Wesurance Group, a Hong Kong-based insurtech, has gone live with the first end-to-end APIs on a local data exchange, further extending its ability to help insurance companies reach new customers.
JETCO, which began life as an alliance of ATM networks for retail banks in Hong Kong, launched APIX last year to enable API connectivity among banks, merchants and fintechs.
So far the only insurance presence on APIX has been banks’ registering information about the insurance policies they sell, but Wesurance is the first API connection that enables transactions, says Natalie Fong, the insurtech’s COO.
Wesurance is in talks with a similar type of API exchange in Indonesia, which Fong declined to name. It already is active in Singapore and Indonesia, and will open in Thailand this year.
The insurtech launched in 2017 and has been building a small coterie of carriers and merchant sites that it can connect through its Software-as-a-Service offering, which it calls GoLion Transformation Ecosystem, or GTE (although the company is better known simply as GoLion).
Allied World Insurance, Starr Insurance Companies and digital insurer Blue are its carriers, with several more in the pipeline, Fong says.
“Insurers want access to new customers, and we create the moment for them,” Fong said. Her analogy is a popcorn maker, which might struggle to sell popcorn to shoppers in a supermarket. “But when you go to a movie theater, you buy popcorn.”
We create the momentNatalie Fong, Wesurance
In this analogy, the popcorn is insurance, and the experience of watching a film is an e-commerce platform – and Wesurance is the movie theater that brings customers to the merchant, creating the right environment for someone to make a separate purchase.
Wesurance puts insurers in touch with new customers and also manages the process, so insurers do not have to interact with multiple e-commerce sites. Its GoLion app has a “one-stop insurance mall” combining merchants and insurers, but JETCO’s platform has the potential to access many more participants.
The products it helps sell are aimed at first-time users of insurance who are unlikely to otherwise buy such a product: mainly young people who are receptive to event-based products that are simple enough to sell online. This includes personal-accident cover for things like driver learning (before you have a license), skiing, or for domestic helpers.
What Wesurance does not intend to do is work with comparison sites such as MoneyHero or GoBear. “Our CEO, Eddie Chang, doesn’t believe in comparisons,” Fong said.