How to Tap Into Asia’s Super Apps

Imagine going to dinner with your friends. You make a reservation on Resy, hail a ride on Uber or Lyft, snap a few pics to share with friends using Snapchat, and pay using Apple Pay, or with a credit card. Maybe one person pays and you have to then open yet another app to pay them back via Venmo or Zelle. 

This scene is all too familiar to not only Millennials and Gen-Zers, but the United States population as a whole. Smartphones have become a digital hub where we can essentially perform all of the daily tasks we want or need to.

Now, imagine a world where you no longer need to get bogged down opening up multiple apps — you can do everything you need to from a single one.

Enter, the super app.

What is a Super App?

While super apps aren’t new, they are gaining popularity around the globe. Mark Zuckerberg’s vision for a metaverse has been making headlines in recent months. While Facebook — rebranded to Meta —  has received a lot of negative attention over recent years for its questionable privacy practices, the metaverse has taken on a life of its own. And the goal of the metaverse is to be just that — a place where you can theoretically virtually live your entire life. 

Zuckerberg’s vision of the metaverse is shaping up to essentially be an eccentric super app.

A super app is defined as a digital ecosystem where users can navigate numerous products and services without ever leaving one single app. Instead of switching from app to app to chat, shop, order a rideshare, apply for a bank loan, or pay for goods and services, you can do it all in one place.

An app reaches “super app” status when it integrates a critical mass of services, making them accessible and easy to toggle by users. These third-party services, once integrated, are known as mini-programs and have been critical in the success of Asia’s super apps.

Super Apps and Mini Programs

While it may seem a little counterintuitive that one app could offer the capabilities of numerous others — beyond its original primary purpose — mini-programs enable all-in-one integration. 

Mini programs, within the super app ecosystem, are provided by third parties and are essentially smaller versions of their specific app. This increases the usability of the super app which in turn increases the amount of time users spend in the ecosystem. The success of WeChat — the most popular super app in the world — is often attributed to their development and institution of mini-programs. 

Asia’s Super Apps

Asian consumers have already gotten on board with super apps and have made WeChat the third most-used app globally boasting over one billion users, 900 million of which use the app daily. 

China’s Alipay isn’t far behind in popularity followed by India’s Paytm, South Korea’s Kakao Pay, Indonesia’s Go-Jek, among many others.

87% of a group of Asian super app users reported they primarily use the apps to transact through mobile payments. 78% of the same group of consumers booked services like grooming, pet-walking, and medical appointments. 

This is all to say that while users are taking advantage of the social networks capabilities of super apps, they are primarily using them to perform basic daily life tasks. This presents a huge opportunity for businesses to capitalize on.

Super Apps in the US

On average, consumers in the US spend nearly 4.2 hours per day on their smartphones and open them 58 times per day. The amount of time spent on our mobile devices has increased over the past few years, largely due to stay-at-home orders and social distancing, and the boredom and loneliness that resulted. We have become increasingly reliant on our smartphones to not only stay connected throughout the pandemic but to also perform numerous daily tasks. 

While we don’t yet see a large presence of super apps in the US, a few of our most popular apps are getting close. Amazon is exploring new ways to keep users on engaged platforms for longer periods of time. With a multitude of microphone-enabled devices available to meet your every need and the recent development of Amazon Pay, this tech giant is on its way to delivering the super app experience. 

Facebook, Snapchat, and Paypal are not far behind. Each developing innovative ways to integrate “mini-apps” of sorts and keep users from needing to navigate away from their platforms.

Super Apps and Your Business

As described, super apps are a gateway to billions of consumers. These robust ecosystems are not only social networks, they can provide bank loans and payment options for their users. 

In addition, by accepting payments made by super app digital wallets you are not only able to process transactions you may have otherwise had to turn away, but you are also taking advantage of the free in-app marketing opportunities super apps provide to businesses. Super apps push specific businesses in their digital wallet networks to their users to encourage shopping. 

Tapping into super app users is much easier than it may seem. The payment capabilities associated with super apps, known as digital wallets, can be used to pay for goods and services. This is where Pockyt comes in. 

Get Started Today

By learning how super apps function and understanding how users navigate these ecosystems retailers can open their businesses to billions of global consumers. While the customers are primarily Asian super app users, it’s only a matter of time until the tech giants in the US reach super app status.

Pockyt integrates into the world’s leading POS systems and e-commerce platforms and enables businesses to accept the most popular super app digital wallets. Even better, Pockyt keeps up with trends across the globe and as more digital wallets emerge, our team will do the work of integrating them into our platform so all you have to do is run your business. 

Learn more about accepting digital wallet payments through Pockyt’s payment platform by chatting with our team today!