WhatsApp Will Offer Insurance, Pension For 34 Crore Indian Users: Will It Work?
WhatsApp, The instant messaging application owned by Facebook with over 150 crore users worldwide and over 400 million MAU or monthly active users in India. WhatsApp had recently announced that it is going live with its payment offering after receiving approval from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), is now offering insurance, pension for as many as 34 crore Indian users. We had previously covered in our story that WhatsApp which shall start with payments, may then foray into digital lending and insurance, and here we are.
WhatsApp, in a bid to provide users in India with greater access to financial solutions, plans to launch health insurance and micro-pension products on its messaging platform. It plans to achieve it through tie-ups with licensed financial services players. It is working in partnership with financial institutions on pilots of micro-insurance, and micro pension products. In order to provide consumers with health insurance products, it is partnering with the SBI General Insurance.
Sachet Sized Health Insurance:-
Abhijit Bose, head of India for WhatsApp, speaking at Facebook’s Fuel for India 2020 event, said some of these micro-finance products which the messaging service app has been piloting over the last few months could go live by end of this year.
He added that the company will initially offer affordable health insurance plans from SBI General Insurance. Also it plans to provide micro-pension products and has tied up with HDFC Pension Management Co. and pinBox to offer retirement plans.
Abhijit Bose, WhatsApp India Head at the Facebook Fuel for India 2020 event “WhatsApp has proactively been working on several pilots to help ensure that every adult has access to the most basic critical financial and livelihood services through their mobile device. By the end of this year, we expect that people will be able to buy affordable sachet sized health insurance through WhatsApp.”
“The ability for people to get insurance covers life and health can protect the financial security of households from unforeseen expenses especially during the pandemic,” he added.
Increase Health Insurance Penetration:-
The penetration of health insurance in India is below 4 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP), which is lower than the world average of 6.31 per cent. PC Kandpal, MD & CEO, SBI General, said that WhatsApp can help improve the penetration.
He added: “We want to simplify the distribution channel and make customized, and sachet health insurance products available across India.”
If all goes well, it is going to be a game changer. But we will have to wait to see how it works out.