Messaging app WhatsApp India is set to launch pilot schemes in insurance, micro-pension and lending in partnership with domestic service providers.
Mr Abhijit Bose, head of WhatsApp India, said that the app has already run service delivery pilots with lenders such as ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank, according to a report by Financial Express.
WhatsApp is yet to get the central bank’s nod to launch full-fledged payments services through the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) channel and has been in the beta stage for over two years now, since February 2018.
WhatsApp also plans to expand its experiment with partners in other financial segments that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has highlighted as basic financial services, starting with insurance and micro-pension.
“Over the next year and a half, WhatsApp will be supporting multiple pilots to test potential solutions to solve these distribution problems. These pilots will be done jointly with our partners as well as innovative tech partners in each vertical,” Mr Bose said. Each product will start with a small experiment and based on the results, WhatsApp will co-invest and scale the ones that show promise. “Our ultimate goal is for every Indian to have micro-pension and insurance from one of our partners,” he said.
“The solutions will not be WhatsApp solutions. They will be from our partners — banks and financial-service companies, along with their FinTech partners. We will use the venture model. We will take risks, but we will do it through controlled models and based on user acceptance, we will invest and scale the solutions that deliver results,” Mr Bose said.