Volker Hartzsch has founded multiple companies, including Nano Magic Inc. and Hybrid Evolution Marketing Inc. This article will explore the potential of super apps to enable consumers to manage all of their digital activities via a single easy-to-navigate platform.
As Web3 applications are decentralised they are typically owned by users, enabling consumers to retain full control over the information they share. Experts predict that because of this, Web3 could effectively become a launchpad for a new breed of super apps.
Some of the biggest players in Web2 are eyeing the incredible scope for growth presented by developing so-called ‘super apps’, potentially enabling them to tap into every kind of internet service available.
The concept of a super app revolves around creating a single platform to provide access to every kind of service imaginable, from messaging, shopping and gaming to savings, transportation, entertainment and more, all bundled into a single application. Boasting such a comprehensive offering, such a super app could potentially grow to serve millions or even billions of users, serving as a veritable gold mine for the developer who creates it. One of the biggest lures of the super app is its ability to generate revenue in a variety of different ways, for example through transaction fees, advertising and selling user data to third parties.
Home to the original super apps AliPay and WeChat, China is blazing a trail in the realm of the super app. WeChat grew from a simple and extremely popular messaging app to a platform from which users can navigate their entire digital lives, expanding its offerings through the introduction of a variety of different ‘mini-apps’. Today, WeChat provides users with access to virtually every service imaginable, enabling them to pay bills, order groceries, book a table at a local restaurant and even access legal advice.
Millions of Chinese consumers are already incredibly reliant on super apps like WeChat, enabling them to perform multiple tasks via a single platform. Today, WeChat offers thousands of different services via mini apps within the platform, with its main rival Alipay promptly following suit to offer its billions of users many of the same kinds of services from within the app. Between them, the two apps are credited with transforming what was a largely cash-based society to one that is heavily reliant on digital payments today, in doing so enabling China to effectively leapfrog its way to a cashless economy and bypassing intermediary steps such as credit and debit cards.
In terms of the next big super apps, platforms like Square and PayPal may be the obvious contenders. Nevertheless, a number of players in the crypto and Web3 arenas are also emerging as strong possibilities.
From the consumer’s perspective, super apps pose huge potential to increase access to financial services for underserved communities, enabling the unbanked to access financial services that can make a life-changing difference in people’s lives.