Saturday, May 18, 2024

    EDITORIAL Interaction super apps: the future of telemedia

    Research out this week shows two interesting, interconnected trends: mobile transactions have exploded across Europe, according to study by Boku – even post pandemic – and the rise of comms platforms as a service (CPaaS) continues to go from strength to strength, says Juniper Research.

    Of course, both are interconnected. CPaaS revenues are likely to hit $10bn globally by 2022, driven by SPs offering an ever-richer array of services to corporates who are desperate to reach consumers.

    Those self-same consumers are mobile and they are looking to use their phones to interact and to turn those interactions into purchases. No surprise then that mobile wallets are becoming increasingly important.

    Mobile wallets have long been circling around the mobile space, but the pandemic has accelerated their uptake and they are, as a result, reshaping the way people not only pay, but how they interact and what they interact with.

    According to Boku, the growth of mobile wallets is down to a number of factors, such as displacement, where mobile wallets are displacing cash, bank transfers and card transactions as commerce shifts further online and consumers seek more convenient and secure payment methods.

    Ease of access also has an impact with many consumers in emerging markets, particularly younger ones, are opting for mobile wallets, that enable them store value and transact digitally, instead of traditional bank accounts.

    Finally, super apps are playing their part. Outside of North America and Europe, mobile wallets offer greater utility – from ticketing to delivery services. They are increasingly “essential” for digital commerce with growth commensurate.

    And it is these super apps that are really driving much of what is happening in telemedia. Super apps – apps that provide multiple services including payment and financial transaction processing, effectively becoming an all-encompassing self-contained commerce and communication online platform that embraces many aspects of personal and commercial life –  are what lie behind the boom in Mobility as a Service (MaaS), tipped to hit $53bn by 2026. Super apps are also set to drive interaction and conversational commerce, with apps increasingly not just doing messaging, but also linking consumers to business and making those interactions monetisable.

    Shoppable messages on social media, OTT messaging or even RCS are going to turn messaging platforms into super app platforms.

    And this, in turn, will drive the rise of mobile wallets.

    Where it gets interesting, though, is how those interaction super apps and the wallet and payment apps merge to form their own interactive shopping super apps.

    Already PayPal in the US is rolling out a revamp of its app to not only manage payments, but to also roll in loyalty management, financial planning, loans and more.

    PayPal’s view is clearly to construct a payment super app – but this marks the start of a much bigger play, I believe, across the industry. Payments is just the end point in a journey that involves outreach, discovery, engagement, purchase, loyalty and reward. Combining all this into a single super app will be where this is heading.

    Today, CPaaS is thriving and driving conversational commerce. Separately, wallets are bringing  the payment and loyalty parts together. Combining these two areas – CPaaS and wallets – into a single offering not only offers merchants and brands a massive new way to differentiate themselves with such a holistic offering, but it makes life super-easy and manageable for consumers. And happy consumers spend money.

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