An article by the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission’s Bureau of Combating Illegal Financial Activities in the “Insurance Industry Risk Observation” made the supervision of network mutual assistance the focus of discussion.As a form of non-governmental mutual assistance, the online mutual assistance that started in 2011 has been increasing due to factors such as small payment amount and low participation threshold. In 2016, due to the intervention of capital, it has blossomed everywhere. After the big waves, the current online mutual assistance Has become a game between giants.
The article stated that Internetization has made illegal commercial insurance activities spread more widely, faster, and more difficult to regulate. There are a large number of network mutual aid platforms such as Hu Hubao and Water Drop Mutual Assistance, which are non-licensed operations. Stakeholder risks cannot be ignored. Some pre-charging model platforms have formed deposits and risk of running away. If improper handling and management are not in place, it may cause Social risk.
What cannot be ignored is that network mutual assistance has enabled the public to have a more universal risk protection, as a supplement to medical insurance and commercial insurance, making more people pay attention to their own health problems.
However, in addition to the risks in the model, user experience is also a major problem for many platforms. A reporter from the Economic Observer found on the Black Cat complaint platform that there are not many complaints about mutual assistance online.
The risk protection platform in the eyes of users has another consideration in the eyes of giants. How to make better use of these traffic and platforms to explore profitable business, just like insurance, and then health management, taking Waterdrop as an example, this model has been achieved. Phased results, after Alipay, the layout of giants such as Didi, Sina, and Ping An undoubtedly have similar considerations.
The boundary between charity and commerce is becoming increasingly blurred, and the scale of formation cannot be ignored. How to supervise has become the most important issue currently facing network mutual assistance.
Network mutual help grows in recent years
People with the same risk protection needs use the Internet to gather together and realize mutual protection among all members through a risk sharing plan-this may be a more reasonable interpretation of network mutual assistance. The use of mutual assistance mechanisms to jointly defend against risks has long existed. This is also the embryonic form of the insurance industry. However, after a period of development, when insurance is “imported”, a more mature share-holding insurance mechanism has been formed by domestic absorption, which has directly surpassed the “foreign” Mutual mechanism” this stage of development.
Because of this, when the Internet began to extend to various industries, the initial players of network mutual assistance regarded it as a curved road to enter the insurance industry.
In 2011, Martin Zhang, a young man who had worked in the insurance industry for several years, launched an online small mutual aid platform-“Anticancer Commune”. After five years of hard work, he has accumulated 200,000 members.
That is to say, in 2016, when there were more than 200,000 anti-cancer civil society members, Shen Peng resigned and started his business after the merger of Meituan and Dianping after the end of the war, and Waterdrop was established.
Two young entrepreneurs have a similarity. They both want to enter the insurance field. However, for the strictly regulated financial industry, the license threshold is not easy to surpass. Because of capital and other factors, they can only enter the market with a “curve”.
But Shen Peng was even more fortunate. When he entered the market, there were mutual aid platforms on the market to explore the way forward. In addition to the Anti-Cancer Commune, there were also e Mutual Aid under Pan-China Insurance, plus the Meituan’s promotion. The model quickly raised the “funding” business as a user base, and Waterdrop Mutual Assistance developed rapidly. Now, Shen Peng’s insurance dream has been realized. In recent years, the company has won the insurance intermediary license and the Water Drop Insurance Mall has been launched.
And easy financing and easy mutual assistance, which have a similar background to the water drop company, are another big player in this market. The company’s membership is also as high as tens of millions. They have also obtained insurance intermediary licenses after the rapid development of fundraising and mutual assistance businesses, and even attracted Few insurance industry talents joined.
Influx of giants
The birth of Xiang Hu Bao is a milestone event for the development of network mutual assistance. It is also a time when supervisors and traditional insurance companies have a deeper understanding of network mutual assistance.
