Chinese Insurers Tap Blockchain to Speed Coronavirus Payouts

Blockchain tech is reported to be speeding insurance claims processing amid the coronavirus outbreak.

AccessTimeIconFeb 11, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 12:16 p.m. UTC

Blockchain technology is reportedly helping to streamline medical paperwork processing for insurance service providers as global coronavirus containment efforts continue.

Leveraging blockchain’s ability to process information transparently and efficiently, insurance service providers are relying on the technology to speed claims payouts in over 27 coronavirus affected Chinese cities, as well as Hong Kong, according to a report by South China Morning Post on Sunday.

Xiang Hu Bao, a Chinese online mutual aid platform owned by Ant Financial, has added the coronavirus to its list of eligible claims, enabling a one-time payout of 100,000 yuan (US$14,320) for those affected by the virus.

The claims-sharing platform was built on a blockchain network, leveraging the technology to service its 104 million users by speeding settlement claims and reducing fraud. The service has been made available on Alipay, the most used mobile payments app in China and globally.

An Ant Financial spokesman in Beijing told the South China Morning Post that due to blockchain’s “trust-free nature,” Xiang Hu Bao has been able to process claims and conduct payouts at a much faster rate than with traditional methods.

The move also increases transparency in a claimant’s process once the documentation has been submitted, as all parties involved can view the entire process on-chain within 24-hours of a patient visiting a clinic or hospital.

In Hong Kong, 26 reported cases, including one death, have compelled Blue Cross Insurance (Asia-Pacific), a subsidiary of the Bank of East Asia (BEA), to adopt blockchain technology to ease pressure on healthcare services by shortening the time it takes to verify back-end data.

Blue Cross Insurance’s blockchain platform allows for up to 1,000 transactions per second and eliminates the need for human intervention, prompting an increase in policy holders since its launch in 2019, the report says.

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