Super apps vs. super wallets: What’s the difference?

Super apps vs. super wallets: What’s the difference?


  • Super apps and super wallets are redefining the fintech and software landscape worldwide
  • Though similar in concept, crucial distinctions exist in terms of their overall function and scope
  • Finding the right balance of "super-efficiency" from these solutions is key to streamlined digitization of services

“This is how it’s done in the real world. Now how do we make an app for it?”

In retrospect, this has been the central question behind every other recent digital transformation initiative. Everything from buying groceries to maintaining a stocks portfolio can be accomplished through your smartphone.

The convenience of seamless digital payments holds universal appeal among different demographics. However, today’s app developers aren’t going to settle for adequate solutions. In their pursuit of multifaceted superapps, where’s the event horizon where super wallets end and superapps are born?

Superlative functions

To start, let’s take these two concepts at face value and chalk out some basic definitions.

  • A “super app” is a multi-purpose app that integrates a wide range of services into a singular native virtual ecosystem.
  • A “super wallet” is a digital solution that enables users to manage, transact, and invest in diverse avenues through a secure virtual infrastructure.

At first glance, these definitions might seem like two sides of the same coin, which is true in a sense. Both applications endeavor to be “super,” which suggest similar missions—to become an all-inclusive solution with an emphasis on end-user convenience.

The “super” motif isn’t merely there for flavor. Apps like Grab and PayPal walk the walk as well. The market demand is hard to miss, with 67% of US consumers voting in favor of accessing a wider range of services in a single app.

Where do the differences lie then?

Users and services

Super apps and super wallets work towards the same goals in principle. The monikers are more marketing buzzwords meant to showcase the core versatility of these solutions. Look beyond that veneer, however, and the distinctions become more apparent.

Super parameters & differentiators

  • Ecosystem:
    • Super apps focus on native integration of services into infrastructure across all verticals.
    • Super wallets retain a third-party connection model, offering secure payment gateways to various clients
  • Services:
    • Super apps offer a wide gamut of solutions, from ride-sharing to financial investment.
    • Super wallets retain a third-party connection model, offering secure payment gateways to various clients.
  • Platforms:
    • In the interest of flexible access, most super apps support mobile and desktop client access.
    • Embodying the philosophy of powerful finance management at one’s fingertips, super wallets primarily focus on mobile-centric operations.
  • Current trends:
    • Super apps are rapidly achieving critical mass by incorporating more and more essential services into their fold.
    • With an uptick in POS mobile-wallet usage (60% in the US), super wallets are focusing on feature expansions and value adds.
  • Notable examples:
    • Grab (SEA), Alipay (China), PayTM (India)
    • Revolut, Google Pay, PayPal

The Super league

In sectors as competitive as fintech and e-commerce, a diverse repertoire of services for optimum customer satisfaction and convenience is fast becoming a prerequisite for success. No matter the method, efficiency is the keyword, with each brand arriving at different definitions of what being “super” truly entails.

Supercharge business growth with an omnichannel-ready customer engagement solution by contacting our experts today.


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