WhatsAppening to Insurance?

Do you all remember when WhatsApp launched its payment services in partnership with Google Pay, Amazon Pay, PhonePe and other providers?


Us neither.

It all happened overnight, with one smooth update, and the next day, we all had payment options rolled out right in front of us on our most used messaging app.

I personally have been a WhatsApp user since the day it rolled out in India. I was a very hesitant user at first, seeing as the whole privacy and security was an issue at the time.

I must say, WhatsApp has evolved from being just an app that teenagers use to send memes to each other, and adults use to send “Good morning” texts in group chats, to a whole powerhouse of utilities.

For instance, this time last year, WhatsApp rolled out the “Catalog” feature, where users go skim through their favourite businesses and select products from their exclusive catalog, all without having to log in to any website and thus, avoiding the hassle of the whole “adding things to cart” feature.

And then.. They introduced the “cart” feature in their business app as well! Now all users have to do is go through their favourite products, and add them in the cart, post which even the payment option can be carried out through WhatsApp itself.

Truly an all-inclusive app!

Just when we thought WhatsApp had done it all, out they came with the news yesterday that they were rolling out Insurance via their app in India!

Yesterday WhatsApp was trending throughout the insurance industry, for having come out with an update where they would be selling insurance products in India, underwritten by SBI General Insurance Company.

Further, The CEO also went ahead and announced that they were rolling out a host of micro-pension products, backed by HDFC Pension Management Company.

Immediately after they announced this yesterday at the Facebook’s Fuel for India 2020 virtual campaign, the question arose- “Why?”

Here’s why- because Insurance is the need of the hour. As simple as that. In times like these, times filled with uncertainty and dread, what every single individual needs is a cover. And a little bit of a reassurance, that they are secure even if something untoward happens to them or their loved ones. And what is better than integrating people’s needs into the app they use the most? This thought, according to the CEO, is what made them come up with the whole new feature. Why now, you ask? The answer lies in the very question itself. NOW, is when we all need it the most. With the whole pandemic raging, we are all looking for a silver lining everywhere, and WhatsApp provides that very silver lining to individuals, especially senior citizens, to have a safety net to fall back on, without too much of a hassle in the form of physical presence or exchange of hard copies of documents.

The app which saw a massive growth rate from 200 mil to 2 bil. Monthly users in just a couple of years also believes that it can make a difference by making it accessible in the remotest areas of the country, thereby spreading awareness and at the same time ensuring that health care is just a click away.

Further, WhatsApp features ensure that the documents not only stay safe, but are also easily available for backup, which brings ease of access into the picture, making it all the more user-friendly. I must admit, it is tempting for me as a consumer to get my ‘senior citizen’ father this service just so that his Blood Pressure won’t be affected when he decides to forget his documents under the coffee table.

For a giant that is already dipping its toes in various services, the Menlo Park giant says it is only just getting started.

They say digital way is the way to go- which is what has changed my question to “WhatsAppening?” these days. One can only wonder what’s next.

On this note, I think I might go add some products in my WhatsApp cart to quench that mid-week shopping thirst.