Distributed ledger technology (DLT) firm Billon has partnered with ERGO Hestia, the second largest insurance company in Poland, to provide the insurer’s clients with a blockchain service that enables instant refunds of premium overpayments. The innovation, which is enabled through tokenized national currency, has been used by a select group of ERGO’s customers since early September and will now be piloted with a broader audience.
The solution aims to solve the challenges of processing premium refunds, which can be especially complicated if the refundee’s bank account information is not on record. Often if a car is sold, the client may be owed a partial repayment of the insurance policy premium. But the client doesn’t have to provide their bank details to take out car insurance, especially if it’s done offline. And in the absence of that data, it’s expensive for the insurer to make these small repayments. That might include calling the client or writing to them.
The new process involves Billon Solutions, a regulated subsidiary of Billon, issuing e-money as tokenized Polish zlotys. Clients can collect their funds through ERGO Hestia’s automated payout system without directly engaging with the insurer. All that’s needed is the email address or mobile phone number to let the client know that there is money available to collect.
There’s a portal with ERGO Hestia’s branding, where the clients log on at their leisure. If they wish to receive the money to their bank account, they can add it online.
Billon’s Distributed Digital Cash system uses Billon’s permissioned blockchain technology. The digital money complies with the definition of e-money per EU legislation.
Earlier this year Billon raised $6 million from FIS and others and has used tokenized cash for a variety of institutions. Austrian Raiffeisen Bank recently announced a pilot project with the startup, and Billon’s system is already in use as part of Philip Morris’ incentive program to pay retailers and brand ambassadors for meeting sales targets.