In a bid to increase its market share in China’s burgeoning personal insurance industry, Alipay has launched a reward points based free health insurance service in collaboration with Taikang Life – one of China’s largest life insurers.
The new offering allows users under the age of 60 to opt in for insurance every time they make offline payments with their Alipay. The more often you use Alipay, the more points get accumulated allowing users to spend up to 2000RMB on any one of the 25 major illnesses registered by the system.
Within a month of launching, 13 million Alipay users have opted in to the rewards system with the vast majority of them being new to health insurance, according to publicly available data.
From Taikang’s perspective, the opportunity lies in the scale of Alipay’s usage and reach. Using traditional channels, it’s difficult to imagine how Taikang could amass 13 million new policy holders within a month.
This example demonstrates the strength of mobile payment providers such as Alipay and WeChat. As the point of sale represents both a cross selling and data capture opportunity, insurers need to think about how they can bring their underwriting skills that mobile payment providers lack, be it in life or health insurance.