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Platform business is taking over the app scene – the winner takes it all and we’re already seeing “Super apps on steroids”

Nobody wants to use more apps than they have to, so the rise of platform apps is not a surprise. What does this mean for the Finnish market?

Platform apps are taking over various digital industries from finance, food and books to lifestyle, entertainment and music. By definition, a platform app enables interactions between affiliated customers.

Platform applications work as a platform for one or more useful services or products from the same or multiple providers – like ResQ, Wolt, Spotify and, to name a few.

In Finland, MobilePay is also one of the most successful platform applications. We had the honour of having MobilePay’s country manager Perttu Kröger as a guest speaker at our last week’s Product Owner meetup. Kröger shared his insights on different kinds of platform apps, the top challenges in creating and maintaining one, and why you should care.

“From the user’s perspective, the most important reason to use a platform app is convenience,” Kröger says.

“In the best scenario, the user flow should also be so frictionless that the user could be using a platform app without even realising it.”

MobilePay’s and Qvik’s joint efforts to offer a solution that enables smooth electric vehicle charging and payment is a good example of such a platform app. In the new solution, electric vehicle charging can be paid with Mobilepay’s app, with the app’s existing features utilised in a brand new way. Qvik’s integration capabilities make the solution possible and technically viable.

Watch out, or platform apps might steal your customers

The platform app concept is widely known and much used in Asia, but not many Nordic applications have yet seen its potential for broadening the business focus and enabling partners to join the same user flow.

“In the Asian market, you could call apps like Wechat and Alipay super apps on steroids”, says MobilePay’s country manager Perttu Kröger.

The simple reason why platform apps are so popular is that they make people’s daily lives easier. At Qvik, our fascination for platform apps stems from the capabilities we have the most experience in: user experience and mobile – two things you have to perfect to succeed with your platform product.

These types of digital products require effort, but the rewards can be huge.

“The current scaling potential in the Nordics is enormous, and when it comes to platform apps, markets tend to have a winner takes it all dynamic.”

Better user experience with embedded payments

According to our survey, the pandemic has turned the Finns into e-commerce veterans with higher standards for online store usability – including a higher demand for convenient online payment methods. Seven out of ten Finns say that badly functioning and awkward online stores now annoy them more than they used to.

“Embedding payments into the platform enables a seamless user experience from onboarding to payments and payouts”, says our payment expert Mikko Vahter.

“Most successful platforms facilitate payments between buyers and sellers and provide the possibility to fast-forward or delay transactions and earn commissions from the platform. Facilitating payments may require a payment institution licence, but applying is not rocket science.”

For any app to succeed, it needs loyal users – and the way to get loyal users is to guarantee a smooth and trustworthy payment flow. You can read more about this topic in Pia Höglund’s previous article Marketplaces are built on trust – this won’t happen without secure payments.

Want to join our events?

Qvik’s PO meetups are networking events for everyone who has or shares the responsibility for a service and its development, and especially for product owners.

Our next meetup will be on November 30th, and our guest speaker for the morning will be Elias Aalto – a founding member of both Qvik and Wolt. The topic is nothing short of Wolt: Building a successful consumer service in mobile – tips and tricks for Product Owners.

We are also arranging a roundtable event on how easy payments support the transition from fossil fuels to electric vehicles. At the event, facilitators from Virta Ltd and Neste will host roundtable discussions on customer-centric EV charging, bridging the gap between the physical and digital worlds, and collaboration by regulators, the public sector and private companies in developing the charging infrastructure.

Illustration: Midjourney AI