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The Top 3 Things That Matter with ePayables Platforms for Claims: Flexibility, Flexibility, Flexibility

The Top 3 Things That Matter with ePayables Platforms for Claims: Flexibility, Flexibility, Flexibility

Posted by Bill Clausen, Executive Vice President, Partner and Industry Relations at Prelude Software on

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The single, most direct, and impactful time a carrier must fulfill its brand promise with its policyholders is at the time of a claim. As part of the ecosystem of best-in-class claim system provider, Guidewire, the entire claims process can be made more convenient, starting with communications, via Hi Marley, to contactless inspections, via Plnar, to self-service payee portals, such as PayPilot via Prelude Software, allowing claimants to choose how and when they want to receive their payment.

As recent as early last year, 65 percent of carriers’ outbound claim payments were paper check. As carriers were gingerly considering moving to ways to pay claims beyond paper check, some seismic changes happened to catapult the need for them to implement digital payment capabilities, aka ePayables. One was the exponential spread of consumer instant gratification experiences, such as Amazon Prime shopping, and porting their expectations to other parts of their lives, including with their insurance carriers. The other was the COVID-19
pandemic that abruptly halted the established, complacent, day-to-day processing of paper checks for carriers. When staff could not physically be in the office to process, print and mail paper checks, everyone quickly acknowledged there must be a better way. And, of course, there is.

Today, carriers understand that ePayables are a must-have, integral component of their digital experience strategy and business continuity plan. No longer should the default be a paper check, but rather, minimally, it should at least be an eCheck, where the claimant can instantly be notified of the payment and can print the check and deposit via a mobile banking app, ATM, or bank-teller location. 

Most importantly, carriers need to keep flexibility as their North Star when migrating to ePayables. Without keeping flexibility top of mind, there is a huge risk of buyer’s remorse in choosing an ePayables platform that does not fully meet the carriers immediate and long-term requirements.

Here are seven key points along the payment process to keep in mind regarding flexibility:

  • Integration

    • Often ePayables platforms have a narrow integration capability that requires either a)
      compromise to the carrier’s workflow necessitating some manual work-around such as using the platform’s administration portal, or b) additional work from the carrier’s IT staff and/or a third party to enhance the code for the integration to meet the carrier’s full business needs.

    • Carriers will want the integration to allow flexibility of a fully integrated solution to satisfy their specific, complete requirements easily and allow their users to transact directly from Guidewire ClaimCenter without the need to go into a third-party application.

  • Branding

    • The logo, signature, and layout of paper checks have all been designed deliberately in recognition as the tangible item to reinforce the carrier’s brand for the claimant at their time of need.

    • ePayables platforms differ in their branding opportunities for carriers.

    • Carriers will want the flexibility to leverage all the opportunities of digital engagement, via communication, such as email and text, to the self-service payee portal to have their brand reinforced via imagery, such as logos, and content, along with the text on the portal.

  • Choice of ePayables Platform

    • Most ePayables platforms were built outside of the insurance industry and are being
      repurposed to apply to claims workflows. Not understanding the nuanced needs of
      insurance, these ePayables platforms often lack basic capabilities, such as character length for payees in the payee name, attachments for explanation of payment (EOP, EOB, etc.), or support for additional ancillary processing such as the U.S. Patriot Act compliance or Escheatment.

    • Carriers will want the flexibility to swap platforms at their discretion without a major development effort.

  • Choice of payment methods

    • Many ePayables platforms offer the same primary electronic payment methods – eCheck, push-to-debit, and online deposit (ACH). Each may have additional payment
      methods, ranging from outsourced paper check processing to Venmo, PayPal, Zelle, Virtual Cards, and more. 

    • Carriers will want to have a superset of payment method options and the flexibility to offer all or a subset of these options to their payees.

  • Multiparty payments

    • In the insurance industry it is very common for claims to include multiple parties. Paper checks allow the physical signature endorsement of all parties before the check can be deposited and funds allocated.

    • Carriers will want the flexibility to handle multiparty payments digitally, not only to ensure that the proper electronic signature approvals are obtained, but also to then disburse the funds electronically according to the carrier’s business rules and/or the preference of the payees.  

  • Reconciliation

    • ePayables platforms often only focus on their outbound payment capabilities and not on the full loop of the process, including the synchronization of the status of the payment back to the originating system, such as ClaimCenter.

    • Carriers will want the flexibility to have timely status information of the payment and which payment method was chosen sync’d back to ClaimCenter.

  • Automation

    • ePayables platforms that require manual processing of imports/exports and reports are too common in the industry. They quickly expose their lack of insurance industry functionality and try to overshadow their deficiencies with shiny new payment capabilities, real or future-capabilities.

    • Carriers will want the flexibility to automate their workflows including on-demand payments, batch payments, approvals, status updates, and reporting.

Prelude Software has 30+ years of experience in the insurance industry exclusively focused on perpetual innovation in outbound payment processes and payment capabilities.  Our evergreen ePayables solution, PayPilot, continues to grow from the industry’s original disbursement hub solution that allows carriers to apply best practices for outbound payment processing across their enterprise. PayPilot uniquely allows carriers all of the flexibility they require, as stated above.

The best way to learn about the PayPilot ePayables platform Guidewire featured in its “Making Insurance Convenient” Insurtech Innovators series and one that our clients rave about, is to schedule a live demonstration.

Reach out to us anytime to learn more about Prelude Software and our PayPilot ePayables solution by visiting https://www.paypilotdisbursementhub.com/paypilot-for-guidewire.

PayPilotforGuidewire@PreludeSoftware.com is the best way to contact us to get started. Or
call us at 1-800-996-6427 x321 (let’s get started!)

This blog is the third in a series based on the Insurtech Innovators webinar “Make Insurance Convenient,” which you can view here.

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