Thanks to the internet and web based applications individuals may get in touch with companies very easily. Besides this customer advantage companies may also benefit: due to self-service functionality customers may maintain their data independently and may fulfill standard requests without the need for an employee. Canoo supported Helvetia Insurance Switzerland in realizing their customer portal.

Using the new customer portal, insured persons shall have immediate access to their personal contracts and documents. Plus, documents and forms can be ordered online with only a few clicks. And last but definitely not least: Customers shall have the possibility to easily get in touch with their personal client advisor.


MVP as cornerstone for customer portal

In the context of the Minimal Viable Product (MVP), Helvetia Insurance focussed on the segment of private customers during the development of the customer portal. Besides insured persons the group of beneficiaries were also included as a target group. The group of beneficiaries are customers whose employer has taken out a professional provisional insurance at Helvetia Insurance. The goal of the first expansion stage was to create the technological foundation for the customer portal.


Focus: data security

Maximum data security is a non-negotiable prerequisite for a customer portal of an insurance company. Thus, Helvetia customers have to take several steps to access their data:

  • At first, the customer has to open an online account. This is done via the personal email address or the mobile number.
  • During the next step, the profile has to be linked to the customer data at Helvetia using the date of birth and an insurance policy or contract number.
  • Following the successful link between profile and customer data, the customer receives an activation code by post. With this code his profile may be finally activated.

If the customer opened his account together with a Helvetia service employee, the account can be activated using an application especially designed for this purpose. There will be no waiting time for the activation code.


Canoo know-how closes the gap between online accounts and insurance data

Helvetia Insurance asked three software engineers from Canoo to join the development team in Basel. In the beginning, their main focus was to link the online accounts opened by the customers and the insurance data whereby they had to ensure that a customer is only granted access to his/her own data. As this data is stored in several systems it had to be collected and merged.

The incorporation was really fast as one team member from Canoo already worked on a prototypical development of a subapplication. The goal of the application is to close the gap between the online accounts and the data storage of Helvetia. This application registers the unique identifiers of the online accounts, records all attempts to identify customers by means of a contract number, policy number and birthdate and states when the data reconciliation fails.


Data link, UI and testing

In addition to the programming work, experts from Canoo were responsible for the definition and implementation of REST interfaces for the customer portal UI and for the link to the data storage systems via SOAP, SCIM and REST. The database schemes for both applications were developed and enhanced by Canoo, too.

Besides performance optimization, Canoo also played an important part in regards of testing. Canoo engineers defined for example functional and unit tests which allow comprehensive refactoring.


Display of details and contract types

During the work on the main application, the project team realized that there was the chance to easily integrate even more contract types than only the professional provisional insurance. Thus, the MVP offered the contract overview plus detail views for several other contract types (e.g. vehicle and motorcraft insurance, private liability insurance, etc.) which were originally planned at a later time.


Go-Live and outlook

The customer portal was made available to a test group in October 2017 that provided valuable feedback. Consequently, improvements were implemented just before the portal was released to all Helvetia customers on November 21st, 2017. The interest in this portal was very high: Within a few weeks more than 1000 customers registered for this service.

Until the end of March 2018, the project team will enhance the code quality, mortgages will be added as contract type and customer loyalty programs will be defined. Following this, further developments are already selected for development.


Verwendete Technologien

  • Helvetia HEAP Stack (proprietäres Software-Projekt-Framework)
  • Angular 5
  • Hibernate
  • J2EE
  • Liquibase
  • Oracle
  • REST
  • SCIM