The first superapp of North-America — BeezHive
Almost all the service sector industries are on a march, a collective journey to be on the customers’ cell phones. Some of the industries have already made great strides and established a benchmark of what the consumers expect. Netflix and YouTube come to mind. Some other mature sectors are social media, mobile gaming, travel booking, and e-commerce. Some sectors are going through massive transformations as we speak including on-demand services like Uber and Instacart. The fintech and Education sectors are also primed to see some transformation. There are also several sectors that are still underserved and are waiting for an evolution.
Various stages of mobile adaption by the service industry
Well, you may correctly conclude that there are massive opportunities in the underserved sectors. The fact is that opportunities are everywhere. The entire ecosystem, even the mature one, has an underbelly of data privacy issues. No one, and not even Facebook, can guarantee that customers’ data won’t end up in questionable activities like criminal enterprise and government surveillance of citizens. Moreover, all services are provided with individual apps, with separate login credentials, which are advised to be different from each other and supposedly need to be changed in regular intervals. I know it is very overwhelming. Also, do you notice that there are stores with Aeroplans, Airmiles, and PC points, and who knows what in the next store? All those 1000s of loyalty points soon become pointless.
Where’s the solution then? Perhaps it’s superapp. Superapps are a single app capable of buying you a coffee in the morning, order a ride-hailing service to your office, split the bill for a coworker’s birthday present, order grocery for home just before you leave the office, send your children pocket money for their practice, and book a ticket for your spouse’s flight all without leaving the app. One single app, one single login, and all the services you use. It has taken the Asian market by storm. WeChat, Line, GoJek, and Grab are the most successful company in the east. WeChat of China is the most complex and successful app with active users in the likes of more than a billion and transaction volume of 10’s of billions in a year.
Why are these fantastic services not available in the West? Is it because such technology doesn’t exist or the western consumers are fundamentally different? It is not the lack of trying either. Facebook, who admittedly wanted to be the WeChat of the west, Uber, Paypal, Amazon, and many companies are slowly developing their platform for multiple utilities over the years. The progress is certainly slow for these supposedly leading technology companies. Many articles have been written justifying that the western consumer wants a streamlined and efficient single app for a single purpose. Well, given the utility of a superapp this argument falls quite flat on its face.
The major roadblocks for the superapp in the west are — the payment infrastructure and data privacy. The payment infrastructure in the west is built around credit cards — Visa and Mastercard. This innovation was quite successful at its time. Now seems to carry a deadweight of complex payment network with high transaction fees. These fees are reasonable for the western market, but a nonstarter for emerging markets. They developed their own payment infrastructure which is capable of cheap microtransactions. This has now allowed the successful evolution of superapps. Unfortunately, they are on the payments island of their own and are quite difficult to translate to the west.
Then what is the model for a successful superapp in the west:
1. Independent payment infrastructure
Superapp provides high usage services to the customers through a single UI. Most of these payments can be micro-transactions — <$10. Negotiating the best rate for the service with the Visa and Mastercard only makes your business vulnerable to the point that the Visa and Mastercard can dictate your survival. The only way to solve this is through an independent payment network.
2. Uncompromising data security
Data privacy and security become exponentially important for superapp. BeezHive has to convince the customer that their data will be safe with them and will never have backdoor access to it for other organizations or even the government.
There is only one solution to address both of these challenges and it is the emerging blockchain technology. The data on the blockchain is not only immutable but also can be sharded, broken into million pieces, and spread around worldwide computer networks, making it virtually impossible to copy or hack. AI can be implemented for these data to personalize the experience. With the emerging Decentralized Finance ecosystem of the blockchain industry, many banking functions like lending, borrowing, interest yielding deposits can be carried out on the app. Not only that this will be cheap but also truly cross borders, given the regulatory compliance is in place.
The beta version of BeezHive will be released on March 1st, 2021 with three services only, that includes BeezChat (messaging), BeezPay (e-wallet), and BeezCheckout (contactless restaurant ordering). More services including the pay-later function- the BeezPay + will be released in the future. Please keep tuned to us on our web-page, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook pages.