errors. With real-time validations available at the outset of the claim process (by means of the claim entry form wizard), subsequent steps can base their logic and workflow on validated data. This led to a significant improvement in both the speed and quality of the claims process, while also reducing the need for manual intervention in subsequent process steps.

Milestone 3: Fully Modernized, Microservices-Based Frontend: Client Zone (2021)

In 2019, Groupama made the decision to replace its 15-year-old front-end design with a new, modern, real-time solution based on microservice architecture. The project commenced in 2020. Our team was tasked with business analysis, architecture design, process optimization support, coaching, mentoring, and development from start to finish, working closely with Groupama IT.

In 2021, a new world of client services emerged, offering clients personalized and secure access to all their contract details, documents, messages, and investments. The payment solution and claims application, previously mentioned, were integrated, providing practically all necessary functions for online client self-service within the Client Zone. Among the most popular functionalities are checking investments on well-designed charts, analyzing asset funds, and self-managing portfolios to maximize clients' profits through purchases or payments for investment purposes.

Milestone 4: Agent Zone (2023)

During the implementation of the new architecture, numerous capabilities were developed. The core systems were securely shielded and protected from public access and Client Zone usage, resulting in a well-performing architecture overall.

Groupama decided to leverage these capabilities by providing a flexible and modern tool for agents, call centers, customer service representatives, and claims managers. The new solution builds upon the previously implemented architecture components, supporting a modern approach to multi-channel services. The initial functions went live in 2023, enabling agents to personally contact clients anywhere and address their issues in real time.

The Results

  • The project greatly contributed to paper-free operation and guiding clients into online channels. The new client frontend resulted in Groupama placing a stronger focus on digital client processes and communication. The usage of online channels has grown significantly in the past 3 years since implementation:

    • A front-end loved by clients: over 120,000 clients utilize the self-service method for communication, payments, claims, and managing their investments, which is a significant number compared to other insurance companies in Hungary. This has exceeded Groupama's expectations.

    • The number of users registering in ClientZone equals the total number of users in the previous system.

    • Clients exclusively using digital channels for communication have grown by 70%.

    • The number of online payment transactions now equals the number of paper-based ones.

  • Fully modernized, flexible microservices architecture: small microservices, composit services support the secure frontends and the core systems are safe from performance issues thanks for the new architecture. Secure frontends are supported by small microservices and composite services, while core systems remain safeguarded against performance issues.

  • IT development and operation processes have been optimized. The developer teams at Groupama can now work on all new microapps concurrently, while flexible release management ensures quick and safe releases to the production environment.

  • Our team provided knowledge transfer and mentoring to facilitate the adoption of an agile mindset and practices within the Groupama team. This enables them to independently develop their own architecture, reducing dependency on any single vendor for releasing new features.