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🦸‍♂️ The rise of the super app

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This week in fintech

October 4 · Issue #75 · View online

A weekly summary of the latest news in our world of finance, design, and technology.


Also:
  • 💨 Fast checkout
  • 🤸‍♀️ Flexible BNPL
  • 👑 Creating great products
  • ☕️ How coffee created capitalism

🦸‍♂️ The rise of the super app
CEO of PayPal Dan Schulman thinks there are too many financial apps. He, therefore, wants to build a “super app” for consumers to manage payments, shopping, savings, investing, budgeting, crypto, and identity — all in one place. Last week, PayPal launched their first take on this super app. This is a trend we’ve seen for years in Asia, where Alipay, WeChat, and Paytm have combined everything from payments to food delivery and travel booking. In Scandinavia, Klarna has started including featured stores in their app, and Vipps is covering everything from identity, wallet to mobile subscriptions. Ironically enough, Beijing plans to break up Ant Group’s Alipay and create a separate app for the fintech giant’s loans business, according to Financial Times.
In the context of a super financial app, Sparebank 1-alliance plan to include carsubscriptions in their apps and webpages don’t seem that far fetched.
💨 Fast checkout
Last week we talked about Amazon’s “Just Walk Out” technology, where you authenticate via their app when you walk into the shop. Now they are also rolling out palm-scanning instead of authenticating via an app as well. All you have to do is hold your hand above a scanner. Your scanned handprint is a more privacy-focused solution than scanning your thumbprint or face.
Speaking of new payment solutions, Lunar will be the first bank in Norway to offer its own account-based checkout to online stores. All customers need to do is enter their phone number to complete the purchase. Their address is filled in automatically, and the amount is deducted directly from the account without entering payment details. This is Lunars way to “beat” Vipps on their turf by being first on “payment from account.” But the question is how much the users care if it’s drawn directly from an account or their card as long as the process is fast and quick? This is more a brand and trust game: What are you more likely to pay from given the options: Vipps, Apple, or a new payment solution you’ve never heard of called Lunar?
🤸‍♀️ Flexible BNPL
Monzo just launched their BNPL solution called Flex. The same day Curve launched their BNPL-offering called.. drumroll.. Flex.. Imagine the discussions in both camps after launch. 😂
Buy now, pay later feels like a concept that came out of nowhere that’s now everywhere you look in online commerce.
It’s a no-brainer for banks and merchants: Smaller fees, more data, and less stringent credit rules. It’s also lovely for consumers: Less strenuous credit checks, lower interest rates, and you can divide up large amounts. But there is a lot of potential downsides here:
BNPL makes sense for consumers if (and it’s a big if) people understand how to budget or have enough disposable income to handle the payments. […] What happens when someone signs themselves up for 17 different BNPL options that they’ll be paying off for years? Ben Carlson - Save now, buy later
This is a great point and interesting thought since this is debt data hidden from debt registers, and it’s payments that are much harder to default on if you run into trouble. After all, they draw your amount directly from your payment account every month.
You know what’s a better idea than buy now, pay later? Save now, buy later. Ben Carlson
👑 Creating great products
Sometimes you come over paragraphs that make you say: “Amen!”. This paragraph from Scott Belsky, CPO of Adobe, is one of those:
A prototype is worth a hundred meetings, and almost all product meetings that aren’t grounded with a prototype are a waste of time (or worse). A meeting without a prototype is like a jury deliberation without a court transcript, you’ll start imagining different things and become untethered. A prototype immediately surfaces gaps in logic or business concerns. It is the fastest way to drive alignment. It is hard to argue with an amazing experience, but all too easy to critique ideas and mince words.
This is the reason prototypes and involvement are an important part of our process at Stacc. A few links about creating great products from this week:
  • Why minimalism never goes out of style Link
  • What is “Seeing The Matrix” For A Product Leader? Link
  • I don’t believe in data-driven design Link
☕️ How coffee created capitalism
We love our coffee here in Stacc. So much that we get it delivered freshly roasted from Bergen Kaffebrenneri, right nearby our offices. We weren’t surprised when we saw this video that explains how caffeine is woven into the fabric of modern society and kicked off the industrial revolution.
How Caffeine Addiction Changed History (ft. Michael Pollan) | WIRED
That's it for this week 👋
Remember, if you’re enjoying this content, please do tell all your (fintech) friends to hit the subscribe button!
Marius Hauken, partner Stacc X
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