ItzCash has finally made its entry into the insurance business with a tie-up with HDFC ERGO to offer general insurance to customers. Earlier this year, the company was acquired by NASDAQ-listed Ebix and at the time had said that it would diversify into the insurance segment through its 75,000 physical outlets.
The partnership will allow ItzCash to offer a range of general insurance policies including health, motor, fire and auto from HDFC ERGO. These products will be available to customers through ItzCash’s distribution network. Under the arrangement, the entire process right from filing an application to making the payment will be executed digitally through their network. The partnership will also provide the customers with the convenience to pay premiums at the nearest ItzCash outlet.
Note that ItzCash might be tying up with other insurance players and when it was acquired, it mentioned that it is trying to build a financial exchange. The exchange would allow the company to offer insurance and loan products from multiple companies. With Ebix’s investment, the company had also said that it would diversify into international markets in Australia and Brazil.
Financials and new businesses
ItzCash reported revenues of Rs 250 crores for the financial year 2016-17 (FY17), a growth of 40% year on year (from approximately Rs 180 crore), and turned profitable. Some of the new businesses started by ItzCash include:
– International remittance. Ebix also bought Money Transfer Service Scheme (MTSS) Business of YouFirst Money Express and Wall Street Finance Limited. This allowed ItzCash to diversify to international inward remittances and the acquisition will give Ebix access to an MTSS licence.
– Third party POS terminals: The company said in April that it will deploy 100,000 POS terminals targeting small businesses and shopkeepers in the year. It had started the POS business in early December 2016 and so far has deployed 30,000 terminals. This is a new segment for ItzCash, and is a space that already has competition from Mswipe, Ezetap, Oxigen and PayU.
– Invested in Finly: In February, ItzCash made an undisclosed equity investment in Bangalore-based expense management company Finly which works in the corporate expense management space.
– BBPOU: In July 2016, it got an approval from the RBI to launch a Bharat Bill Payments Operating Unit (BBPOU). The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) set up the Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS), a centralized interoperable bill payment system. BBPOUs are units which can create an agent network and will be responsible for on-boarding billers and aggregators.