The predecessor of Xiang Hu Bao was “Mutual Insurance”, a product that once set off a “heat wave” phenomenon in the insurance market. The number of members who joined in one day reached one million, and reached 3.3 million in three days. By the eighth day, it exceeded 10 million. Until the supervision presses the pause button for its insurance status, the number of people accumulated on the platform has exceeded 20 million. This number may need to be accumulated by a traditional insurance company for many years to reach.
On October 16, 2018, Ant Insurance and Xinmei Life Mutual Insurance Co., Ltd. jointly launched a “mutual insurance” for ant members to achieve a low threshold for serious illness protection and mutual assistance. After joining the mutual insurance plan, participating members will receive a group insurance contract named “Xinmei Life Mutual Insurance Social Mutual Insurance Group Critical Illness Insurance”. The insured is Ant Member (Beijing) Network Technology Service Co., Ltd., Xinmei Mutual As the insurer, ant members who must participate in the “mutual insurance” are the insured.
However, in the process of rapid accumulation of users, the platform suddenly changed under the supervision of intervention. On November 27, Alipay’s official WeChat issued a statement stating that from 12:00 noon on November 27, “mutual protection” will be upgraded to a network mutual assistance plan, and the name will be changed to “mutual treasure”. Under the intervention of supervision, Xinmei Mutual retired in violation of regulations.
At that time, less than a month after “Mutual Insurance” went online, Zhonghui Property Mutual Insurance Co., Ltd. and JD Finance jointly launched “JD Mutual Insurance” and started a low-key internal test, but it was “tragically taken off” within two days. , Leaving 3333 participating personnel waiting for the product to go online again.
Being forced to take off the insurance status did not hinder the enthusiasm of members too much. One year after it went online, Xiang Hubao announced that its members exceeded 100 million, becoming the world’s largest online mutual help community.
During this period of time, JD.com, Didi, Suning, Qihoo 360, and Meituan have entered the network mutual assistance market one after another: JD Finance launched “JD Mutual Insurance”, Suning launched “Ning Mutual Insurance”, and 360 launched 360 Mutual Assistance. In January 2019, Didi Company launched “Diandi Mutual”, Meituan and Sina’s “Meituan Mutual Assistance Program for Young People” and “Sina Mutual Assistance” respectively. In May of this year, Xiaomi also became A member who entered the field of network mutual assistance.
In addition to Internet giants, network mutual assistance also ushered in a new player-Ping An of China. In January 2020, Ping An Good Doctor, a subsidiary of Ping An of China, launched the step by step mutual aid program; the next day, Ping An Insurance Good Life, a WeChat public account of Ping An of China, launched a medical rehabilitation program for elder fractures. This has caused more subtle changes in mutual assistance and insurance.
According to the “2020 China Internet Mutual Assistance Development Special Research Report” released by iiMedia Consulting, as of the end of 2019, China’s Internet Mutual Assistance has covered 150 million people. It is estimated that China’s Internet Mutual Assistance coverage will reach 17.8% in 2020, and the Internet Mutual Assistance Coverage in 2022 The number will reach 390 million.
The “Network Mutual Aid Industry White Paper (2020)” released by the Ant Group Research Institute shows that among the 150 million people participating in the network mutual aid, more than 60% are young people under 40, and nearly 80% have an annual income of less than 100,000 yuan. , 72.1% of people come from third-tier and lower cities and rural areas.
The white paper also stated that in 2019, various online mutual aid platforms helped about 40,000 people throughout the year, and the mutual aid amount exceeded 5 billion yuan. That is, each member who participated in the mutual aid application for the critical illness mutual aid fund received an average amount of mutual aid. It is 125,000 yuan.
Frequent complaints from users
In a research article titled “Analysis of Illegal Commercial Insurance Activities and Countermeasures and Suggestions” by the Bureau of Combating Illegal Financial Activities of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, the network mutual assistance platform that has developed rapidly in recent years is mentioned, saying that it has “a large number of members and is a non-licensed Operation, stakeholder risks should not be ignored. Some pre-charging model platforms have formed precipitation funds, and there is a risk of running away. If improperly handled and poorly managed, it may also cause social risks.” He said that he will study access standards as soon as possible to achieve licensed operation .
