By The Board, Insurance, Interviews, Press, Tech

Reimagining payments: Interview with Phil McGriskin, CEO of Vitesse and Bradley Collins, CCO of Insurtech Insights

 “It sounds very simple but often gets missed. Collaboration and (this is key), flexibility.”



What problem did you set out to solve when founding Vitesse?

I have worked in payments for quite a while (over 20 years). After leaving Worldpay FIS I could see that while massive innovation had taken place across retail payments, primarily driven by digitisation, the same could not be said for business payments.

There were certain verticals that had been especially left behind. They were crying out for the efficiencies and other benefits that can be gained by optimising global payments and treasury.

Insurance is most definitely a stand out example. A huge market that has been serviced primarily by banks, that have not focused on bringing new technology and services to bear to make payments and treasury better. So that is where we focused.  

Congrats on the recent $26m Series B funding round! How are you planning to scale and expand your company? Any US plans?

Thank you very much. I want Vitesse to be the payment partner of choice for the insurance industry. There are so many areas to focus on and the opportunity is huge. However, we can’t do it all at once. Our aim for the next 12-24mths (Series B) is to focus on expanding some quite specific areas where we can see and are already solving, multiple pain points.

We have a few large clients and marketplaces we are working with to deliver some ground breaking services and this will grow rapidly over the coming period. We do have plans for the US. The same problems we are solving for our customers closer to home in the UK and Europe also exist globally. We hope we’ll be establishing some on the ground capability in the US this year.

How can insurers and insurtechs develop partnerships to provide a better end product for the customer?

It sounds very simple but often gets missed. Collaboration and (this is key), flexibility. I have seen this work very effectively first hand. Vitesse started discussions with a forward thinking Managing Agent about a payment proposition that has now evolved considerably from our initial approach.

The initial proposition solved a certain set of issues, but it also highlighted inefficiencies further in the process. By collaborating with that Managing Agent, we were able to broaden our approach to the product and identify and solve further issues, releasing significantly more value to all parties in the chain.

I think a key point to note is that the insurance industry as a whole works in many disparate ways and uses multiple different technologies and systems. Any solution and approach must take this into account.

What role will payments play in the future for making more valuable products for the customer? How might it evolve?

In my humble opinion cost, time, effort and outcome (in no particular order) are key for customers. It doesn’t matter whether that customer is a retail customer or a business customer. They broadly have the same value drivers. I have seen multiple times that effective payment and treasury products and strategy can bring significant upside across all of these areas.

Whether it is decreasing the cost of making a claim, or making that payment faster and giving your customer more choice about how they receive the payment, or making it super simple (almost invisible) for the claim and claim payment to take place, the payment and treasury event cuts across all of these.

As technology plays a bigger part and digitisation progresses throughout the insurance industry, bringing new styles of cover and ways of initiating and paying claims, payments and treasury will most definitely play a significant role.    

Embedded insurance is certainly a hot topic at the moment – how can you see that developing and what role will insurtechs play in that growth?

Embedded insurance is a hot topic and rightly so. There are just so many areas where insurance can be “embedded”. There is a long way to go, and we will see significant developments.

Tesla insurance, providing a cover purportedly rated for each driver, is just one visible area I think we’ll see other manufacturers pick up on quickly. That’s a whole new “embedded” way of buying car insurance. These new delivery channels and new “parametric” style covers that can automate the sale / rating, issue of policy, FNOL and decisioning around a claim; all require technology from insurtechs.

Insurtechs will continue to play a huge part in not just the development of embedded insurance products but also, the delivery channels and associated services such as payments etc. So, insurtechs are integral to the growth of embedded insurance. 


Phil McGriskin and the Vitesse team will be at the Insurtech Insights USA on the 25th and 26th May. Secure your ticket here.

Download our recent white paper ‘The path to improved claims experience and efficiency’ created between Vitesse and Insurtech Insights. In this report, 10 claims insurance leaders come together to discuss how to innovate the claims experience for greater efficiency.

To find out more about how we’re transforming payments, contact us today.

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