Snack by Income
Effectively Influencing the Consumers’ Perception of Insurance Through Technology
Design and build a mobile app experience that taps into the lifestyles of consumers and use it to influence a positive attitude towards insurance.
Income is one of the social enterprises under the umbrella of NTUC Enterprises that provides insurance products to the market. They were looking to increase accessibility to insurance and expand insurance coverage in the market.
Monstar Lab was tasked to create a mobile app that revolutionizes the way people view insurance and seamlessly integrate into consumers’ lifestyles via innovative experiences. SNACK by Income was thus conceived to create a positive digital experience and made to feel like a lifestyle mobile application, and after an intensive development and iteration of 10 months, it was launched in April 2020. The app lets users build up their coverage just by living their lives, which is SNACK’s promise of “Letting your lifestyle insure you.”
development of working prototype
delivery time of App v.1.0
App Store rating
Finding the Solution That Appeals to the Millennial Segment
Income, a social enterprise providing life, health, and general insurance products, was looking to increase accessibility to insurance and expand insurance coverage in the market.
Despite a large population of the market being digital natives, specific segments of consumers still view insurance as “hard to reach” and are of “high barriers to entry.” A common mindset is that they find insurance hard to understand and see it as an unnecessary cost on top of their “essential” living expenses as it often entails fixed monthly/ yearly financial commitment.
Income engaged Monstar Lab to explore possible solutions that will appeal to the segment. The team took into account two important pieces of information. Digital natives are mobile-first, with 159% mobile penetration, and they exhibit high usage of contactless payment methods. Monstar Lab and Income opted for the development of a unique mobile app experience.
Close Collaboration with NTUC-Income
in Crafting A Highly Relevant Mobile Application
Monstar Lab took note of the significance of experiences for digital natives. They thrive and “invest” in experiences both digital (through social apps) and personal (fitness and social activities). The big idea is to increase awareness and influence a positive outlook towards insurance by taking their lifestyle habits and seamlessly incorporate micro-investing.
The team developed a flow that allows bite-sized premiums to automatically be made by linking it to lifestyle activities. To account for the user’s reluctance to spend, the amounts to be deducted are in increments of mere cents ($SGD) that they can set themselves and pair it with an activity. For example, they can contribute $0.30 premiums for a certain amount of coverage when they hit 5.000 steps on their Fitbit devices. Or for every cup of coffee that they purchase with their Visa card, they can also contribute $0.50 for another type of insurance coverage on the app. Such a method of insurance purchase is definitely a first in the market, and it lets consumers get started on insurance just with their spare change!
Building the Prototype
This initial idea was turned by the ML Team into a mobile application prototype. The app was tested among attendees of the Singapore FinTech Festival, the country’s largest tech festival, for initial feedback and to gauge interest. Positive customer feedback prompted Income to give Monstar Lab the go signal to bring the mobile application to production.
Mr Peter Tay, Income’s Chief Digital Officer said:
“Snack is offering consumers new freedom and flexibility in protecting themselves, just by going about their daily activities. This makes insurance more accessible and relevant to everyone, keeping it easily adaptable to lifestyle needs and personal financial situations”
– Straits Times, “Buy Income insurance from as low as 30 cents every time you jog, take trains or snack”, June 2020
The App Experience
SNACK by Income is a mobile application that can be downloaded for both Android and iOS; however, it is only available in Singapore. The app has a wide selection of partner merchants and brands integrated into the system that fit the lifestyles of the target demographic. It is designed to educate and, at the same time, allow easier access to their first insurance coverage. Key features include:
Easily Set-Up an Account
Users can easily create an account on the app in less than 3 minutes (via SingPass). They can then choose from a selection of relevant activities from partners that SNACK works with to link their lifestyle activities to the purchase of products on the app.
Users can link their lifestyle activities to the purchase of insurance products on the app. For every activity performed, they will automatically contribute their selected bite-sized premium (e.g. $0.30) to purchase chosen coverage. Users are assured that the amounts deducted fall within the weekly cap, as they can set the maximum weekly premium contribution to a minimum of $1 to maximum of $50.
Get Multiple Coverages at the Same Time
Users can benefit from multiple varied 360-day insurance coverage simultaneously. For instance, for every cup of coffee purchased, a user gets deducted a certain amount for accident insurance coverage, while for every deduction from fitness goals will go to life insurance coverage.
Leading the Development
Given the scale of the project, it entailed working closely with other stakeholders tapped for other development areas such as the 3rd party payments and design, aside from the mobile app itself. Notably, Income entrusted Monstar Lab to spearhead the overall development and coordination of the project.
Monstar Lab deployed a team consisting of a Project Manager, 2 iOS developers, 2 Android developers, 2 backend developers, and 1 tester/business analyst. The developers were in pairs so they can focus on working on separate areas simultaneously to cover more ground at a better pace. A hybrid approach was also used, as Agile methodology was implemented internally while still adhering to the client’s fixed timelines. As a result, the team delivered well within schedule and even took on additional tasks leading towards the date of launch.
Thoughts from the Project Team
“The concept of Snack is fresh and innovative. Solid one to attract millennials.”
Engineering Manager, Monstar Lab Singapore
“To develop an app that offers a great deal of value together with an awesome team is one of kind experience.”
Eunice T. Orozco
iOS Engineer, Monstar Lab Singapore
“The idea behind the Snack app is very well conceived and interesting.”
Android Engineer, Monstar Lab Singapore
“Great experience being part of this huge and interesting project, working with dedicated individuals. Quite challenging meeting the deadlines in terms of testing but fulfilling at the same time every time we had a successful release with a minimal issue reported.”
Business Analysist, Monstar Lab Singapore
About NTUC Income
Income is one of the social enterprises under the umbrella of NTUC Enterprise. Established in 1970, the only insurance cooperative in the country was created to make essential insurance accessible to all Singaporeans. It currently serves more than 2 million customers and has under its management assets totaling 37 Billion $SGD.
“SNACK is a mobile app that allows users to build up their insurance coverage as they go about their daily activities. This innovative product is first-of-its-kind in the insurance industry and it’s packed with nifty and novel functions and features that you will not get on conventional finance-related apps.
The development of the app requires a robust system and highly agile app development team, which we were privileged to partner with Monstar Lab for this project.
Thanks to the dedication and strong support of Saad, Ankit, Karthik, Yahui and the rest of the team, they gave us the agility we needed in the sprints, are always highly responsive, and their ability to think out of the box enabled us to push the boundaries of what SNACK has to offer.”
– Ze Hui Goh, Digital Transformation Office
Strong partnership enabling future developments
Having gained Income’s trust and partnership, Monstar Lab is onboard for the ongoing development and improvement of the mobile app. This includes new features, integrations, and other developments on the development roadmap. It also opened the possibility of collaborating on other areas that the client is looking to venture into.
Developed Mobile Application
Monstar Lab developed a mobile application for Income. Being highly involved at the beginning of the process meant that the team entrusted Monstar Lab with the end-to-end process of development, which includes identifying the best digital solution, crafting the ideal user experience, development of the prototype, eventually pushing out the actual mobile application into the market and constantly ensuring that the app is optimized to fit the needs of users.