It’s no secret that in today’s changing tech world there’s an app for everything. Ever since Apple launched its Apple Store in 2009, the app market has grown into a multi-million dollar business. Financial apps are part of everyday life as we constantly use them to perform different tasks. Recently, a new breed of applications is gaining market recognition, “super-apps”. For some, they might be considered a threat whereas, for others, they’re an opportunity to innovate and become an industry disruptor.
Simply put, a super-app is a conglomeration of applications placed under a platform or integrated interface that provides an ecosystem of services. All of them are customized to fit the needs and wants of the average user. Similar to a marketplace, a super-app provides added value to end consumers via third-party offerings. Its core benefit is that it leverages big data and analytics to assess and predict behavior in order to customize services and products.
Super-apps have increased in popularity due to the changing behaviors of the modern user. Now more than ever, people are using their smart devices to shop online, access various banking services and products, hold meetings, book holidays, watch movies, monitor their health, and more. As a consequence, super-apps can stand out and consolidate these services and provide easy access to all of them from a single platform or interface.
Rather than use different apps to perform multiple tasks, a super-app is like a one-stop shop with streamlined access. It provides convenience, ease of use, and customization, bringing together a variety of experiences, functions, and services under a single umbrella platform. Maintaining user engagement is yet another challenge that many businesses have. Convincing users to continue using an app is challenging and the key to maintaining that retention is to offer added in-app benefits.
For decades, the financial industry has been ruled by legacy systems, unstructured data, and the resistance to change and adapt to modern technologies. With open banking going mainstream, financial organizations have no choice but to comply if they want to stay competitive. A super-apps can be extremely useful as it enables easy data structuring from multiple sources. This way, companies can target needs more accurately and deliver products that customers actually will use.
In the near future, open banking will work together with super banking apps to maximize customization and create an ecosystem that can enable platforms to use customer data to create tailored experiences. Furthermore, easy access to services and products from a single platform will help super-apps to access open banking data for monitoring transactions, making payments, and performing additional banking operations from a smart device.
Technologies like machine learning, AI, and analytics can use data from open banking to develop products that are relevant to the end consumer. This way, super-apps will get closer to fostering a data-based sharing culture across the entire business ecosystem. As open banking transitions to open data and open finance, super-apps will connect and access a pool of partners eager to provide speed when developing products and thus widen a financial apps institution’s customer base.
Modern banks open to innovation are already considering the super-apps ecosystem. The majority are well-aware of the benefits, the main one being to provide customized customer experiences. “Banking as a service”, or BaaS, makes integration seamless, and although there are regulatory frameworks in place around the financial apps industry, institutions are looking for solutions to adapt. With super-apps, they can provide loans, investment opportunities, e-commerce, loans, and a lot more.
Change is inevitable, especially in today’s digital world. Consumers want access to services and products fast, but they also want them to be tailored to their needs and wants. For financial apps to stand out, they must turn into super-apps capable of exceeding customer expectations by including financial and non-financial offerings.
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