Insurtech Luko keeps the competition guessing with differentiated payments experiences
Luko is a rapidly scaling, Paris-based Insurtech start-up specialising in home insurance in an ultra-competitive market dominated by large players with long histories. The incumbents have upwards of 90% of the market, so Luko must work hard to differentiate itself in order to cut through.
“We are continuously reinventing ourselves with innovative services and experiences to acquire and retain customers,” said Constantin Lagneau, Product Manager, Luko. “The result is that our customers can take out insurance on our site and receive their certificate in less than five minutes. From there, they can manage all the parameters of their insurance and access related home services via our app.”
The company’s ultimate aim is to do everything as well as can be done by an insurance company, but with a lower price and a completely digital service. And, with its customer base doubling to more than 200,000 in a single year, it’s working.
But with this growth comes an increased focus on scaling operations while managing costs and remaining efficient, to maintain profitability without increasing prices. Post sign-up, payments are among the highest cost of serving customers – Luko processes more than a million payments a year – and they’re also a highly visible aspect of their ongoing experience.
“We need a payments system that is simple for customers to use, cost-effective to run, and efficient to maintain,” said Constantin. “As we’ve grown, the high cost of our card-based payments solution was harder to sustain, especially since it was quite manual and prone to failures as cards expire or customer details change.”
Luko was drawn to GoCardless as an automated payments solution that could integrate with its current systems to reduce costs today, keep them low in the future, and drive overall efficiencies that would benefit operations and the customer experience.
A million annual payments, with minimal intervention
Following a technical integration that took just a few weeks, new Luko customers now make a one-off initial payment via card before setting up a Direct Debit mandate via GoCardless for their remaining recurring monthly payments. After that, Luko’s systems take care of the rest thanks to a direct connection to the GoCardless API, which enables the automation of payment requests, payment status updates and new mandate creation.
The impact of this automation has been remarkable, as Constantin explains. “Incredibly, despite taking more than a million payments a year – about 50% of our revenue – there is no one at Luko whose job it is to manage payments. That’s a role we just don’t need, thanks to GoCardless. Our payments are totally automated, without any human intervention needed to trigger payments or enable users to make adjustments.”
Lower payment failure rates drive revenue up and complaints down
In GoCardless, Luko has also found a simple and reliable payments solution that provides a more secure revenue stream. “Card payments fail regularly making them a much less reliable mode of payment,” said Constantin. “We have cut failed payments in half with GoCardless and dramatically reduced the cost of bank fees whenever payments do fail.”
Customers prefer GoCardless too, as Constantin explained.
GoCardless is the preferred method of payment for 50% of our customers, largely down to how simple it is for them to set up and maintain compared to cards.”
“The best customer feedback we’ve received is not having received any at all! We used to get a lot of negative feedback relating to failed payments and complicated adjustment processes, but today we don’t have that problem.”
Going for growth, together
As Luko sets about expanding beyond the French market, it will need to focus all its energy on doing what it does best: transforming the insurance market. To that end, it understands the advantages of having strategic partners in its corner whose specialist expertise can help them quickly scale their operations.
“If we had to define our relationship with GoCardless in one word, it would be ‘trust’,” said Constantin. “It has a robust infrastructure, a global customer base and specialist payments expertise. We can trust that the support of GoCardless will help us achieve our ambition to become the top digital insurer in Europe within a few years, as we lean on their deep knowledge and experience to adapt to working in new countries and with new customers.”