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Insurers Target Payment Banks, Apps To Boost Penetration

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Insurers Target Payment Banks, Apps To Boost Penetration
Nirmala Konjengbam - 06 October 2019

Mumbai, October 6: To boost market penetration, most insurance companies are pairing up with payment banks and providing app-based services. Every player has delved into this space, be it ICICI Pru, Star Health or Bharti AXA.
It’s been seen that despite providing financial cover during various eventualities like health emergencies, disaster, financial loss emanating from robbery and others, insurance penetration in India is abysmally low.
According to data provided by insurance regulator IRDAI, penetration in India stand at 3.69 per cent in 2017 against the global average of 6.3 per cent. In fact, the industry grew by just one percentage point in the last 16 years.
ICICI Prudential Life Insurance recently announced a corporate agency agreement with Airtel Payments Bank to provide easy access to life insurance and savings plans to the under-insured and promote financial inclusion.
Through the partnership, ICICI would try to leverage widespread distribution network of the payment bank. Airtel Payments Bank now boasts of a physical presence in all 29 states of the country through its 500,000+ banking points. On offer would be, ICICI Pru iProtect Smart and ICICI Pru Anmol Bachat.
"Bridging the protection gap in the country is imperative and the need of the hour is to offer affordable and simple products and leverage technology to smoothen the purchase experience,” ICICI Prudential Life Insurance MD and CEO NS Kannan said.
Airtel had signed a similar deal with Bharti AXA Life Insurance earlier this year.
Star Health and Allied Insurance too signed a similar deal recently. They tied up with Paytm.
Speaking on the occasion, Anand Roy, joint MD of Star Health said, “This partnership is an important move towards our expansion strategy which includes a strong distribution network backed by technological innovations to take health insurance to every individual present in any city or town across the country.”
The focus of insurance companies is to use the mode of digital innovation and reach the out-of-reach Indian households easily with setup of digital payment banks and apps. The step is expected to give the necessary upliftment to insurance penetration in India and so should the underinsured and financial excluded benefit.

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