Digitalization in the banking and insurance sectors has led to massive job cuts. In this article I discussed this trend in the banking sector and I debated on TV of this trend in the insurance sector (see here, in French).
In light of the dramatic changes that both sectors are currently undergoing, my health insurance company, DKV, recently sent me an email asking to adopt their new digital tool, a mobile application allowing customers to scan and send their documents for reimbursement. In fact, I didn’t get one email from DKV. I got a dozen, all asking for the same : download our mobile app and use it instead of sending your receipts by mail.
Why I’m not going to adopt the DKV mobile app
Despite the obvious advantages of digitalization (no more mail to send, ease of use, quicker reimbursement) I’m not going to download the DKV mobile app. There are two reasons for that.
The first one is that I’m not going to get any financial advantage from it. If I go digital the process will be smoother for the insurance company, their costs will go down, but my costs (the price I pay to be insured) will not go down. In other words, my work will help the insurance make more profits and I’ll get nothing from it.
The second one is that digitalization threaten jobs. My adopting of the DKV app will make local jobs redundant, hence leading to employees being laid off. I don’t want to contribute to that.
Firms need to explain the digitalization process
I understand that most people want to take advantage of the digitalization : it’s easier, less of a hassle, and you can hide behind your screen. It involves only you and your smartphone. Yet, I think that we should be aware of how changing our habits can influence the society we live in.
No one explains us the actual consequences of our choices. Firms just try to force us into new processes, without any explanations. This is unfair … and dangerous. Some people react emotionally and even retaliate (see this article in French).
I already explained why I believe firms need to be more transparent as far as their use of Big Data is concerned. We need to open up the models I wrote. The rationale behind today’s post is pretty much the same. Individuals need to understand their role and this is where companies are really bad. Everyone claims to be “customer-centric” but in reality this is not the case. In fact, I dare to say it’s a lack of respect. It’s taking advantage of customers’ naivety and this is why it’s really unfair.