Taiwan pioneers online platform for end-of-life services

Caption: 
Screenshot of the 51 People Commitment website

In life and in death, there is now an online platform for services.

A Taiwanese firm introduced this week the first cloud-based, mobile end-of-life service platform.

Developed by Chan Yun Enterprise Co. Ltd., the 51 People Commitment platform is designed for those over 50 years of age. The lifetime subscription package, which costs only NT$51 ($1.66) offers services in case of accidental death, which includes a one-click consultancy service and 24 hours emergency call service that the company believes would do away with the complexity of funeral arrangements.

The platform offers an integrated one-stop service for life, including funeral services, columbarium niches, and legal document drafting, among others.

Unlike existing pre-need funeral contracts or insurance with in-kind benefits on the market today, subscribers of the service will not be charged for funeral services or columbarium niches that can only be used in the future, nor are you required to pay handsome premiums regularly for many years.

As people in Taiwan place more emphasis on healthy and active aging and end-of-life planning, the company said death and end-of-life arrangements are no longer taboo subjects, but topics that have been accepted as subjects of reasoned discussion.

"For consumers suddenly facing a major accident who have planned ahead for their end of life and a good death, we bring together various resources to offer an open and transparent platform,” said Sheng-Zhong Chen, Investment Director at Chan Yun Enterprise Co. Ltd.

Taiwan is, however, not the only country in the world where the end-of-life industry is gaining traction.

A CTI survey in Japan reveals that 30-40 percent of interviewees have embraced end-of-life planning and started keeping an end-of-life journal. Up to 70 percent felt an urgent need for simplified handling of the complexities of end-of-life services. 

Online handling of funeral arrangements and related services has also been trending and widely discussed in Mainland China. In the US, Cake, a startup offering important resources for end-of-life planning, received a lot of attention in 2016. Meanwhile,  online legacy planning agency Willing also now allows customers to make wills online and process all documents on its website. 

Taiwan’s Ministry of the Interior places the annual value of the end-of-life industry amounts to NT$60 billion ($1.9 billion).

Chen noted that the development of Taiwan's end-of-life industry is equal to anywhere in the world. “We also hope to do our share and spur more businesses to offer technology- and innovation-enabled end-of-life services, to accelerate the transformation of Taiwan's life services industry and bring it in line with international standards,” he said.

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