The super app revolution is still in its early days in the Asia Pacific region. However, the growing trend of foraying into a supper app category is making investors keep an eye on digital wallets, FinTech companies in the Asia Pacific region are moving into the next stages of business expansion. For driving business growth and providing their customers an all-in-one experience by offering a bundle of services – many payment providers in the region are paving into a super app category.
Paytm – India’s first super app in the making
FinTech giant Paytm is often touted as the first supper app in the making in India. From a digital wallet provider to an e-commerce and ticketing platform and having its own mini-app store, the FinTech startup does it all.
It is already among the most valuable startups in the country and globally. This rapid expansion of Paytm into different sectors is one of the major drivers behind the growth of the Fintech Company. Last year, Paytm also forayed into the online gaming sector by launching Paytm First Games. Thanks to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, the mobile payment provider has been able to build a strong consumer base. Moreover, foraying into online gaming has helped the digital wallet increase their engagement with the users to the next level while offering them services beyond e-wallet.
In November 2020, Paytm also launched its buy now, pay later service for its postpaid users. For Paytm, foraying into different sectors such as online gaming and BNPL represents the opportunity growth in user base as well as additional revenue. However, it is an essential step from the long-term perspective and to become the first super app in India.
PhonePe enters into the insurance sector
Walmart-owned digital payment app, PhonePe is another FinTech platform that is foraying into the super app category. Recently, the platform has launched a bunch of new services such as digital gift cards and insurance to its ever-growing product portfolio.
In 2020, the digital wallet started offering travel insurance to its customers. However, the platform has expanded its offering in the last year and now provides its users with various insurance offerings including Life Insurance, Health Insurance, and Motor and Asset Insurance. The mobile payment provider is also expanding its investment product line to drive business growth.
Moreover, to bring a new revenue stream for the digital payment app, PhonePe is also looking to enter into the financial services segment such as loans and working capital for millions of merchants who are registered on the PhonePe app.
WhatsApp to race ahead as India’s first super app
Both Paytm and PhonePe are well ahead of the instant messaging giant. Therefore, WhatsApp will have to roll out its FinTech product offerings soon into the market if it plans to become the first super app in the country.
With the launch of WhatsApp Pay and the large customer base that the instant messaging app has, it is a serious threat to other mobile payment providers in the country. Moreover, WhatsApp is already focusing on the introduction of insurance, credit, pension-based solutions to enhance its FinTech offerings in India.
However, it can be expected that WhatsApp has a better chance of becoming a super app in India by being an online discovery platform for neighborhood stores for its 400 million users in the country.
Gojek and Grab moves towards financial services to become a super app in Indonesia
For processing payments for ride-booking, both Gojek and Grab introduced GoPay and GrabPay in the Indonesian market. However, to expand their business and become the leading digital wallet provider in the region, both companies realized the importance of expanding into the financial services sector to become the dominant supper in Indonesia.
On the one hand, Gojek rapidly expanded into various sectors such as insurance and business loans for merchants in the country. On the other hand, Grab forayed into financial products by launching microfinance initiatives such as health insurance, loans, and buy now, pay later in August 2020.
Additionally, both payment platforms are also eyeing global expansion to expand their operations. In January 2021, Gojek announced its plan of expanding business operations throughout Southeast Asia and beyond. With these expansion plans in mind, the competition between both this ridesharing and payments platform is expected to intensify further.
MoMo eyes super app atatus in Vietnam
MoMo is one of the leading and oldest mobile payment providers in Vietnam, with more than 20 million customers. In January 2021, the FinTech Company raised US$100 million to establish a new super app platform in the country. The company plans to use the raised funds to enhance the overall ecosystem to provide better services and experiences to its customers and merchants in Vietnam.
VNPay, ZaloPay, and Moca are some of the other leading mobile wallets in the country, paving into the super app category to expand their business operations in Vietnam. With Zalo being the most popular messaging app available in Vietnam, it might just have the added advantage of becoming the first supper in the country. However, the presence of Grab in Vietnam is a serious threat to the growth of these Vietnam-based digital wallet providers.
Mobile payment providers in the Asia Pacific region are looking to replicate what WeChat Pay and AliPay achieved in China with their super app strategy. However, the coronavirus outbreak might work in favor of these digital wallets, as consumers are looking for more convenient and safe payment and buying options. With the super app trend likely to continue from the short to mid-term perspective, PayNXT360 expects increased investment and mergers and acquisitions into the mobile payment sector.