Telenor has formed a new joint venture that will offer mobile-manageable insurance products to its network of wireless customers in Asia's emerging markets.
The company revealed it has teamed up with UK-based MicroEnsure Holdings to form MicroEnsure Asia.
The joint venture will work to introduce insurance offerings to Telenor's business units in the region, and seek to “work with other mobile network operators and distribution partners in Asia and Eastern Europe.”
MicroEnsure, a subsidiary of non-profit microfinance organization Opportunity International, has around 4 million customers in Asia and Africa. The company provides simplified insurance products with the ability to conduct the required transactions over mobile phones.
The company estimates that less than 5% of the population in many Asian countries have any kind of insurance.
Telenor has controlling stakes in Bangladesh's Grameenphone, Thailand's dtac, Malaysia's DiGi and in Telenor Pakistan.
The company has also made significant investments in India, initially with the joint venture Uninor. But Telenor dissolved this JV and formed new venture Telewings following the Supreme Court's February 2012 decision to cancel 2G licenses held by Uninor and seven other companies.