Race is on for Southeast Asia ‘super app’ amid internet economy growth expectations
By Kelly Olsen
The race is on for a “super app” for Southeast Asia as mobile-based e-commerce makes inroads in the region, experts say.
“It’s a race to be a super app in ASEAN,” Varun Mittal, global emerging markets Fintech leader at consultancy EY, said during a panel discussion at the Credit Suisse Asian Investment Conference in Hong Kong on Tuesday. He was referring to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, a regional political and economic grouping.
A super app allows users to access multiple services from a single mobile app, such as enabling them to make financial transactions, and order food or hail a ride.
“Everyone is looking to payments as the first step to go into the rest of financial services,” Mittal said, adding that “making money in payments alone is not a viable business.”
But to be successful, providers must focus on building trust and showing that what they offer improved livelihoods through connecting marginalized people to the broader economy, according to the panel discussions.
Photo courtesy of Highways England.