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WhatsApp to pilot insurance, microcredit and pension projects

Abhijit Bose WhatsApp India head

WhatsApp will pilot multiple projects to deliver insurance, microcredit and pension products to Indians over the next two to three years, WhatsApp’s India head, Abhijit Bose, announced at the Global Fintech Fest hosted by IAMAI on Wednesday. For each vertical, WhatsApp will partner with banks, NBFCs and technology companies for the pilots. The platform will co-invest in projects “that show promise” and scale them. However, Bose warned that these solutions will not be one-stop solutions. WhatsApp’s partners — banks, financial service companies, fintech service providers — will be the ones to provide the services. WhatsApp will adopt a venture model for fintech. He also cautioned that these are “controlled pilots” where “we don’t know what will work and we don’t know what won’t work”. It is on the basis of user acceptance that that WhatsApp will invest and scale up the “solutions that deliver results”. For pension, WhatsApp could, for instance, test with a ₹50/day product from regulated institutions, according to a slide that Bose shared. WhatsApp would assist with distribution to reduce friction and operational costs. [caption id="attachment_218872" align="aligncenter" width="1440"] Source: Bose's presentation[/caption] Onboard more banks to cater to rural, lower income segments This year, WhatsApp wants to onboard more banks, especially to cater to rural and lower income segments, Bose said. Earlier, it had onboarded ICICI Bank (which had more than 10 lakh users within three months of launch), Kotak Mahindra Bank (which has 20 lakh users and 98% YoY growth) and HDFC Bank. WhatsApp is hoping to…

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