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Phil Britt
Phil Britt
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Providing Flexibility

Princeton eCom's credit card option eases collections for Selective Insurance Group agents.

Since agent FEEDBACK plays a big role in determining the new programs and capabilities Selective Insurance Group ($4 billion in assets) provides, the property and casualty insurer did not adopt electronic payment technology -- which agents had not requested -- until recently. Because of its reliance on independent agents, "Part of the concern of a super-regional company like ours is making sure that agents put our insurance first," explains Jeff Kamrowski, Selective's senior vice president of business services and agency accounts. So it was not until March 2004 that Selective (Branchville, N.J.) enabled end customers to make recurring payments and one-time payments from bank accounts via the CollectPay Enrollment and CollectPay One-Time Pay applications from Princeton eCom's (Princeton, N.J.) CollectPay Suite.

At that time Selective did not include the CollectPay Suite electronic credit card payment option, so credit card payments still had to be handled through the mail or in the company's branch offices, reported Kamrowski. However, by mid-2005, agents began requesting that kind of e-payment capability as more customers opted for credit card payments and other regional insurers (and competitors) were offering it, he says.

Selective initially considered building an electronic billing solution in-house, but that was ruled to be too costly and time-consuming. "One of the prime considerations was whether we would have the core capabilities to be able to develop this," Kamrowski says. "We just didn't think we would be in a good position to build this product ourselves."

Confirming the Choice

The insurer looked at a handful of other vendors, but it was determined the easiest choice would be to expand the relationship with Princeton eCom. This option was confirmed at the end of August 2005. "We wanted a high-tech, high-touch approach that didn't interfere with the way that we did business," Kamrowski says. "We wanted an application that we could integrate easily with our core system." Princeton eCom houses the hardware of this hosted application. And since Selective had been using Princeton eCom solutions, installation of the CollectPay Batch application took less than 48 hours and involved updating the insurer's Web site to provide a link for online payments via credit card. "Customers can make credit card payments at their own leisure, when agents aren't available to take payments," Kamrowski says. "Customers don't have to stand in line in order to pay their bills, and our agents don't have to handle card payments at 5 o'clock in the afternoon on Fridays." And though the application enables Selective Insurance to assess a convenience fee, which would typically cover interchange costs for card payments, the insurer opted to absorb the interchange expense, according to Kamrowski, citing the increased value to agents as being worth the cost (interchange fees are typically under 2 percent).

CollectPay Batch has performed smoothly and has drawn positive comments from customers. "We received a call ... from a customer who said that he used it and how much he liked it," Kamrowski says, adding that agents are also praising the application. "Agents say they've been pleased with the new payment capabilities. Having this capability makes it easier for them to place new business. This enables us to process more transactions with better accuracy."



Selective Insurance (Branchville, N.J.; $4 billion in assets).

lines of business

Property and casualty insurance for consumers and businesses.


CollectPay Batch credit card payment option from Princeton eCom's (Princeton, N.J.) CollectPay Suite.


Enable customers to make insurance payments using credit cards.

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