Facebook kicked off first edition of Facebook Fuel for India yesterday to highlighting the social networking giants’ commitment to the region. The day two of the event was focused on its instant messaging platform WhatsApp and Abhijit Bose, head of India, WhatsApp highlighted the four pillars that form WhatsApp’s vision for India namely growing the small and micro business ecosystem, creating easy access to business services, digital payments and social impact in India.
The company highlighted that to further digitise and scale the ecosystem, WhatsApp will continue to innovate, bringing new features and tools to the WhatsApp Business app which has been designed especially to help small businesses and kirana stores grow and scale.
At the event, Kiran Thomas, CEO at Jio Platforms, reiterated how WhatsApp and Jio Mart will digitise millions of kirana stores across the length and breadth of the country and enable post-pandemic economic recovery.
For large enterprises, WhatsApp mentioned that it will continue to invest in the Business API via features that enhance flexibility and customisation.
For its digital payments vertical, WhatsApp mentioned that it will continue to support the government’s efforts to drive financial inclusion with the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), a template that is ripe for global adoption. The company has also been working in collaboration with credible financial institutions and partners on pilots of micro-pension, micro-insurance and others.
Sharing some timelines, the Facebook backed messaging player said that by the end of this year, buying affordable health insurance coverage from SBI General will be a reality.
Similarly, with HDFC Pensions and pinBox Solutions, WhatsApp will be leveraged to help enable saving for a dignified retirement especially for people who do not have organised employment benefits or a retirement corpus to fall back on.
Also read: WhatsApp Pay yet to gain steam in India; only 3.1 lakh UPI transactions recorded in November
"We at HDFC Pension are also trying to play a key role in bringing critical financial services to Indians by putting affordability at the centre of our pension products," said Sumit Shukla, CEO, HDFC Pension Management Company. He added, "Also, WhatsApp as a platform is multilingual, secure and is revolutionising the way financial services are accessed and facilitated in our country."
Gautam Bhardwaj, co-founder, pinBox Solutions said, "Pension and social protection arrangements in India have been traditionally restricted to the formal sector salary workers. This is a gigantic problem, given that over 90% of our workforce are self-employed or are informal sector workers. Without pension benefits, each of them faces a very high risk of extreme poverty."
"The only sustainable option, therefore, is for us to enable and encourage the current, young, economically active, informal sector workers to start saving for their futures. WhatsApp platform will help us connect the supply and demand, as well as bring scale to our inclusive digital micro-pension programs."
(Edited by: By Jomy)
First Published: IST