Why U.S Doesn’t Have A Super App Similar to WeChat?

by | Oct 31, 2023

Your employer sends you a message while you are driving to work. Will you go get them some coffee? They reimburse you using a different app. Your mobile wallet has to be updated as you navigate to another app to place an order for pickup.

Now for the coffee, which required four applications. But only one is required in China. A superb app is WeChat.

Simply said, you don’t have to fiddle with your phone, memorizing several passwords, and opening and shutting various applications. Just makes things simpler.

Can’t We Just Copy WeChat?

So why doesn’t the US have a super app? My suggestion would be to just imitate WeChat.

Even while some applications serve various purposes, some IT CEOs have their sights set on building a super app for the US market.

Take a closer look at WeChat once again. In 2011, the app debuted as a social networking and messaging platform. The next year, a payment option identical to PayPal was implemented.

Additionally, it would incorporate a ton of new functions throughout the next years, such as gaming, shopping, food delivery, healthcare, and tiny applications.

It essentially accomplishes everything. It functions somewhat as a substitute for the internet. Users also enjoy it since it serves several purposes.

By 2022, WeChat had 1.3 billion active users, contributing to its parent company’s $81 billion in revenue. The beauty of a super app is that you may switch between functions with ease and communicate data and information among its various components.

That is how it functions. And for businesses, that data is the main appeal. Let’s take another look at the applications you used to place your coffee order. In the US, there are several restrictions on apps’ ability to monitor you on your phone. Therefore, each business only gathers data while its app is open.

You don’t need to leave WeChat, though, to place your order, contact your employer, or even share a picture of your coffee on social media. Your data is given to only one business for everything.

A firm may benefit greatly from having a better grasp of what customers are buying when they buy those items. Or, you know, if you’re the government for taxation purposes.

That’s one of the reasons businesses in the US from many industries have tried to build a super app, but their development has been hampered by a number of factors.

In the US, a super app would face competition from thousands of other applications, and it might be challenging to alter customer behavior.

Using a single app for everything isn’t something we’re used to. Because of this, consumers have mostly rejected attempts by businesses like Facebook to provide single apps that can perform multiple tasks at once.

After including features like games, Facebook Messenger stated back in 2018 that it would simplify its service.

At the time, its head claimed that the app had grown too busy.

Including a payment method is another important concern. Consider Snap as an example. Snapcash, its payment system, stopped down after four years, while Venmo and Zelle are expanding as apps.

If you can incorporate that payment method into a powerful app, it simply increases the app’s stickiness.However, it also implies that you can usually keep an eye on transaction charges. Perhaps the transaction has a higher profit margin, and as your user base expands, you start to scale.

However, in the US, integrating that payment method is a major challenge. Many tech firms don’t automatically serve as financial services providers. It’s difficult. There are rules to follow. There are several international regulations and such.

Legislators and authorities were concerned that payments would be used for illegal behavior, which contributed to the failure of Facebook’s attempt to integrate a cryptocurrency payment system.

In recent years, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has cracked down on huge tech platforms that use payment systems. Consumers and policymakers may also be concerned about data privacy.

Right now, many people distrust major tech corporations, and the concept of a single digital giant, such as Meta, Amazon, or Google, offering us an app that holds so many different things, from online payments to bill management to health records, is sort of worrisome to people. And this becomes a problem for businesses.

I don’t believe technology corporations are interested in making it appear as if they are consolidating their power over our digital life any further than they already are.

That, after all, would bring regulatory attention. Some experts and researchers believe that the future of super apps in the United States may look different than WeChat. I believe that the route forward for the super app notion in the United States is more about verticals than a one ring to rule them all.

For example, a single healthcare app may contain your medical information as well as tools for scheduling visits and making payments.

The first champion emerges and develops a flawless, frictionless super app-like application that allows doctors to enter their data, you know, electronic health records things. That, I believe, will be a massive game changer. A huge disruptor.