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Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Facebook Fuel for India: WhatsApp to soon let users in India buy ‘sachet-sized’ insurance

WhatsApp revealed that users will be able to buy affordable health insurance coverage from SBI General using the platform by the end of the year.

Written by Shruti Dhapola | Chandigarh | Updated: December 16, 2020 2:44:03 pm
WhatsApp, WhatsApp SBI insurance, WhatsApp Payments, WhatsApp pension scheme, WhatsApp payments UPI, how to activate UPI on WhatsAppWhatApp will soon let users purchase insurance on the platform with the help of SBI. (Image source: Bloomberg)

WhatsApp has revealed that users will be able to buy affordable health insurance coverage from SBI General by the end of the year, and soon even some pension schemes using the platform. The company also confirmed that its WhatsApp Payments service was now formally live in the country.

“We continue to invest in the business API, offering features and flexibility for the ecosystem in India to build highly customised customer experiences. WhatsApp has proactively been working with several possible companies to ensure every adult has access to the most basic, but critical financial and livelihood services through their mobile device. By the end of this year we expect more people will be able to buy a sachet sized health insurance on our platform,” Abhijit Bose, Head of WhatsApp India said kicking off the second day of the Facebook Fuel for India event.

Bose said WhatsApp has been working with financial institutions and banks and the government to use its business API to help deliver easy and interactive experiences for anyone on its platform. WhatsApp is currently testing a pilot with PinBox solutions and HDFC Pensions to offer pensions for the informal sector.

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“We’ve been working towards digital micro pension inclusion, where we have designed and built inclusive digital micro pension programs WhatsApp can be a very powerful glue, that can help us to connect the supply and the demand for pensions,” Gautam Bhardwaj, CEO and co-founder of pinBox, a pension tech company, said during the event.

For the WhatsApp Payments service, the company has partnered with ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank and State Bank of India. The UPI-based payment service is available to 20 million Indians since it was granted approval in November 2020.

WhatsApp’s Director of Product Ajit Varma and Reliance Industries’ President Kiran Thomas revealed that JioMart, which allows users to order from their local kirana shop using WhatsApp, was seeing close to five million orders per day. “The idea would be to link these kirana shops to Reliance Retail’s pan India supply chain. For JioMart we are using the simple and secure service of WhatsApp. WhatsApp, ease of use and all pervasiveness will help us immensely in realising this dream of bringing together millions of small merchants and kirana shops across the country,” Thomas said.

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