Shaking Up Traditional Industries: VP of Payments Michael Boeke Discusses CCC’s New Payment Solution
Thousands of transactions take place between insurance carriers and their business partners each day, but lack of visibility into the status of those B2B payments, including processing time, remains a pain point for all parties. As the insurance industry continues to digitize key parts of the vehicle claims process — estimating, repair scheduling, total loss resolution and more — digital payments could be an integral step toward a truly straight-through experience.
Now is the time to digitize B2B payments across the P&C insurance ecosystem. In the Q&A below, Michael Boeke, Vice President of Payments at CCC, shares why that is and how CCC® Payments stands apart as a transformative industry solution.
You have a background in “shaking up traditional industries.” How are you doing that at CCC?
B: I’ve worked for a long time in the B2B world, including payments and investments — areas that tend to have a reputation for not being very high-tech. It has been my responsibility to drive innovations to make it easier for B2B leaders to rethink their paths to payment. At CCC, we’re helping insurers achieve a new level of digitization to resolve claims more efficiently, and B2B payments is one area of the industry that is ripe for digitization. So many enterprises still rely on paper checks, and they’re not well-integrated into their workflows. Business partners have to call or email to check on the status of a payment. Transitioning to digital B2B payments will achieve a new level of acceleration for crash-to-resolution and create a more straight-through experience for our insurance clients and their business networks.
What are some of the challenges to digitizing B2B payments in the industry?
B: The largest hurdle to achieving payment success is making the decision to change the status quo. Though paper payments are often not well integrated into today’s digital workflows, payments are a well-oiled process for insurers. The process is familiar and reliable because it hasn’t changed much in the last few decades. Payments also touch many different parts of an organization — finance, IT, claims, etc. — so getting everyone on board with a new process and platform requires collaboration and change management. The other challenge is that there are a lot of different kinds of payments that insurers need to make, and some are harder to digitize than others. So, insurers may invest in digitizing payments but still have many paper checks going out the door. That’s why CCC is focusing on some of the use-cases that have been harder for our customers to digitize.
Given all those challenges, why is now the right time for insurance carriers to implement a digital payments solution?
B: First, the time is right from a technology perspective. There’s a strong vision across the industry to automate workflows and create a straight-through experience to the extent possible. The technology is here. If an insurance enterprise is prioritizing straight-through processing and automation, payments are a vital piece of the puzzle to achieve that vision.
Second, the pandemic showed the industry that there’s a certain liability with handling physical checks – businesses that relied on paper checks couldn’t send and receive payments remotely, risking cash flow delays as well as potential virus exposure for workers. Making payments a touchless experience in every sense has proved to be an important next step to keep business moving in uncertain times and flexible for the future.
The time is also right from a pure efficiency standpoint. Consumer experiences with B2C solutions, from food delivery apps to online shopping, have raised the bar significantly to accelerate transactions. Digital payments are low-hanging fruit that can help insurers evolve to meet those expectations. The CCC Payments platform is designed to help reduce the volume of inquiries and delays that happen around every payment transaction.
What unique opportunities can digital payments create for insurance carriers?
B: For starters, digital payments will help insurers achieve the vision of straight-through processing faster, in combination with other technologies. Another benefit is that digital payments can provide trackable information to make the experience more efficient for both payer and payee. Claim numbers and transaction IDs can automatically tie payment to work that was done, or to the applicable loan, to ease and speed reconciliation.
The other benefit, which is central to our clients’ missions, is that digital payments can transform the experience for their customers by accelerating resolution. Accelerating a payment from an insurer to a lender to settle a loan on a total loss will make a difficult experience markedly less painful for their customer, who is waiting on that payment to find replace their vehicle and get back on the road as soon as possible.
What makes CCC Payments different from other solutions in the industry and why should insurance carriers be excited about it?
B: What really sets CCC apart as a payments solution provider is our position as a leading SaaS provider, not just for insurers, but for the whole industry. CCC Payments can integrate with insurers’ existing workflows, as well as those of their business partners. Collision repairers, lenders, and other key players in the P&C ecosystem use CCC products, and this places us in the unique position to tie those experiences together into one seamless, straight-through manner for all parties.
How should insurers be thinking about digital payments innovation within their enterprise? What advice do you have for them?
B: I would recommend that insurers think about adopting digital payments innovation as a spectrum, rather than a binary switch. Consider where you are now on that spectrum and what makes sense as the next step to shift yourself closer to complete digitization and automation. For some carriers, who are sending checks for everything, that may mean taking the first jump into digitizing their largest payment flows to repair facilities and vehicle owners. For other carriers, who have already invested in digitizing some of those payment flows, it means concentrating on payments that have been more difficult to digitize but now have better solutions, such as paying lienholders.
Last year, you joined CCC’s Diversity Advisory Council (DAC) as a founding member. Tell us about your experience with the DAC and how that informs your experience as VP of Payments.
B: Inclusion and diversity are issues I care a lot about, personally. I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with people across the company to make CCC a more welcoming, inclusive workplace. It’s been my experience that diverse perspectives have a positive impact on innovation on a fundamental level. The more diverse we are as a team, the better we’ll get at innovating for our clients and their customers.
Learn more about CCC Payments
CCC Payments transactions initiated by participating insurers will be processed by Nvoicepay, a third-party financial technology company and a leader in payment automation software.
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