In the article, Mutual Bao and Water Drop were specifically mentioned, and these two platforms also responded in the first place. While emphasizing its own operational norms, it expressed support for the regulatory authorities to implement mutual supervision and raise the barriers for industry access to regulate the market.
In this regard, some people in the industry said that there have been calls for strengthening the supervision of network mutual assistance for a long time, and it is believed that relevant management measures will be implemented soon.
Driven by capital in 2016, these mutual assistance platforms grew savagely, but while developing rapidly, there were also illegal activities such as illegal fund-raising, absconding of funds, and embezzlement of fees. At the end of 2016, the original China Insurance Regulatory Commission issued the “Notice on Launching Special Rectification Work for Illegal Engagement in Insurance Business in the Form of Network Mutual Assistance Programs.” Under strict supervision, nearly 100 platforms announced their dissolution or withdrawal, with fewer than ten adherents.
Later, with the influx of more and more giants and the increase of users, the regulatory issue has once again become an urgent problem for network mutual assistance.
Chen Bingzheng, director of the China Insurance and Risk Management Research Center of the School of Economics and Management of Tsinghua University, once talked about the supervision of network mutual assistance. In his view, since network mutual assistance is neither insurance nor charity, there is no corresponding regulatory authority to supervise it. This has planted dangerous seeds for the standardized development of network mutual assistance.
In addition, many mutual assistance platforms lack a sound governance structure. The existing network mutual assistance is managed and controlled by the platform and the company that controls the platform. There is almost no corresponding guarantee mechanism for how the organization and development of the platform reflects the will and interests of all members.
The problem of risk control is the most questioned network mutual assistance. For example, the financial risk of member payment being misappropriated or runaway, the moral hazard of members using false information to defraud insurance, and this is where the supervision has been the most worried.
It is true that the name mutual assistance is based on the voluntary basis of members. Once the size of the membership falls below a certain level and the overall risk level of the members remaining in the mutual assistance reaches a certain level, the mutual assistance mechanism will tend to collapse. When Mutual Insurance was first established, it was stated that the number of participants less than 3 million would affect the continued operation of the mutual aid program.
What is more obvious is that the current mutual aid platforms are all supported by capital. Although mutual aid platforms continue to advertise their charity and non-profit nature, in the eyes of capital giants, the users and traffic gathered on the platform are only the entrance to other businesses.
A reporter from the Economic Observer found on the Black Cat complaint platform that there are not many complaints about mutual assistance online. “Unauthorized deduction of money from my account, the situation is bad, why is this? Inexplicable? What is 360 mutual assistance?” “Fanhua e Mutual Assistance rejected my application, I supplemented the information to appeal. 5 months have not received the rejection notice The letter also deducted the average fee.” “I donated 100 yuan to people in difficulty on this platform, but 103 yuan was deducted when I paid. It didn’t show that I bought any value-added services, and I couldn’t even find where to spend it. This is 3 yuan. Does Easy Money collect handling fees in the name of love assistance and mutual assistance for serious illnesses? Why is it mandatory to join mutual assistance for serious illnesses? Is this a bully clause?…”
Complaints of this kind abound. The Economic Observer reporter concluded that, for example, a large number of customers complained about 360 Mutual Aid, Mutual Bao’s malicious deduction, e Mutual Aid did not give mutual aid but continued to deduct the member’s share of the cost. It is difficult to apply for Mutual Aid by Water Drop Mutual Aid and Easy Mutual Aid, and even Easy Mutual Aid members said, After members apply for mutual aid, the processing cycle is long, and some people have died for a long time, and there is no investigation result.
In the interactive zone of public welfare and commerce, the development momentum of network mutual assistance is still rapid, and the platform is facing the challenge of user retention and activity. As a supplement to commercial insurance, it is expected that Mutual Aid will provide warmer services while staking out the land; hope that the industry will usher in licensed supervision and achieve more sunny and standardized development.