Super Apps and Their Impact on Banking

How Super Apps Shape the Future of Banking

Every day, we move one step further from our old habits. All sectors feel the wind of change that has fallen to their share from the rapidly digitalizing world. The finance and banking sector is one of the areas where the most radical changes are experienced in terms of user habits and expectations. 

Of course, as physical boundaries blur in the digital pool of possibilities, the triggering effect of changes in certain industries on other industries grows exponentially. The cooperation of companies from different industries with Foreks Digital on behalf of financial solutions is proof of this. 

When we imagine the days when we were totally dependent on physical branches in traditional banking, we can see how digital technologies, such as the internet and smart devices, have made a radical difference in our habits and expectations. Now a new concept is emerging that will revolutionize functionality in these digital spaces: super-apps.

In this article, we will talk about super-apps that have the potential to completely change digital usage habits and have gained surprising popularity in many regions, especially in Asia, and how super-apps can change the banking industry.

What Is a Super-App?

Super-apps are mobile applications that provide the opportunity to perform operations from different sectors such as food delivery, shopping, payment services, news, entertainment, communication, ride-hailing, financial services, and more under a single application umbrella. They can be thought of as one-stop shops of the digital world. After logging in, the app’s users can quickly navigate between different systems that work in an integrated manner, and perform functionally interconnected operations. 

For example, when a user wants to buy tickets to a festival in a different country, they can purchase festival tickets, flight tickets, hotel reservations, and airport transfers in a single flow from a single application. Or right after learning about an important event in the world from a news source, a user can analyze the effects of this event on the financial world, without the need to switch to a different application, over the financial data coming to the super-app from a reliable source such as Foreks Digital.

Of course, providing these capabilities requires massive amounts of data flow and integration capabilities. Therefore, creating a super-app requires a high level of technical infrastructure. Besides, the legal responsibilities of super-apps are quite high. 

Aside from the fact that the official regulations that require compliance for various sectors are different, it is quite difficult to control such a large amount of data alone. This is a factor that slows down the development of super-apps in western countries. 

But in the Asian market, super-apps have quickly become a part of daily life for the vast majority of people. According to Business of Apps, in Q1 2021, WeChat, one of the largest super-apps in Asia, had 1.24 billion monthly active users.

The Rise of Super-Apps

The role of regional factors in the emergence of super-apps is undeniable. Especially in some Asian countries where super-apps have emerged, access to platforms such as Facebook and Google is very limited. Considering that these giants have a very dominant effect on the digital world in the west, there is great competition in Asia to fill the large space arising from the absence of these companies. 

For this reason, the concept of super-apps quickly became popular in Asia. For example, WeChat, one of the biggest super-apps, emerged as a messaging app but discovered this gap where it could use the power of its user base and changed its business model. 
However, there are reasons why the influence of super-apps has reached the West as well. One of the most important reasons is the uncontrolled increase in the number of applications over the years. App stores are like a never-ending pit and it is very difficult for the user to find the reliable application they need in this chaos. Although the change progresses slowly due to legal and cultural factors, the trend toward super-apps continues to increase in the West.

The Effect of Open Banking on Super-Apps

Open banking is a system that lets banks safely share their clients’ financial data with third parties via open APIs with users’ explicit consent. This financial data can contain information about financial habits and the products and services used. 

The use of open banking in cooperation with super-apps is important in adapting super-apps to users’ financial habits and improving the user experience. The use of open banking, which is an important step in the successful integration of banking systems into these giant applications, also gives clues about which operations users can choose to do from super-apps instead of mobile banking apps.

Super-Apps and the Banking Industry

Most operations currently performed through super-apps require the integration of digital systems of financial institutions into the apps. However, the convergence of super-apps and finance is not enough for the customer experience. As the industries covered by super-apps expand, user expectations are also turning towards the desire to perform all possible financial operations through these applications. Accordingly, banks working in cooperation with super-apps are possessing the potential to come to the fore in the competition between banks.

Today, mobile banking applications strive to include different financial instruments. It is no surprise that major banks strengthen their banking apps with solutions, such as omnichannel digital banking opportunities offered by Foreks Digital.

Right now, it’s hard to predict where the banking industry will go as super-apps continue to evolve. However, the paths that can be taken are clearly visible. The first opportunity for banks is to perfect the services they offer in line with user expectations and make them a priority alternative. Thus, they can persuade users to use banking applications instead of super-apps. 

In this way, banks can continue to be the element that interacts with users firsthand. However, in the long run, it may become very difficult to persuade a user who performs all their digital operations through super-apps to use the mobile banking application.

There are two other alternative paths with which banking can move forward. The first of these is integrating its digital operations into super-apps. However, it should not be forgotten that when they do this, they transfer a significant part of the control of their relations with their customers to another organization. The other option is to make their banking app much more comprehensive, and eventually, turn it into a super-app. 

Working With a Reliable Partner In the Modern FinTech Ecosystem

The world of digital finance has the potential to create a new revolution every day. It is inevitable that the super-app revolution will also inspire FinTech. Because operating many services through a compact and single platform has become a user habit trend, omnichannel financial solutions have become more important than ever before. 
Foreks Digital’s Omnichannel Investment and digital banking solutions can enable you to meet changing user expectations and make it easier for you to step into the future of the financial world.