WhatsApp announced that it plans to roll out health insurance and micro-pension products in India by the end of this year. The messaging platform stated that it has been working in collaboration with reliable financial institutions on pilots of micro-pension, and micro-insurance.
WhatsApp seems to be all geared up to roll out new services and features to give an unmatched experience to its users.
At the Facebook Fuel For India event hosted a few days back, it was announced that WhatsApp’s roadmap is to bring critical financial and livelihood services for the mobile users in India.
It was also announced that WhatsApp’s partnership with HDFC Pension and PinBox Solutions to start the micro-pension products through the messaging app.
Abhijit Bose, head of WhatsApp India said, “In the first phase of launch, WhatsApp has plans to collaborate with SBI General to introduce a sachet-health insurance cover and also collaborate up with HDFC Pension to make available National Pension Scheme (NPS) products on its app.”
WhatsApp is focused on becoming a competitive platform for insurance companies offering micro-pension products and expand its footprint in the Indian financial sector with the new move.
Co-founder of pinBox Solutions, Gautam Bhardwaj said, “Pension and social protection arrangements in India have been traditionally restricted to the formal sector salary workers. Given that over 90 percent of our workforce are self-employed or are informal sector workers and without pension benefits, each of them faces a very high risk of extreme poverty. We will encourage the young, economically active, informal sector workers to start saving for their futures. WhatsApp will help us bring scale to our inclusive digital micro-pension programs.”
CEO, HDFC Pension Management Company, Sumit Shukla stated, “We at HDFC Pension are also trying to bring critical financial services to Indians by putting affordability at the focus. I am proud of our association with WhatsApp because it is enabling digital and financial inclusion at an accelerated rate. WhatsApp as a platform is multilingual, secure.”
WhatsApp has identified four key areas for growth in India, its largest customer base market. It offers messaging services to over 400 million users. These key areas include enhancing the WhatsApp Business platform to many more users, tying with local businesses and governments to offer niche solutions for agriculture, trade and education, scaling social welfare projects, and expanding its digital payments via WhatsApp Pay.
The service is currently operational only in the peer-to-peer (P2P) mode with access allowed only to 20 million customers. Further expansion would be subject to approvals by RBI and NPCI and as well.