As someone keenly interested in privacy and the role of identity as an enabler and as a means of authentication, I was intrigued enough by a recent press release to reach out to Generali, an insurance company, for a discussion. Generali had sent me an announcement on the rebranding of one of their business units, and for me, it was a logical next step in the packaging of identity services. Identity Protection as a Service (IDPaaS) is not only of interest to offer for the wealthier clients of high-end providers, but also for CXOs and other highly-valued employees of MNEs who may be at risk for identity theft based on increased exposure due to their work or personal activities. Protecting our personal and financial information has become a must, especially in a growing digital world when we are active and on the move.
Europ Assistance, a global provider of assistance services worldwide and part of the Generali Group, unveiled on 22 June its strategy to rebrand its U.S. Identity Protection and Travel business units to Generali Global Assistance (“GGA”). This multi-phased initiative commenced with the company’s Identity Protection Services business line being the first to transition to the GGA name.
Their Identity Protection Services business offers high-touch, high-end risk resolution services, packaged for either white labeling / co-branding by their clients (in travel, insurance, and corporate accounts) and also sold as a service by themselves. What I found fascinating about this is the high touch aspect of the service. It is a B2B2C solution, focused on the individual and the risk of their identity being misused by way of activities (travel, car rental, employment). It provides alerts and identity monitoring and by how it is packaged, it can be a complementary service to other services, for example as an inclusive service to high-value customers of airlines or financial institutions. Other identity protection services, aimed more in general at direct-to-consumers, have been around for a number of years (firms such as Affinion, ID Watchdog, IdentityForce, IDShield, and LifeLock), but the packaging of this particular service, coupled with their upcoming platform launch, was an interesting addition to the market space.
As I mentioned above, GGA will be launching a new platform in a few weeks that supports this service under multiple vertical markets, and in learning more about this, I had the opportunity to talk to Paige Schaffer, President and COO of Generali Global Assistance’s Identity Protection Services Global Unit. She highlighted the experience of GGA since 2003 in providing its “culture of care” in high-touch, full-service solutions. In this solution, they are focusing on proactive risk mitigation for both companies and their customers. This includes resources educating customers on how to reduce the threat of identity theft as well as digital privacy protection software. They will likely branch out to additional aspects of protection in the future, including adding a focus on smart devices and social media to the service. GGA obviously is highly focused on compliance standards within its services (PCI DSS, HIPAA, etc.). Combining compliance with identity monitoring, data protection technology, and high-end comprehensive customer service is a winning formula to sell the solution as a revenue generator for third parties (travel agents, auto insurers, financial service providers, airline frequent traveler programs, etc.).
When I am able to discuss their identity platform further here, I will do so. I see these kinds of offerings as both complementary and competitive to the traditional technology vendor solutions, in that they are providing the business middleware / customer service aspect to the identity back end. It is a similar position to where American Express previously was as a solution provider before they went too automated and process-heavy.
I’ll write some more on their identity platform in a few weeks when it becomes publically available.