Revolutionizing the Mobile Industry: The Super App Model That’s Changing the Game

3rd April, 2023

Author: Janis D’souza, Global Head of Marketing

Category: Industries



Can you imagine going through your day without using a mobile phone for tasks like ordering food, groceries, or hailing a taxi? It’s hard to imagine, right?

Recent research shows that people spend an average of 4.8 hours per day on their phones in various markets, including India, Turkey, the US, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, and Canada. As smartphones continue to gain popularity, mobile applications have made our lives easier by simplifying everyday tasks through the internet. And at the forefront of this transformation are super apps, which provide a range of services and functions within a single platform, like a Swiss Army Knife for your smartphone.

Let’s say you’re a resident of Indonesia, chances are you’re already familiar with Grab, one of the most popular super apps in the region. With Grab, you can handle payments, transportation, and even order food—all in one place, making it a convenient one-stop solution for all your needs.

In this article, we’ll delve into the evolution of super apps and explore how they have completely revolutionized the mobile industry.

What is a Super App?

Super apps are versatile platforms that provide a wide range of services and products, making them a convenient one-stop shop for all your needs. These apps offer various services such as mobility, utilities, gaming, e-commerce, and payments.

The term ‘super app’ was coined by Mike Lazaridis, the founder of Blackberry, who described them as applications that once you start using, you can’t imagine living without. While the widespread use of mobile phones contributed to the popularity of super apps, their efficiency and ability to consolidate useful services into a single platform are key factors driving their appeal. 

WeChat is a prime example of a popular super app in China. Initially a messaging platform, it has expanded to include payments, gaming, and numerous other verticals, catering to the diverse needs of the country’s vast population.

Let’s explore a few more examples of super apps in different regions of the world, each catering to specific demands:

Middle East:

  • Careem: Careem is widely recognized as one of the leading super apps in the Middle East. After being acquired by Uber in 2019, it expanded its services to include mobility, payments, and delivery, catering to the needs of users in the region.
  • Halan: Based in Egypt, Halan is a prominent super app that recently achieved a billion-dollar valuation through its latest funding round. Initially focused on fintech services, Halan has plans to incorporate grocery and other e-commerce offerings to enhance its platform.

 

Africa:

  • M-Pesa: Originally launched in Kenya as a mobile money service in 2007, M-Pesa has become a dominant super app in Africa. It now serves over 50 million users by offering a wide array of services beyond mobile money, catering to various needs across the continent.
  • Ayoba: Ayoba is a popular super app with a significant presence in African countries such as Cameroon, Nigeria, and South Africa. With a user base of over 25 million, Ayoba has expanded its primary messaging platform to include additional features like money transfers, gaming, and music.

 

America:

  • DoorDash: DoorDash is a well-known super app in the United States. Originally focused on food delivery, it has expanded to offer various services, including grocery delivery, convenience store items, and even alcohol delivery.
  • Gojek: Gojek, originating from Indonesia, has gained popularity in America as a super app. It provides a wide range of services, including transportation, food delivery, and on-demand services like home cleaning and beauty services.

 

Europe:

  • Bolt: Bolt is a widely used super app in Europe, offering services such as ride-hailing, e-scooters, and food delivery. With a strong presence in several European countries, Bolt has become a go-to platform for convenient and affordable transportation options.
  • Glovo: Glovo, originating from Spain, has expanded to become a prominent super app in Europe. It offers services like food delivery, grocery delivery, and courier services, providing users with a comprehensive solution for their everyday needs.

What Caused the Surge of Super Apps?

The emergence of super apps can be attributed to several key factors, with the rapid growth of the mobile industry being a primary driver. Here are some of the factors that have contributed to their rise:

  • Convenience and Efficiency: Super apps offer unparalleled convenience by providing a single platform for a wide range of services. Users can access multiple functionalities and accomplish various tasks seamlessly, saving both time and effort. This streamlined approach enhances efficiency and simplifies daily routines.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Super apps often offer services at lower costs compared to traditional service providers. By eliminating the need for multiple specialized apps or services, users can access a variety of offerings within a single app, making it more affordable and accessible for a broader audience.
  • Continuous Innovation: Super apps thrive on constant innovation, regularly introducing new features and services to meet evolving user demands. By staying ahead of the curve, super apps keep users engaged and excited about using the app over the long term, creating a sense of loyalty.
  • Social Integration: Many super apps integrate social elements, such as messaging and social media, into their platforms. This integration allows users to stay connected with friends and family while utilizing the app’s services, fostering a sense of community and enhancing the overall user experience.


In summary, the combination of convenience, efficiency, affordability, innovation, and social integration has propelled the rise of super apps, transforming the way we engage with mobile applications and revolutionizing the mobile industry as a whole.

The Future of Super Apps 

Super apps have already gained popularity in various regions and markets, simplifying users’ lives. The trend of adopting super apps is expected to continue as they become even more integrated into our daily lives. To thrive in the future, here are some key areas that super apps need to focus on:

  • Increasing Competition: As more conglomerates enter the super app arena, competition will intensify. Developers must stay ahead by investing in high capital and skilled human resources. Implementing robust reward programs to enhance user retention can give them an edge in the market.
  • Data Security and Privacy: Super apps generate large amounts of user data, requiring effective management and secure storage. It is crucial for businesses to prioritize data security and ensure there are no instances of data leakage. Implementing robust security protocols is vital to protect the app from cyber threats and attacks.
  • Regulation and Compliance: Super apps operate in different regions and are subject to various regulations. Businesses must be aware of and compliant with the regulatory environment in which they operate. Adhering to regional regulations is essential to maintain trust and credibility among users.


At Prepay Nation, we are actively seeking collaborations with super apps from around the world. With our extensive global presence in over 150 countries and partnerships with more than 600 telecom operators, we offer a diverse range of prepaid products and services that can complement and enhance the offerings of super apps.

By joining forces with Prepay Nation, super apps can tap into our established infrastructure and vast network to expand their services and reach a wider audience. Our prepaid products, including airtime top-ups, data, bundles, e-gift cards, and utility payments, can be seamlessly integrated into super app platforms, providing added value and convenience to their users. Partnering with a reliable and experienced B2B product marketplace like Prepay Nation enables super apps to drive up their sales and revenue while offering a comprehensive and user-friendly experience to their customers.

If you are a super app looking to enhance your offerings and scale up your business, we invite you to join hands with Prepay Nation. Contact us today to explore partnership opportunities and unlock the full potential of your super app with our wide array of prepaid products and services.