Imagine an app that allows you to access your bank accounts, make payments, take out loans, handle your insurance policies, monitor your investment dashboard, and more—all in one!
Wouldn’t that be the epitome of convenience? Such nifty apps are no longer a fiction.
Embrace yourself when we say these SUPER APPS are on their way to radically disrupt the way we know accessibility in digital banking.
Before diving deep into Super apps in consumer banking, let us quickly recap what a Super app is.
What are Super apps?
A Super app is a single portal that powers a wide range of functions and services shaped around users‘ daily lifestyle needs. Technically, a super app is a collection of multiple niche applications that establish an ecosystem of fully-integrated third-party services aided by a payment system. This creates a mini operating system that acts like a digital assistant, working at the user‘s convenience as one can stay in the app to carry out a multitude of tasks.
Although the concept has been creating massive buzz recently, it isn‘t new. Businesses like TenCent, Alipay, Grab, Paytm, and Gojek have been the frontrunners for years. Let us give you a quick overview of how some of these companies support an all-inclusive platform.
TenCent is a Chinese company that started as a simple messaging platform (named WeChat). Once they built their billion-plus customer base, they slowly set up a network of services, including virtual wallets, payments, hotel reservations, taxi rides, medical consultations, games, and much more.
An example that is closer to home is Paytm. In 2010, Paytm was launched as a payment application. Today, it offers a comprehensive set of services, including online shopping, credit cards, loans, repayments, microloans, BNPL, insurance, ticketing services, retail brokerage products, online games, and more on its platform. Given the platforms‘ extensive acceptance, several fintechs are now trying to recreate a similar model customized to their customer bases.
What makes them Super?
What marks off a Super app from a regular app is the element of multifunctionality, comprehensiveness, and data privacy. Further, it best suits businesses with extensive data and a large customer base. In addition, rendering a gamut of services and products through one application gives customers a sense of belonging, ownership, and safety, which significantly enhances the customer experience.
Here are some of the key factors that contributed to the popularity and success of Super apps.
One-click relevance: Provides customers with personalized overviews and product offers. Rolling everything customers need to transact through daily life into a Super app is one way to core relevance and success.
Real-time communications: Chatbot interactions that offer real-time assistance, including upselling, fraud prevention, nudges, and recommendations.
Connectivity: Anything from financial, business, lifestyle, and health to government can be accessed through one app.
Super apps in Consumer Banking
Super apps in the banking sector are a rare feat. Conversely, fintechs quickly recognized the potential of enabling ultra-personalization and budget automation using AI-powered financial assistants. They are keen to build Super apps that can leverage aggregators with established digital marketplaces to connect users with an existing ecosystem for digital banking and financial services.
Ideally, a financial Super app is a multi-function digital banking and payments solution featuring financial services that are beyond payments. The app must enable consumers to perform most of their daily activities digitally, like bill and fee payments, purchases, fund transfers, bookings, tickets, subscriptions, investment management, and insurance purchases and management. Interestingly, the list can keep adding as many functionalities as possible to improve customer engagement and satisfaction.
According to recent studies, about 50% of consumers use mobile application or website at least once a week to interact with their bank. This stands as a testimony that today‘s consumers and businesses expect their banks to be a tap away and swiftly adapt to their digital needs. Experts believe, with embedded finance and open banking, any provider can become a super app that serves as a gateway that delivers the ever-growing demand for convenience in the banking process — rather than just a series of disconnected/loose-ended financial services.
When it comes to consumer banking, it’s all about comprehensive experience in a Super app environment. And it takes more than just tech. It requires full partner–network management, a clear understanding of compliance, rights, responsibilities, liabilities, commitment to developing a broad-ranging ecosystem, and more. For instance, a Neobank can provide an ‘N‘ number of financial products and services by integrating with regulated FI at the back end and tech–driven fintech at the front end.
Essentials of Financial Super apps
Intuitive user experience and interconnectedness are the cornerstones of a financial Super app. These will allow users to easily access all available features. Here are some of the key elements that a financial Super app must include:
- Shared wallet
- Savings accounts
- Budgeting tools
- Bill reminders
- Auto bill payments
- Managing subscriptions
- Investment options
- QR code payments and rewards
How Open Banking powers Super apps?
Super apps use financial data from multiple sources to create financial products and services to meet customers‘ needs.
But how do they get to know what their users need?
What provides them with the information they need to create an omni-channel experience?
Enter Open Banking.
Open banking is the foundation of interoperability in the banking sector. For novices, Open Banking system uses APIs to provide third-party financial service providers access to consumer banking, transactions, and other financial data from banks and NBFCs. To understand the working of Open Banking, read here.
The Open Banking system presents the platform with a spectrum of opportunities to tailor financial services to cater to each user‘s requirements. It employs advanced technologies like AI, ML, and Data Analytics to maximize personalization and build customer-relevant products by leveraging customers‘ data. Using advanced technology to analyze data and develop customer-centric products/services fosters data-sharing culture and data-driven decision-making across the ecosystem.
With the help of Open Banking, Super apps can empower customers to check their account balances, make payments, track recent transactions, and perform other traditional banking operations from the app‘s digital wallet. This strikingly reduces the need to access a bank‘s app. In addition, as Open Banking expands into open finance and open data, Super apps can access and connect with a wide range of partners to augment go–to–market speed for new products and broader their customer base.
API infrastructure is the essence of embedded finance and open banking. A good API provider wraps intricacies like disputed payments and connecting to multiple suppliers inside the API system. This allows intended apps to work together in several ways and develop a comprehensive ecosystem. In addition, APIs empower Super apps to handle extensive, inter-connected data through multiple levels without disturbing the user journey. Fintechs leverage APIs to seamlessly incorporate functionalities into cloud-native apps. They employ full-fledged, mobile-first, customizable API stack to simplify consumer banking and enable end-to-end customer-centric retail offerings.
Want to understand the nuts and bolts of Super apps? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
To boot, what would an ideal Super app be for you? Let us know in the comments below.
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