Consumers are spending more time online, and with an increase in sharing and shopping comes an increased risk for potential issues related to a customer’s personal information. This is where Generali Global Assistance and its Global Identity and Cyber Protection business unit comes in.
Founded in 1963, Generali Global Assistance has been a leader in the assistance industry for over 50 years and continues to provide its customers and partners peace of mind and assistance in the most difficult of circumstances.
As a B2B2C supplier, the company works with consumers via various brand partners as an embedded or voluntary offering through insurance providers, financial institutions, or as a part of an employer’s benefits package – with the end goals of providing exceptional levels of customer experience and customer support, often in situations when consumers need that support the most.
Loyalty360 recently spoke to Paige Schaffer, Chief Executive Officer for Global Identity and Cyber Protection, to learn more about the company, how Generali Global Assistance is assisting clients and customers during COVID-19, and how the company’s services can play a vital role in protecting customers during their time of need.
Can you give us an introduction to your company?
We’re a part of the Europ Assistance Group, which is owned by Generali Group. Generali Group is headquartered in Italy and one of the largest global insurance companies in the world. It’s an exciting story because Europ Assistance Group has been around since the early ’60s. Our DNA is all about care and helping people in their time of need, whether it is a business of emergent travel assistance, travel insurance, roadside assistance, or in our case, a global identity and cyber protection business. Stemming back since the early ’60s, we’ve focused on how we help people out of difficult situations. We’re headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, and have been around for 15+ years – we were one of the first in the B2B2C identity protection space. We have business in countries all over the world, and recently launched our services in Japan, Vietnam, and continue to launch globally while also focusing on our core business in the U.S.
Can you tell us a bit about your role?
I’m the CEO of GGA’s Global Identity and Cyber Protection business unit, and I’ve been with the company since 2007. I’ve seen how the company and market have changed and the vast importance needed in helping people out, making them aware of one of the fastest growing financial crimes in the country, as well as educating them about the potential for victimization where their personal information is concerned. Over the years, we’ve worked to put together products and services that bring value to our customers and personalize it to their specific customer base.
What are you seeing on some of the fraud issues and how do you help with those issues?
During times of disruption, many clients find our services even more valuable to their customers, members, or employees. Unfortunately, scams, identity theft, and cybercrime often become even more prevalent during these times as criminals look to take advantage of these disruptions. Consumers are likely to be preoccupied with dealing with the crisis des jours, such as a natural disaster, a personal issue, or a pandemic, and it could make them easier targets because they’re less attentive during these times.
What are you hearing from your loyalty clients as their concerns around some of these disruptions?
There’s consistency across all businesses. What it boils down to is consumers’ personal information and financial issues are key during the pandemic, in that many people are furloughed or out of work, and minding their financial wellbeing is critical. We keep consumers concerns top of mind and hire people that are comfortable with the discomfort that this can bring. We try to do a good deal of planning but leave room to be flexible and reactionary where necessary.
We’re watching and listening to customers and others to see what’s causing them stress, frustration, and angst. People hear about scams, folks getting into their accounts, opening up accounts or mortgages in their name, or people getting help from the government with economic impact payments, and we’ve seen a huge spike in the volume of fraud where that’s concerned. We focus on staying close to the customer which allows us to quickly develop services or make improvements to existing services that address these genuine issues. Whether it’s launching a new service like ScamAssist™ that helps reduce the risk of consumers being tricked or scammed by a thief taking their money or their valuable personal information, or adding an anti-ransom tool like RansomStop™ to our online data protection software suite, which already includes anti-phishing and anti-keylogging software. These types of services all come out of listening carefully to the needs of our partners and their customers.
How do you help customers listen to, understand, and address the challenges they’re having, especially with regards to delicate topics like fraud, privacy, and some of the issues a lot of brands don’t want to talk about?
We try to position our services as proactive protection, so it’s not about people reacting in the moment, it’s about educating them in advance. We provide a suite of services, which are all supported with 24/7 resolution assistance and guidance if a customer becomes a victim of identity theft or fraud. We take away the anxiety around resolving these issues by addressing the things our customers are concerned about and monitoring personally identifiable information on an ongoing basis. That way, customers can be alerted if something looks out of the ordinary instead of wondering when the other shoe is going to drop. Then, we can quickly act on it and hopefully minimize the disruption.