PolicyPal is first start-up to graduate from MAS programme

Founder and CEO of PolicyPal, Val Yap.
Founder and CEO of PolicyPal, Val Yap. PHOTO: ST FILE

PolicyPal, a Singapore-based firm focusing on insurance, has become the first start-up to graduate from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) programme to foster financial technology, or fintech.

The firm will start operations as a registered direct insurance broker and exempt financial adviser under its subsidiary BaoXianBaoBao from Sept 1.

The move comes after a successful stint in what is called a "regulatory sandbox", a programme aimed at encouraging more fintech experimentation in a safe and secure way.

It enables financial institutions and start-ups to experiment with innovative financial products or services in the market, but within a well-defined space and duration. It also includes appropriate safeguards to contain the consequences of failure and maintain the overall safety and soundness of the financial system.

PolicyPal has developed an app that uses artificial intelligence to simplify and digitise insurance, making it easier for both customers and organisations to manage their insurance policies.

The six-month sandbox trial allowed PolicyPal to test the technology and validate its distribution model in Singapore.

PolicyPal will now focus on scaling up its product offerings to individuals and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with the aim of helping them analyse, manage and optimise their insurance portfolio.

Founded in April last year, PolicyPal employs algorithms to analyse a person's current insurance coverage figures and automatically propose ways they can improve their insurance protection.

The firm, which is being incubated by PayPal, has recently brought on several organisations as clients for group insurance management and will roll out additional corporate services for a growing pool of SME clients.

It has also partnered some major insurance companies here - AIG, Aviva, AXA, Etiqa and NTUC Income.

PolicyPal plans to scale up its existing platform and operations beyond Singapore to include Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia and Thailand.

"The MAS sandbox allowed us to experiment with technology applications and our product offerings in order to fulfil our vision of making insurance simple and convenient for all," said PolicyPal founder Val Yap.

"We are delighted to be the first start-up to graduate from the MAS regulatory sandbox and are looking forward to scale up ... under BaoXianBaoBao to provide individuals and organisations with better insurance coverage."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 30, 2017, with the headline 'PolicyPal is first start-up to graduate from MAS programme'. Print Edition | Subscribe