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TECHNOLOGY

How Blockchain and Telecommunications are Working Together

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How Blockchain and Telecommunications are Working Together


Blockchain and telecommunications are working together by minimizing losses due to fraud, automating revenue collection and enabling peer-to-peer payments.

Following its mainstream popularization in recent years, blockchain has seen a steady increase in application, either in the form of proof-of-concept or pilot projects. While the earliest and most obvious field of application of this technology is the banking and financial services industry, blockchain can be used to revamp any process that would benefit from increased decentralization, transparency, security, and immutability of data. Hence, the adoption of blockchain has spilled out of finance and is spreading into other industries like healthcare and agriculture. One such industry that can benefit immensely from blockchain adoption is the telecommunications industry. The use of blockchain in telecom can not only help in improving telecom services but can help in the creation of entirely new business models.

Blockchain in The Telecom Industry 

Following are a few areas where telecom businesses can leverage the capabilities of blockchain to maximize operational efficiency and profitability:

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Minimizing Losses Due to Fraud

Blockchain’s ability to record data on an immutable, transparent yet secure network can solve problems surrounding user identity and privacy. Since all data on the blockchain is encrypted and can be anonymized, it can facilitate the secure storage of customer data. It can also help in preventing fraud in the telecommunications industry, which, according to a CFCA survey, cost over $38 billion annually. Most of these fraudulent cases involve misuse of identity, which can be prevented by listing subscriber data on a blockchain. Blockchain can also be used to secure private branch exchange (PBX) systems of businesses, which support the internal communications of organizations. This will minimize the probability of hacking and prevent data leaks. Since telecom operators are mandatorily required to gather and verify user identities, they can use their blockchain records to monetize this data by providing online identity management services.

Automating Revenue Collection

Blockchain-based smart contracts, or contracts that execute themselves upon the fulfillment of agreed clauses, can be used for automating the billing and payment processes of telecom service providers. Most subscriptions are based on contracts that bill the user based on usage. Telecom operators can not only maintain a transparent record of network usage on a blockchain but can also accept payments directly through automated transactions enabled by smart contracts. This makes revenue collection easier for the operator and makes the payment process more convenient for customers.

Enabling Peer-to-Peer Payments

Many telecom networks are already experimenting with digital wallets that enable small payments between subscribers without the hassle of using cards or carrying cash. With the increasing preference for mobile payments among the global population despite concerns regarding fraud and cybersecurity, the introduction of blockchain in mobile payments will be a welcome change. Telecom operators can host entire payment ecosystems using their existing infrastructure and benefit from a platform business model. These peer-to-peer (P2P) payment platforms can not only be used to transfer funds between individual users but can also be used by businesses to accept payments for goods and services.

Making the most of blockchain in telecom would require businesses to find innovative applications that can independently generate value. However, due to the uncertainty surrounding the future of the technology, it may not be ideal to dive into disruptive innovation with blockchain right away. Businesses should start small and incorporate blockchain into their processes in incrementally broader applications.



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TECHNOLOGY

Changing Tides at NAMIC

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Changing Tides at NAMIC


What a hot and lively week in Dallas! 98F and a huge crowd at the 127th National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC).

Over 1000 senior insurance executives, board members, and service partners, represented 400+ property and casualty insurance and related companies. NAIC officers discussed the insurance trends, regulatory challenges, and barriers to competitive markets. 45 speakers held economy power sessions and education sessions sharing thought leadership on the biggest industry challenges and opportunities. 

I had the honor to address the hottest topic – “The Future of Work” – at NAMIC. My session began with a live poll on the top 3 most common reasons given for employees quitting jobs. Here are the most voted reasons among the 181 votes: Lack of workplace flexibility, inadequate compensation, unmeaningful work, and lack of career development.

Here are the results in percentages:

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In 2021, 47 million Americans quit their jobs and entered the era of the great resignation. Since January of 2022, over 4 million Americans quit each month. To understand why, McKinsey surveyed 13000 employees in 6 countries from April 21 to April 22. The top reasons for people quitting jobs were lack of career development/advancement, inadequate compensation, uninspiring leaders, and lack of meaningful work. Below is a chart with more details.

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The live audience poll and McKinsey’s survey both ranked meaningful work, career growth, and compensation as top reasons for quitting, followed by uninspiring leadership and lack of workforce flexibility.

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Moreover, the future workforce demographic is changing from baby boomers to millennials and Gen Z. According to Pew Research, by 2050, 75% of the workforce is expected to be made up of millennials. 44% of millennials say they are more likely to be engaged when their managers hold regular meetings with them. Currently, only 21% meet with their manager on a weekly basis. Gen Z has surpassed millennials as the largest generation, making up 12% of the workforce. 22% of Gen Zs currently have at least one immigrant parent. By 2026, Gen Z will become the largest non-white generation. For Gen Z, community, diversity, and inclusion as well as their sense of passion and purpose hold utmost importance.

My speech covered three main topics: talent management including upskilling, transitioning to a hybrid environment, and outlook for the next 10 years. Registered attendees can get access to the recording through the end of 2022.

During the Q&A, the youngest attendee urged us to look around and notice that there were not enough young people at NAMIC. He called out the importance of understanding the younger generation and giving them more opportunities to network with decision makers at events like NAMIC. That perfectly summed up my presentation. Though NAMIC has certainly evolved with more women representation (15 this year out of 45 speakers and a few CEOs), there is still a need for more diversity in demographic and thought.

I was delighted to reconnect with former colleges, a few CEOs and board members of the mutual insurance companies at NAMIC. My favourite part of NAMIC is that it always feels like a family fair. It is a place we can share best practices and support each other even though our businesses may compete. Where else can you find such an ecosystem?



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