Car Insurance Gets Gamified


With the majority of South African motorists not having car insurance due largely to a lack of understanding about insurance and how to access it, FinChatBot recently hosted its first Hackathon at IBM in Johannesburg. The aim: to develop a chatbot that uses gamification to help the uninsured better understand insurance via a fun, yet educational platform. The event saw 11 teams of creatives, developers and entrepreneurs competing for the R10,000 cash prize and the chance to see their solution being implemented by Budget Insurance.

Sponsored by Budget Insurance, Accenture and French Tech, the two-day Hackathon kicked off with a design-thinking workshop presented by Stephanie Lang, Developer Advocacy Leader at IBM. This was done to help the teams get to grips with design-thinking principles and how to apply these in order to distil their outlandish ideas into feasible solutions.

On the second day, the teams coded their gamification solutions and prepared to pitch their concepts to the panel of judges consisting of Co-founder and CEO at FinChatBot, Antoine Paillusseau; Cognitive and Analytics Consultant at IBM,  Kabelo Reuben Seaka; Blockchain Technology Lead at Accenture, Joshua McDonald; Extended Reality Lead at Accenture, Alyssa Prinsloo; and the Head Of Strategy Execution & Enterprise Projects at Telesure Investment Holdings (TIH), Sergei Greyvenstein.

They were on the lookout for the effective use of IBM Cloud Services, the user-friendliness of the solution, the use of gamification within the chatbot, overall clarity when conveying the concept and, of course, the creativity - the wow factor.  “We saw so many great ideas that could have been launched right there and then!” said Paillusseau.

The team that ticked all the boxes was Aurora, which was comprised of Senior Associate - Robotic Process Automation at EY, Ramashita Ramutloa; Data Science Intern at Nedbank, Joanne Moonsamy; Moses Shaba Jnr, another Data Science Intern at Nedbank; Intern at Explore Data Science Academy, Rob Fairon and Data Science Student at Explore Data Science Academy, Ebrahim Noormahomed.

Aurora took a broader view of the insurance industry, considering different target market personas, applying multiple IBM Cloud Services within the Aurora Bot and envisioning the future roadmap of the chatbot including aspects such as deeper NLP, mood detection, more conversation, speech-to-text, greater interactivity with games, high quality animation, and RPA.

“With the Aurora Bot, education happens without the user realising it. Users are guided in a ‘choose your own experience’ and are absorbed in the decisions that need to be made to get insured,” explained Ramutloa.

“What made their solution truly stand out was that it was one of a handful that the judges could test for themselves – super impressive seeing that they only had a few hours in which to develop a fully-functional prototype,” shared Paillusseau.

Second place went to Midnight Stack Overflow for their impressive Snakes and Ladders-inspired game which also took South Africa’s different languages into account. The Edge took third place presenting a fun and interesting game of trivial pursuit for insurance, complete with a mock-up on a selected insurer’s website to demonstrate how the chatbot would be displayed and accessed by users. 

Although there were initially supposed to be only two runners-up, a third team - Qubit Mafia - was also recognised for their strong solution which saw them proposing a partnership with a petrol station that would print a QR code on each receipt. This could be scanned to connect motorists to a chatbot that would educate users about motor insurance through an interactive quiz game. Those that answered the questions correctly would get incentives such as points that are redeemable on insurance premiums.

All four teams have been invited to present their solutions to the Executive Team at Budget Insurance.

Ziaad Suleman, Chief Operating Officer at IBM South Africa concluded the event by saying: "The substantive quality, energy, enthusiasm and commitment demonstrated by these technologists/ entrepreneurs at the FinChatBot Hackathon today is a perfect reason for optimism in SA as we traverse 4IR.”

Based on the success of FinChatBot’s inaugural Hackathon, the developer of AI-powered chatbots for the financial industry plans to continue to run mini-hackathons every year in partnership with its corporate clients to solve specific problems experienced by these companies.

For more information about FinChatBot, visit or email

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