By Chua Sue-Ann
KUALA LUMPUR: Singapore-based financial technology start-up GoBear yesterday launched its Malaysia website, a meta search engine that offers online comparisons of insurance and financial products.
GoBear is currently present in Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia. There are plans to launch similar websites in Hong Kong, Vietnam and Indonesia, according to its press release.
“We start in meta search. The end game is that we want to be the TripAdvisor for finance,” said GoBear chief executive officer Andre Hesselink at the launch.
GoBear Malaysia currently only offers comparisons for some 40 types of travel insurance products and over 200 credit cards.
Country director Iskandar Ezzahuddin said GoBear Malaysia will soon add more products to its site, including personal loans, car insurance and term life insurance.
In Malaysia, GoBear is entering an increasingly saturated space that is already occupied by established financial comparison websites, such as iMoney and RinggitPlus, as well as the online channels of banks and insurance providers. Both iMoney and RinggitPlus have been offering comparisons of credit cards, loans, broadband and insurance products for several years now.
Iskandar said GoBear can claim to offer unbiased comparisons of products because it is a meta search engine that pulls publicly available information for easy comparisons, much like a search engine does.
“We are in a position to be unbiased because we are not selling anything, we are not brokers. We are not saying one product is better than others, but that different products have different features. It’s up to the users to choose what’s best for them,” Iskandar said.
Also, GoBear’s business model is not commission-based. Instead, GoBear operates via a “click model” where it charges product owners, namely financial services and insurance providers, for clicks that direct traffic from GoBear’s websites to a particular product page.
This article was originally published on The Edge Markets and first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on May 6, 2016.
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