“The only constant in tech is change,” says Authvia President and COO Trevor Rubel. “Successful companies embrace that fact and create the change that benefits their customers and their businesses.”
Our Maasterclass series helps change agents in fintech and SaaS lead the way to compelling new products and features to help enterprise resource planning (ERP) and other independent software vendors (ISVs) reach the next level. We recently welcomed Trevor to talk about the race to become a B2B super app.
What is a super app?
Faster data networks and mass adoption of smart phones paved the way for the super app. Four elements comprise a super app:
- A single application accessible by mobile device or web browser offering multiple, diversified services
- Provide a common financial transaction platform
- Leverages intra-app data to tailor offerings
- Is widely adopted in a community
Today, one in three people in the world are super app users – mostly in Asia and the global south.1 Examples of super apps include WeChat, Korea’s Kakao Talk, India’s Paytm, and LINE in Japan. These consumer-facing apps rose from humble beginnings in text messaging, food delivery, prepaid mobile phone service. They slowly added diverse features like streaming video, ticketing, utility payments, and more.
SaaS providers are already essential to how their customers do business. The challenge is how to take the next step and offer more services customers want and need.
We sat down with Trevor Rubel for a wide-ranging conversation about how SaaS providers can continue to evolve their solution and make success inevitable.
Forget what you think about your platform
The first step in becoming an industry-focused super app is allowing yourself to become uncomfortably broad. “As software people, we often view our problems relative to our solution,” says Rubel. “Many software companies are filled with geeks like me who love to go deep into those solutions and make the best widget we can imagine, forgetting that it takes a lot of different widgets to run a business.”
Business leaders can sidestep this problem by relentlessly focusing on the customer’s needs and especially the customer’s needs in the future. Building a solution for the customer’s current needs almost guarantees their needs will be different when you’re done.
In the words of hockey legend Wayne Gretzky, “Skate to where the puck is going.”
Look adjacent to your core competencies when selecting new features
The breadth of potential solutions on the path to becoming a B2B super app can be intimidating. If you start close to your core functionalities you may unlock significant benefits for your business, including:
- Unlocking new revenue streams. Existing customers are 50% more likely to try new products and spend 31% more compared to new customers.2 Adding new features and effectively promoting adoption with current users could be the quickest path to growth.
- Dramatically reducing attrition. It costs roughly five times more to win a new customer than keep a current one.3 It makes sense to evolve in a direction to make your platform sticker. “At my last company, we saw a 15% reduction in year-over-year attrition when we had two solutions and a 35% reduction when we had three to five solutions,” says Rubel.
- Building a powerful brand. Just like WeChat evolved from a text messenger to a platform where users can order dinner in and pay their utility bills, Shopify has gone from a fast way for drop shippers and artisans to build an online storefront to a platform that can manage almost every aspect of a small business. Success builds upon success, and offering ways for businesses to accept payments from customers and bank their deposits makes doing business easier while keeping customers on your platform.
Continue your journey with Maast
The keys to building your industry’s super app are finding the right solutions adjacent to your product and finding the right partners to embed them on your platform under your brand. Having experts to promote adoption is even better. Maast helps SaaS providers offer payment acceptance, business checking, and more to their customers. We take on the operational, compliance, and integration challenges to create a seamless experience. Find out more at Maast.com.
Visit joinus.maast.com/maasterclass to explore past Maasterclasses and register for upcoming events.
1 Source: Motta, Micah. “The state of super apps 2022: statistics and trends.” Adjust. 10/11/22. Retrieved 8/24/23 from https://www.adjust.com/blog/the-state-of-super-apps-2022-statistics-and-trends/.
2 Source: Saleh, Khalid. “Customer Acquisition vs. Retention Costs – Statistics and Trends.” Invesp. 2/23/23. Retrieved 8/25/23 from https://www.invespcro.com/blog/customer-acquisition-retention/.
3 Source: Tsang, You Mon. “In a Downturn, Focus on existing Customers – Not Potential Ones.” Harvard Business Review. 12/5/22. Retrieved 8/25/22 from https://hbr.org/2022/12/in-a-downturn-focus-on-existing-customers-not-potential-ones.