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India’s demonetisation move is seen as an opportunity by insurers

  • Publish Date: Posted over 7 years ago

Axa has benefitted from the governments push to encourage more Indians to use banks, signing up over a million new Indian customers to their accident insurance products over the past three months. Other big insurance groups are eager to capitalise on the rapidly expanding $60bn market, with companies such as Allianz and Generali looking at ways they can profit from the surge in Indians entering the banking sector. The plans come as Narendra Modi, prime minister, revealed late last year that he would remove 86% of India’s cash supply to direct people towards the banks. The government has at the same time licensed almost a dozen payment banks, which are allowed to take small deposits, pay bills and transfer money through a mobile phone. The licence includes the ability to offer third-party financial products such as insurance; giving insurers access to a new customer base. Currently half of India’s population of 1.3bn people do not have a bank account. Bharti-Axa, a joint venture between insurance groups Bharti and Axa in India, signed a deal in November with Airtel, a leading telecoms group that has set up the first payment bank in India, Airtel Payment Bank. Every user of the bank is receiving free Bharti-Axa accident insurance of up to Rs100,000 ($1,500)