eTechAces Marketing and Consulting, which operates the online insurance policy aggregator Policybazaar, has launched a financial advisory services platform called PaisaBazaar, reports Techcircle. The platform will look to sell loans, credit cards, gold funds, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds and corporate deposits.
According to the company, regulatory concerns have limited the opportunities for its insurance business to expand. Hence, the company is looking at other financial advisory services, as a means to grow its revenues. The new website will focus on non-insurance products like loans and credit cards since government regulations don’t allow loans on Policybazaar.
The website: On visiting the PaisaBazaar website, a user will find the Personal Loan, Credit Cards, Home Loan, Education Loan, Mutual Fund and Insurance tabs prominently displayed. The personal loan tab claims to compare personal loan rates but instead prompts the user for personal information and promises a call back from the agents. Similarly, most of the website does not function as promised. For example, while the credit card section displays the logos of Kotak, HDFC, Citi, Fullerton and Barclays the agent who called me (note, phone numbers are mandatory to check most information and calls seem to be made within an hour of entering the details) said they had a tie up with ICICI and American Express instead.
Mutual Funds is the only section which did not require personal contact details. It, currently, lists 5 mutual funds with their Scheme Information available for download in pdf form. The Insurance tabs simply links back to the Policybazaar site.
The platform looks like it could be useful, but still requires a lot of polish, it currently requires far too much personal information, gives out far too little information and even has a couple of basic spelling mistakes.
-Policybazaar.com had previously appointed Naveen Kukreja as its Chief Marketing Officer and Director – Non Insurance business in February. The company had also raised $20M through undisclosed investors in May this year.
-Last year, in April Policybazaar had shut down its insurance agents platform PolicyDeals. The platform helped insurance agents to source leads from their preferred city and location.
A note on IRDA policies: India’s insurance regulator IRDA had started regulating online insurance aggregators by defining the terms under which they operate including the business model and remuneration processes back in 2011. Yashish Dahiya, founder and CEO of Policybazaar had told Medianama back in 2013 that its business had become uneconomical following the IRDA policies. Launching Paisabazaar is a way for the company to remain economically viable.