Samsung seeks ways to enter the mobile banking game via a "super app" like WeChat

Samsung seeks ways to enter the mobile banking game via a "super app" like WeChat
Samsung doesn't want to just make smartphones, TVs, and all the other electronic devices it's famous for. Apparently, the giant seeks ways to launch a so-called "super app" for mobile banking in collaboration with a major South Korean bank.

SamMobile's report has it that this is a project of Samsung Financial Networks, a unit under Samsung Group's financial affiliates.

The proposed super app could evolve from Monimo, a financial services app introduced by Samsung Financial Networks in April 2022. Monimo offers a range of services including money transfers, foreign currency exchange, and tools for comparing prices and searching for real estate and vehicles within South Korea.

While all of this sounds great, Monimo has struggled to build a large user base, only attracting a few million users in the face of stiff competition from bank and fintech-operated apps, which boast tens of millions of users.

Samsung has proposed collaboration with South Korea's top five banks – KB Kookmin, Woori, Shinhan, Hana, and the digital-first K Bank – to create a mobile banking super app based on Monimo. The banks are expected to present their proposals to Samsung. As Samsung Group does not own a banking entity, this super app project offers a pathway into the mobile banking services market.

What's a "super app"?

A "super app" is a mobile application that integrates multiple services and functions into a single platform, essentially serving as a one-stop solution for users. These services can include messaging, social media, payment and financial transactions, ordering food, booking transportation and travel, e-commerce shopping, and more.

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The idea is to create a seamless, integrated user experience where various needs can be met without leaving the app. Super apps are particularly popular in Asia, with examples like WeChat in China and Gojek in Indonesia, where they have significantly influenced user behavior and digital economy ecosystems.

What's WeChat?

WeChat is a multifaceted social media and messaging app developed by Tencent in China, first released in 2011. It has evolved into a "super app," offering a vast array of services beyond its initial messaging function. Users can send text and voice messages, make voice and video calls, share images and videos, and post updates on their personal timelines.

WeChat's platform extends to mobile payments and financial services through WeChat Pay, enabling users to conduct transactions smoothly, such as bill payments, money transfers, and purchases both online and offline.

Moreover, WeChat serves as a hub for various third-party services, including ride-hailing, food delivery, travel booking, and e-commerce. The app also offers mini-programs, which are smaller sub-applications within the WeChat ecosystem, allowing users to access a wide range of services without needing to install separate apps.

With its comprehensive features, WeChat has become an integral part of daily life for its users, primarily in China, effectively blending social, commercial, and financial functionalities into a single, cohesive platform.

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