Innovating to Serve Our Customers



Innovating to Serve Our Customers

4 min read Jun 22, 2021

At MetLife, innovation requires a constant pursuit of reimagining and reinvention. Our customers' needs are multidimensional and continually evolving, making innovation a critical tool to constantly improve our products and services.

MetLife’s first online experimentation database was launched, promoting collaboration and facilitating shared experiment learnings around the globe.

We also ran our first enterprise-wide innovation challenge in 2020, aligning with our Next Horizon strategy rollout. The Next Horizon Experimentation Challenge empowered employees to submit ideas to improve customer focus and operational efficiencies.

Crowd-Sourced Solutions

Employee Challenge to Improve Customer Experiences

EMEA ran a highly collaborative innovation and experimentation program focusing on diversification and persistency in 2020. The aim was to help MetLife develop customer-focused solutions and more efficient processes that benefit our customers.

This included:

  • The Diversification Challenge: More than 140 colleagues registered for the Diversification Challenge and worked in 47 teams in six EMEA markets—Turkey, Poland, Italy, France, Spain, and Portugal. The challenge, which ran from April to July 2020, sought to generate ideas for new direct-to-consumer routes to market. Cross-functional collaboration saw a final set of ideas selected for further experimentation, including a mobile application, new products and partnerships, flexible insurance, distribution to new communities, and video sales. We are now working on piloting the selected ideas.

Partnering With Startups to Drive New Approaches

Digital Accelerator Program— Supporting Startups Committed to Improving Financial Health

In our third year of a three-year partnership with global platform Techstars, we organized the Digital Accelerator program as an intensive, three-month program that allows startups to work closely with MetLife leaders and Techstars mentors to develop, experiment, and scale capabilities with the potential to transform the insurance industry. In 2020, our Innovation group became a part of MetLife’s Financial Wellness & Engagement team, thus forming a truly integrated team of problem-solvers focused on employee engagement and delivering financial wellness solutions to meet the employee needs of today and tomorrow.


As part of the 2020 Digital Accelerator, we worked with 10 startups on developing financial wellness and engagement solutions to help customers and families save money, tackle debt, stay healthy, care for seniors and children, and close the racial wealth gap.


From Experiments to Execution
Here are some of the startups that completed our Accelerator Program or leveraged our vast Venture Capital network:

  • Aligned Business: After completing a successful pilot in 2019, the MetLife Bangladesh team went live with Aligned Business in July 2020 with the launch of eBiz@MetLife. This solution enables life insurance agencies to provide digital, real-time insurance application submissions, including digital signatures for agents, customers, and branch managers.
  • Airkit: Airkit provides a low-code platform designed to integrate into existing systems to help turn teams into builders of digitally powered journeys. MetLife Group Benefits in the U.S. is currently leveraging Airkit to digitize the Life Insurance Enrollment Journey Statement of Health forms, improving the customer experience and driving increased revenue growth. As of year-end 2020, 4,119 digital applications have been run through Airkit, totaling close to 25,000 pages with a more than 150% increase anticipated in 2021.



MetLife associates engaged in the Digital Accelerator.


startups completed the Digital Accelerator.


MetLife mentors.


startups applied.


proofs of concept.


signed contracts.

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