InsurTech in Turkey – Challenges and Opportunities

By Melike Belli

Market Development Manager, Cybertonica

Introduction

The Turkish FinTech ecosystem has been growing and attracting global interest since the beginning of 2016. Recent developments have brought banks, financial services incumbents, FinTech startups, investors, policy-makers, regulators, experts, and professionals closer together in a stronger ecosystem. In 2016, FinTech startups raised US$29 million compared to US$4.6 million in 2012, and 47% of the total startup investment was made into them. FinTech is now the top investment category in Turkey.

In a report published by Deloitte and Global FinTech Hubs Federation in 2017, Turkey’s financial centre, Istanbul, is listed as a “new” FinTech hub among 44 cities across the world.1 Most of the 200+ FinTech companies operating in Turkey are based in Istanbul. A majority of these startups provide innovative payment and digital banking solutions. A closer look at the players in the FinTech ecosystem reveals that the number of startups operating on the InsurTech scene is very low.

Insurance in Turkey: The Industry Overview

The insurance sector is regulated by the undersecretariat of Turkish Treasury. As of March 2016, there are 65 authorized insurance and retirement pension companies in Turkey (39 non-life, 8 life, 17 pension, 1 reassurance).2 Multinational companies, such as Allianz and AXA, are strong players in the insurance industry. Currently, Allianz is the market ...

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