This interview is part of a series of interviews featuring female Fintech leaders globally. LATTICE80, in partnership with Miss Kaya, recently published our Top 100 Women in Fintech 2019 list.The effort reflects our efforts in women empowerment and support in a field where women continue to be underrepresented. Check out the full list for 2018 here as well.
Miss Kaya is a lifestyle driven financial platform for the modern woman that aims to empower them to carve their own financial freedom through technologically-empowered financial tools. The mission is to provide the modern women globally with the support, resources, and community they need to live the lifestyle that they want.
Disclaimer: The interviews are published on a rolling basis and the order by which they are published by no means representative of any rankings.
1. Tell us more about what you do and how did you move into Fintech?
Genesis for CXA
Prior to starting CXA, I helped grow Mercer in 14 APAC countries by 800% over 8 years. However, at that time, Fortune 500 companies all across the region were still complaining about annual double digit healthcare cost increases due to chronic disease and one-size-fits-all benefits not meeting the needs of their diverse staff. I figured out how to solve this using technology, but failed to convince my NY HQ bosses to invest $10m in Asia, despite building business cases every year for 5 years. So when the CEO and global healthcare leaders were fired, I knew I was next, and therefore decided to leave to build my dream on my own. Little did I realize that the $10m would have to come from me. My husband who was retired had to return to work and my daughter worked for her US college tuition.
Built ‘Netflix of employee benefits’
When I first started CXA, my clients from China bought cancer insurance for their over 100k+ employees, many of them discovered too many late stage cancers, but it was too late to help them. Because of that, they asked why we could not help with early disease detection & interventions since 98% of their employees get annual health checks.
It was then that we decided to bundle the platform in for free if we were appointed as a broker by large companies. In that way, we can enable firms to shift some of their existing insurance spend, which only pays if something bad happens, into wellness & disease prevention.
Through our platform, employees would get to tailor their benefits wallet, comprising of company spend for insurance, wellness, and allowances. Employees can free up money by drawing down on overlapping or excess benefits (dual income couples or integrated shield). Based on their health screening, lifestyle, and claim records, we can then provide early disease detection and recommend interventions to help employees get healthier. We also provided an incentive system to reward them with extra dollars if they lose weight, quit smoking, improve blood sugar or participate in wellness programs. In creating such a system, employees take personal responsibility for their health. With the fixed employee wallets, companies migrate to a fixed healthcare budget, where they decide the incremental increase instead of allowing insurers to dictate double digit increases.
Our platform gives each employee a health age and aggregates all the employees for the company’s health score to link it to insurance premiums. Therefore, if companies can set up corporate wellness challenges or disease management programs to reduce BMI or blood sugar, insurers will be more willing to hold or reduce premium costs.
Banks & Insurers connect to CXA health ecosystem platform
We integrate with the whole health ecosystem including insurers, clinic/hospital networks, health screeners, tele-doc, e-pharmacies, dentists, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), yoga, pilates, gyms, massages, nutritionists, mindfulness, chronic disease management, smoking cessation, mental wellness and sleep programs.
Essentially CXA digitizes the entire insurance and healthcare process end-to-end, taking out the middle men:
- Banks can distribute directly to their commercial banking customers, so that employers no longer need to pay commissions to intermediaries like agents or brokers
- We link directly to clinic management software with detailed diagnosis/drugs data, eliminating third party administrators and insurers, thus reducing doctor visits by 25%. Once we link to tele-doc and e-pharmacies, we can reduce more costs.
- Our cashless closed networks with volume discounts, means that the benefit wallet goes further and eliminates the need for employees paying out of pocket and waiting for reimbursements
- Outside the network, claims can be submitted through our apps and auto adjudicated, instead of the current manual paper-based processes, further taking down costs
Banks can also use CXA platform to go beyond banking to offer life stage health, wealth, lifestyle & protection services.
- For the employers, they can start with employee benefits and health for their families as an entry point, but add on insurances for assets
- For the employees of these SMEs and enterprises: if someone is getting married, no one in Asia will marry you if you cannot buy a house and car. However, this is very unaffordable to most. So banks can offer employees mortgages, auto loans, auto insurance, mortgage protection, home and life insurance for their spouse, and soon education investment savings, and also travel insurance for their honeymoon! For their families, they can then offer insurance for doctor visits for parents who stay in rural villages, with early detection Alzheimers, or kids with disorders like ADHD.
2. What does being a woman in Fintech mean to you?
It means that I can be a role model for other women
3. What challenges do you think women face in Fintech?
Women in male-dominated industries have to work twice as hard to be considered just as good.
The most difficult times are the child-bearing years. When I was a banker in New York, I had to get home at 5pm to free up the baby sitter. After I moved to Asia as the trailing spouse, I did not have a job so I popped out more children. After staying home for almost 4 years, only hanging around toddlers, I really didn’t think I had the mental capacity to return to the workforce.
4. What advice would you give to other women starting out and growing their careers in Fintech?
Try to learn as much as possible going out of your comfort zone before having children. It’s never too late, I built a fintech after age 50
5. What are 3 keywords to describe Fintech for 2019?
Exciting, Transformative, Rapid