WhatsApp to launch insurance & pension products in tie up with financial service players

Facebook Inc’s WhatsApp plans to launch health insurance and micro-pension products on its messaging platform in India through tie-ups with licensed financial services players in a bid to provide users in India with greater access to financial solutions. The insurance and pension products are likely to be out by 2020-end, Moneycontrol said citing a report.

Among the products in partnership with FIs include consumer health insurance products with SBI General Insurance, it added.

WhatsApp launched services on the United Payments Interface (UPI) for Android and iOS users on November 5 after gaining permission from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). The messaging app can expand its UPI base in a graded manner starting with a maximum number of registered users at 20 million, as per the NPCI.

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, which owns WhatsApp said the service “is as easy as sending messages.” said in a statement. “There’s no fee, and it’s supported by more than 140 banks. Payment is available now in 10 Indian regional language versions of WhatsApp,” he said.

In a statement, WhatsApp said that it has been designed with a “strong set of security and privacy principles, including entering a personal UPI PIN for each payment.”

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 further mentioned that the company will initially offer affordable health insurance plans from SBI General Insurance. Plus, it plans to provide micro-pension products and has tied up with HDFC Pension Management Co. and pinBox to offer retirement plans.

“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,” Bose added.

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