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Challenging economic conditions have fueled a rise in insurance fraud. To avoid financial losses insurers must effectively detect fraud whilst maintaining strong customer service for genuine claimants. InsTech’s Tara Allsopp spoke to Jeff Manricks, Sales Director at Shift to discuss the company’s cloud-based platform, which automates fraud and financial crime detection, and how Shift is partnering with other technology providers to enhance its capabilities.

Can you provide a brief description of Shift Technology?

Shift Technology supports insurers to automate and optimise their decision-making in areas related to fraud and financial crime. The company’s co-founders were asked by their previous employer, a large global insurer, to develop a solution to meet fraud detection requirements. Finding there was nothing available to meet this need; they founded Shift.

Shift operates across P&C and life and health insurance along all parts of the insurance value chain including underwriting, claims decisioning, payments and compliance. The company has over 500 employees and operates across 30 countries with 11 global offices.

What is your role at Shift?

I am the Sales Director for North EMEA. I work to understand fraud and financial crime trends specific to the region and how they affect Shift’s customers. I advocate for product developments that support customers in fighting new forms of fraud and deliver these solutions to them.

How have you seen the company grow?

Shift started as a fraud detection tool and has grown into a cloud-based platform with various components that detect and deliver fraud and financial crime-related insights. More recently we have added a claims decision tool at the point of first notification of loss (FNOL) to enable customers to undertake straight-through claims processing. Shift now also offers fraud analysis at the point of sale, during the quote process and for mid-term portfolio analysis. 

Shift also provides financial crime services, scanning for sanctions and instances of money laundering across a company’s internal operations, its supply chain and policyholders.

Who uses Shift?

Shift works with insurers, MGAs and TPAs across key insurance markets in the UK, USA and Asia. The company also provides services to various insurance associations, such as the Insurance Fraud Bureau in the UK and other similar bodies in Hong Kong, Singapore, France and Canada.

How does Shift provide insights to its customers?

Shift has processed over 2.8 billion claims, which have all been analysed by Shift’s algorithm to produce fraud and financial crime-related insights. When customers connect to Shift, the algorithm uses its insights and predictions to analyse customers’ internal and third-party data. It provides decision-making recommendations to the insurer and the reasoning behind these conclusions.

What technology is Shift using to provide these insights?

Shift was created to be an AI-first company. Whilst this term has become a buzzword in insurance, we continuously train our algorithm to provide value, by automating customers’ administrative tasks. One of the ways in which we do this is by using optical character recognition (OCR). Shift can extract information from a document and use its algorithm to decide the next step, based on the information taken from the document.

How does Shift support its customers to implement the platform?

Shift can implement the platform for customers using our API. We also work with system integrators like EY, Capgemini and Deloitte to connect to insurers’ existing core systems and make use of their historical data.

Shift’s technology is cloud-based so implementation is fast and can be personalised to suit individual needs. Being on the cloud also means the platform has an added layer of security, during implementation and when employees access Shift when working remotely. The product is updated on a 4-6 week release cycle, these improvements are automatically incorporated into the customer’s version of the Shift platform.

Shift recently launched a financial crime detection program, how will this help customers?

Unfortunately, the current challenging economic climate has increased instances of financial crime from policyholders, employees and supply chain partners. At the same time, insurers are facing growing regulatory pressures to improve the reporting on their supply chain and internal compliance operations. Shift has built a financial crime detection tool which supports regulatory compliance across multiple jurisdictions. This tool creates a risk profile and score of both policyholders and supply chain actors. Our algorithm will provide the decisions behind the risk score and explain how the individual or business may be connected to other compliance risks.   

What other product launches is Shift looking to introduce?

Shift is regularly conversing with its 120 insurer customers to understand their challenges and adding enhancements to its algorithm to address such problems. Where possible we want to help shorten the claims cycle for total losses, reducing it from a 100-day cycle to as short as a one-day resolution. To do this the company is looking to further automate its case management capabilities, including supporting investigation units to complete their administrative tasks more effectively. We are also keen to integrate even more data into our platform, such as satellite imagery so P&C insurers can see what a property looks like pre- and post-loss to assist with claims decisioning. 

How do you see fraud detection becoming more relevant in the upcoming years?

Fraud detection and financial crime will remain at the forefront of insurers’, TPAs’ and MGAs’ minds in the coming decades. As fraudsters become more sophisticated in the tools they use, Shift will work to continually evolve its fraud detection capabilities to help insurers keep up. 

How does Shift decide what companies it partners with?

Shift wants to excel in fraud and financial crime analysis which we know requires an ecosystem approach. We are keen to partner with companies that can help Shift enhance its capabilities and expand into new areas.

The company has developed its partnership strategy in recent years. Today, we are integrating with various core systems providers such as Guidewire and data partners like LexisNexis and Transunion. Shift also works with localised partners to meet specific regional and customer segment needs for example with specific local data sources such as government records in the US, Dow Jones media and sanctions lists and companies house data for the UK.

Who are you looking to partner with in the future?

Systems integrators, data partners, and ecosystem providers can help enhance Shift’s proposition to insurers. We are currently running a project which will allow Shift to connect with more partners by creating open APIs. I would encourage those who are interested in working in fraud detection, even competitors, to reach out to Shift as our open API project will support the integration of more service providers. Those interested can visit Shift’s contact area here.