What unites Klarna, the Swedish start-up valued at almost 45 billion euros; PayPal, the American payment giant; or Lydia, the French unicorn used by almost 40% of young people between 18 and 35 in France? These fintechs all claim to be “super apps”.
Margaux De Saint-Marc
Digital Marketing and Innovation Consultant at Square
Square is an international strategic, organizational and operational consulting group.
Invented in 2010 by BlackBerry founder Mike Lazaridis, the super-app concept is the new workhorse of payment applications. Its principle: to create a single portal, bringing together a set of services and features, while offering an optimal user experience. And so become a “All-in-one” application, directly at the service of the consumer.
User experience at the heart of the strategy
In their digital life, users increasingly want high speed. For this, the super application must offer an ecosystem that allows it solve problems may encounter traditional actors: the lack of transparency, the lack of fluidity, the complexity of navigation, etc.
Starting from the desire to transform a basic banking service, even an archaic one, into a “super experience”, super-apps reinvent uses and decrypt codes with a single goal: optimize the entire user experience. Lydia, which eliminates the complexity of RIB exchange, or Revolut, which simplifies currency conversions, make the experience so smooth and fast that it becomes as natural as possible for the user.
The new generations are therefore particularly attracted to a modern image, a personalized experience and careful marketing. Adding to this a particular, accessible tone and an attractive design, the super-apps find the ideal recipe here and thus become serious competitors for traditional banks.
The limits of their development
Although these new services attract large numbers of consumers, financial players still have to overcome the challenges to win against traditional banks and survive in the market. In fact, if 25% of French people declare themselves dissatisfied with their bank, only 3% change it every year. They must therefore redouble their efforts to combine the richness of the services offered with the safety and fluidity of the journey.
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The wealth of services offered and this ability to make the experience personalized and targeted is made possible by collection and use of customer data. However, this is also a drag, especially for older generations who are particularly reluctant to do so.
When an application has access to certain personal data, the digital natives (i.e. individuals born after 1980) cf. the opportunity for a smooth and transparent user experience. The “Generation X”, born before 1980, sees it as one violation of privacy : how will they be used, who will have access to them and will they be resold? The “super-apps” have a reality duty of communication to reassure the user.
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The principle of these super-apps, which is the multiplication of functionality, can lead to a second limit. Indeed, attracting users with a wide range of services while maintaining a smooth and consistent experience it requires a high altitude flight technique. The multiplication of functionalities with a view to profitability can quickly degrade the use of the application. Lydia, for example, today places less emphasis on its primary fund transfer offering, which it loses money on, in favor of its banking offering (credit card and investment), which is more profitable, making the experience much less. fluid. This logic can quickly become an irritant to the userwho feels consumer-oriented by highlighting the products he feels least worried about.
There is another path to super-apps, that of partnership with traditional banks. This scheme is beneficial to both players, as it allows super-apps to expand their product portfolios and traditional banks to target new sectors of customers.