(Daily News Scan - DNS English) What is Super App?

(Daily News Scan - DNS English) What is Super App?

We all use several apps on a day to day basis. Be it for payments, watching videos, shopping online or listening to music. We use mostly the apps do all these tasks. Adding to the list of apps, The Tata Group is also planning to launch an app by the end of this year or probably early next year. This app will be a little bit different from the apps that we use. It will be an all in one Super APP. This App is likely to be developed by the newly launched Tata Digital.

In this edition of our DNS, We talk about what is Super APP and how is it different from other APPs that we use.

The newly formed entity Tata Digital, owned by Tata Group, is planning to launch a super app.

A super App is a platform providing its users all the services in one app or one platform. Basically, it is a platform developed by a company offering various services under one roof. The best example for this type of app is WECHAT. It started as a messaging app and expanded its services into payments, food ordering, shopping, and cab services as well.

The concept of Super App was first introduced in China and South East Asia. Here the internet service providing companies like WECHAT, GoJek and Grab leveraged the opportunity of customer traffic on their platforms that originally came for social media and communication need. The companies offered these customers additional services leading to increased revenue realisations.

In India, currently The Reliance Industries, under its Jio umbrella, has integrated various services and offerings such as shopping, content streaming, groceries, payments, cloud storage services, ticket bookings, etc. The Alibaba Group investee Paytm, has also brought together services like payments, ticket bookings, games, online shopping, banking, consumer finance, into one app. The Flipkart Group-owned payments app PhonePe has tied up with companies such as Ola Cabs, Swiggy, Grofers, AJio, Decathlon, Delhi Metro, booking.com, etc to offer these services from within its own app. Amazon, the ecommerce website also provides various services like shopping, bill payments, grocery etc on its website and its APP.

The TATA group will be a newcomer in an already congested Super App ecosystem of India.

There is a rush between Indian companies to build a Super APP. Basically, a country or a region becomes super app-ready when its huge base of the population uses smartphone first instead of desktop. Plus the ecosystem of apps customised to local needs is not evolved.

India has already become a market where a majority of those experiencing the internet for the first time are doing so on their mobile phones. This is one of the main reasons why Indian companies are looking at building super apps. Apart from increased revenue realisation due to merging of services at one place, such apps also provide companies large amount of consumer data which can then be harnessed to learn more about user behaviour.

With the advancements of these super apps in the country, there are some concerns added to it as well. There are concerns of privacy in cases where a super app has on boarded third-party service providers. The experts have pointed out that data collected by the master app could be used to train machines in artificial intelligence and predict consumer behaviour even more accurately. This is one of the major reasons why super apps have not picked pace in countries such as the US and the UK.

Consumers specifically might not demand for a super App, but definitely they need convenience, ease and simplicity under one roof which is well provided by super Apps.