Amazon dipping its toes into the insurance market in India may likely have ripples effects for New Zealand, which is seen as a test bed for large organisations looking to try something new.
FintechNZ general manager James Brown says insurers in New Zealand hold over $20 billion in assets and over $15 billion in liabilities which are not insignificant amounts.
“What this clearly demonstrates is that we are ripe for new emerging technologies.
“This decision by Amazon is a serious move by one of the biggest global tech firms and is an indication that they are going after large markets with an insurance licence application already in.
“They have been in India for a while with the Amazon pay app, so they are clearly using this as a test bed.
“Insurance has, in the past, been slower to react than the banking world however, it looks like it will need to get its running shoes on with this announcement.
“Amazon’s Indian decision is expected to be worth $US280 billion by the year 2020,” Brown says.
The e-commerce giant is starting in India with life, health and general insurance products. The Seattle-based retail and technology company giant is aware there is a lot of room to expand in Indian market’s current financial climate, Brown says.
“Other tech businesses are also targeting the world’s second-most populated country. Walmart-backed Flipkart has applied for a licence to sell life and general insurance, while Paytm, which is backed by Asian giants Alibaba and Softbank, already has a corporate agency licence.
“We are certain Amazon’s move will be a point of discussion at the annual New Zealand fintech summit on November 29.
“As the New Zealand reputation for innovations in fintech and insurtech continues to grow, we expect international investors to attend the summit in November to discover and connect with our own fintech innovators. The UK is looking to a services-based free trade agreement post-Brexit which could add up to 20 percent to New Zealand’s GDP, based on Treasury statistics,” Brown says.