Recently, Facebook-owned number one messaging app ‘WhatsApp’, has made an announcement regarding the launch of WhatsApp insurance and pension products by the end of this year. After taking a big leap by launching the payments option in the app, now WhatsApp is looking forward to selling small-scaled health insurances through their app. The company wants to ensure that every adult has the access to the most basic financial services through their smartphones as it will be very convenient for the users to register themselves.
Abhijit Bose, India Head for WhatsApp, addressed the Facebook Fuel for India 2020 event, and mentioned that “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”. WhatsApp will tie-up with SBI General Insurance to cover small-scaled health insurances and simultaneously it is working with HDFC Pensions and pinBox Solutions for saving and retirements scheme.
Started in 2010, with a messaging business model, and after eight years, since 2018, the company is trying to step-in the market by expanding its products beyond messaging for consumers as well as for business. After achieving 400 million MAU (Monthly Active Users) in India, the company launched the UPI-based payments feature after two and a half years. ICICI Bank has been the partner bank for WhatsApp Pay since the launch of this feature, and now on Wednesday, the company included three more banks – Axis Bank, State Bank of India, and HDFC Bank – to successfully expand this new feature in every part of the country.
The WhatsApp Pay feature which rolled out on 5 November 2020 has come up with figures which say that 3.1 Lakh UPI transactions worth Rs. 13.87 crore were recorded in the first month. National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), which oversees Unified Payments Interface (UPI), at last, permitted WhatsApp to roll out payment services to 20 million users, for the present, in November.
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Therefore, it is being said that WhatsApp insurance and pension products will be a new thing for the Indian market, an e-commerce enabler, and payment platform for micro-businesses. If everything goes like this, then one day WhatsApp will launch its own loan products soon in the Indian Market which will be a great threat for other personal loan company’s and private banks as it already has a huge user base.
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