Since the concept was first popularized, the super app trend has continued to gain traction.
In fact, Paypal wants to be one; so does Elon Musk’s Twitter. But stating an intention and realizing the vision of a single integrated mobile experience that spans multiple consumer activities are very different things.
Read more: Being a Super App and Declaring Intentions Are Very Different
In Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), for example, numerous companies have laid claim to the title, each putting their spin on the concept. In this wrap-up of the year, PYMNTS looks at the top trends that have defined the term in 2022.
Financial Super Apps
One of the biggest trends of the year has been the rise of the financial super app, a kind of next-generation digital bank that goes above and beyond the basic features people have come to expect from banking apps.
For example, Revolut’s super app strategy has been coalescing for years, and in 2022 the company took to referring to itself as a financial super app in all its official communications.
Like Revolut, the French neobank Lydia has also set its sights on super app status.
As the company’s co-founder and CEO, Cyril Chiche, explained to PYMNTS in an interview, neobanks’ digital-first model fuels their evolution beyond the services offered by traditional banks.
“What you want is Spotify. You want to be able to listen to any music off the album from any artist anywhere in the world at any time in a taxi or in the train or anywhere, and all this from your mobile,” Chiche said of super apps’ potential.
The Connected eCommerce Experience
The concept of the super app is inextricably tied to eCommerce, and the term is often used in reference to Chinese platforms AliPay and WeChat, which rose to prominence by enabling a more frictionless online shopping and payment experience.
In Africa, Jumia’s online wallet JumiaPay has evolved to become a multipurpose digital wallet that can be used across the company’s platforms and be integrated with other online sellers.
Over the years, the wider Jumia ecosystem has grown to include the full stack of eCommerce opportunities such as groceries and rapid delivery services. And earlier this year, the company even launched a telemedicine platform in Nigeria.
Unfortunately, Jumia’s rapid expansion away from its core markets hasn’t helped its troubled path to profitability. In a Q3 earnings report, the company announced that it would be axing a number of initiatives that were costing it money as it looks to refocus on more viable revenue streams and proven business models.
Moving in the opposite direction to eCommerce platforms like Jumia that have embraced payments, in recent years, mobile wallets have started to add new features that allow consumers to purchase products and services in-app.
In an interview with PYMNTS, Markus Kilb, CEO at the Swiss mobile wallet provider TWINT, explained that “TWINT is not just about payments, but it’s also about things around payments, or what we call, beyond payments.”
For example, using the TWINT+ marketplace, consumers can order a range of goods and services, including standard eCommerce offerings but also buy parking tickets and mobile phone contracts, Kilb said.
Mobility Meets Deliveries
The convergence of ride-hailing and digital food ordering is one of the defining features of the super app shift.
Looking to follow in the footsteps of its parent company Uber, in 2022, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)-focused mobility firm Careem bolstered its delivery proposition thanks to the acquisition of MUNCH:ON.
Related: Qatar World Cup Boosts Ride-Hailing, Food Delivery Demand Across MENA
And with a growing presence in the delivery space, Careem is a strong contender for the title of the region’s preeminent super app. Besides ride-hailing and food delivery, users of the app can also rent a car, order home cleaning services, and access micromobility networks.
In April, the company also launched a digital payment platform, Careem Pay, a product it hopes to develop further thanks to its acquisition of the money transfer firm Denarii.
Partnerships Are Key
As super apps look to introduce a greater range of services to their customers, integrating with partners has been key in providing those services.
For example, in 2022, Uber teamed up with several European grocery businesses, reflecting how its delivery-as-a-service model is evolving beyond take-out.
In October, Uber Eats also announced a partnership with British supermarket chain Iceland to help strengthen its position in the U.K.’s competitive q-commerce space.
Then in November, the company revealed that it was partnering with q-commerce firm Zapp to offer the latter’s products on the Uber Eats app in London.
In recent years, partnerships have also helped Uber expand its transport offering by integrating Lime’s micromobility service into the Uber app, for example.
For all PYMNTS EMEA coverage, subscribe to the daily EMEA Newsletter.