WhatsApp will introduce health insurance and micro-pension products in India by the end of this year. WhatsApp head of India, Abhijit Bose spoke about WhatsApp’s vision for India on the second day of the Fuel for India event. He said that WhatsApp has been working in collaboration with credible financial institutions and partners on pilots of micro-pension, micro-insurance and others, to ensure that every citizen has access to critical financial services through their mobile devices.
WhatsApp is going to partner with SBI General buying affordable health insurance coverage. It is further going to partner with HDFC Pensions and pinBox solutions, to help enable saving for a dignified retirement especially for people who do not have organised employment benefits or a retirement corpus to fall back on, the platform noted.
Gautam Bhardwaj, co-founder of pinBox Solutions said, “Pension and social protection arrangements in India have been traditionally restricted to the formal sector salary workers. This is a gigantic problem, given that over 90 per cent of our workforce are self-employed or are informal sector workers. Without pension benefits, each of them faces a very high risk of extreme poverty. The only sustainable option, therefore, is for us to enable and encourage the current, young, economically active, informal sector workers to start saving for their futures. WhatsApp platform will help us connect the supply and demand, as well as bring scale to our inclusive digital micro-pension programs.”
Sumit Shukla, CEO, HDFC Pension Management Company said, “We at HDFC Pension are also trying to play a key role in bringing critical financial services to Indians by putting affordability at the centre of our pension products. I am proud of our association with WhatsApp because it is enabling digital and financial inclusion at an accelerated rate. Also, WhatsApp as a platform is multilingual, secure and is revolutionizing the way financial services are accessed and facilitated in our country.”
Bose also spoke about growing small and micro businesses through WhatsApp. He said that the company will add new features and tools to the WhatsApp Business app, designed especially to help small businesses and kirana (grocery) stores grow and scale. He also said that WhatsApp is investing in Business API offering a way to unlock potential to grant scale to business entities, NGOs as well as to key government to citizen services. He further spoke about making digital payments through UPI accessible across segments and especially to the underserved users in India
Chetna Gala Sinha, Founder and Chairperson, Mann Deshi Foundation and Mann Deshi Bank said, “WhatsApp is easy and simple. It has proven to be an ally for several rural women entrepreneurs, helping them create catalogs, and ultimately enable a virtual marketplace for their products. Even participants of our para-vet goat program provide telemedicine consultations to goat rearers through WhatsApp. Our women entrepreneurs rely on WhatsApp not because they can easily sell and market their products, but because WhatsApp gives them the ability to share the courage and confidence of being self-employed with each other.”
This content was originally published here.