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The rise of the financial super app

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The phrase super app has increased in popularity in recent years, used typically to refer to a single app offering multiple services to its users – for example, e-commerce, ride-hailing, and financial services all in one. The concept is becoming more and more mainstream, with the recent New York IPO of Kazakh super app Kaspi giving the concept headline credibility.

Jusan Bank’s financial ecosystem also functions as a super app in many ways, offering customers personal and finance banking and credit, e-commerce, mobile phone contracts, investments, insurance and even the ability to book travel tickets – so why has the idea taken off so well in Kazakhstan in particular?

Servicing a growing economy

Kazakhstan’s economy has grown strongly over the past 20 years, with real GDP growth at 5.1% in 2023 according to the World Bank. This means an ever-growing range of transactions and business taking place across the country’s economy, and the coinciding digitalization of the economy and its payments infrastructure means an ever-deepening complexity of transactions, services and outcomes.

Servicing this economic activity on the basis of shared infrastructure within one super app therefore makes a lot of sense. For the company servicing this activity, they get to improve efficiency and reduce development and maintenance costs, while for the customer, they feel these benefits in the form of lower transaction costs. This greases the wheels of economic activity, letting individual consumers and small businesses across the economy spend more of their hard-earned time and income on what matters, and less on servicing those transactions.

For growing economies like Kazakhstan, reducing this friction really matters, so the super app model helps spur growth.

Building a cycle of trust

The typical customer interaction with a super app begins with just one of its services – typically, for Jusan Bank, in personal banking, where Jusan’s service is one of the most popular in Kazakhstan. Once a customer has used the service for a period of time and become accustomed to how it works and built trust in its quality and reliability, they are then much more likely to consider using other products within the same ecosystem.

We often see personal banking customers later opening investment accounts, taking out insurance policies, or using Jusan for their business banking needs, and often a combination of many services all at once.

Enhancing financial inclusion

As we’ve discussed before, Kazakhstan’s unique geography and demographics means enabling financial inclusion is harder than in many other countries. It has one of the lowest population densities in the world, and 44% of the population don’t live in urban areas.

Without a strong ecosystem of trusted, efficient, easily accessible key services like personal and business banking, insurance and investment, these areas struggle to achieve the economic growth they would otherwise be capable of.

The super app model therefore has numerous benefits for all consumers – but in an economy such as Kazakhstan, it’s a major component of driving growth and prosperity.

 

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