Root has revealed the first life insurance product on its insurance API, along with plans for several new features for its programmable bank account.
One of the features it plans to launch this year is scheduled RootCode.
“Think AWS Lambda and cron with your bank account,” said Root.
With scheduled code, you can program your bank account to do things like send recurring dynamic payments – such as your electricity bill – or send yourself weekly usage summaries by email.
Root said it is also working on tools to prevent users from accidentally transferring funds when they make a mistake in their code.
It has also tested open-sourcing its iOS and Android apps to Root beta users.
“This has been working great so far, and we’ll be looking to improve the processes and tooling around this as well,” said Root.
“We’re still in private beta, only accepting selected people onto the platform, but are planning to break into public beta early in this year.”
Root told MyBroadband it plans to launch the service commercially this year.
Life insurance for young parents
Root said it plans to open an API for insurance products on its platform soon.
It ran user tests on long-term and short-term insurance products, and decided to focus its next apps on life insurance to optimise the platform in one area.
The first life insurance product based on the development, a low-cost product for young parents called Hero, went live in December.
“Development started during an insurance hackathon we co-hosted in August, and the team is now selling real policies,” said Root.
“Like the world of banking, insurance is a highly-regulated industry. To get a product to market can take months and literally require millions of rand.”
“While working with some great people at MMI Holdings, we had the opportunity to experiment with Insurance as an API, making something that’s traditionally very heavyweight, programmable.”
The API takes care of the complexities of insurance licenses and legal compliance.
“That means makers can focus on their product and customers, leaving the red tape to us,” said Root.