A gameboy showing the symbol of the super app WeChat.

How E-Commerce Companies Can Score High in the Super App World

Mobile shopping and service platforms make up a huge chunk of online commerce already – 43% of retail is expected to happen via mobile phone in 2023. Now, we see a next-level trend swap over from Asia, which might completely change the game: Super apps. Super apps (also: SuperApps, superapps and super-apps) bundle various digital services into a single consolidated, mobile experience. The term was first used by Mike Lazaridis, founder of BIackBerry, at the Mobile World Congress in 2010, picturing everyday apps that are “seamless, integrated, contextualized, and efficient” and form a closed ecosystem. 

Contemporary super apps set out to deliver on this promise. A super app is a collection of so-called mini-apps or applets. Thus, it forms a central access point for services of day-to-day life: 

  • Messaging
  • Social networking
  • Shopping
  • Payment
  • Insurance
  • Savings
  • Event and transportation

Customers can access a super apps’ service portfolio via a single sign-on (SSO) instead of multiple accounts. This convenience keeps them returning and increases brand visibility for businesses – which leads to a spread of the app among more users and ultimately higher revenue. 

Also, all mini-apps interact with each other in a context-sensitive way. They access a shared pool of customer data. This data gives businesses insights into customer behavior and is used to recommend user specific actions, goods and services within the super app. 

But can your company press START and enter the super app market? And what are the benefits of doing so even? This article will cast a light on this. We will discuss: 

  • Who are the big players in the super apps market?
  • Why are super apps a trend with customers you should not miss out on?
  • What are your options to power up your e-commerce business with superapps? 
  • How to put an electronic wallet at the heart of your super-app? 
Read More
Banknotes from different nations, symbolizing local / alternative payment methods

Why Shooting For Alternative Payment Methods Is Half the Game

Around 200 different payment methods exist around the globe – every single one has its fans. That’s not surprising: Our local payment culture influences which payment methods (or payment service providers) we prefer. Factors such as perceived payment trends, word-to-mouth, and genuine economic and regulatory conditions all shape our preference for one way of payment or the other.

For every company aiming for a new market, it’s crucial to understand the local payment customs inside out. And that’s just the preliminary: Integrating local payment methods and providers can be complex and costly on the technical side. This article will help companies without a payment software background navigate the playing field. How to set up a custom payment system that simplifies payment method integration?

The article details: 

  • The benefits and challenges of local payment methods 
  • Why a custom payment system makes alternative payment method integration easier
  • How to set up a global payment system with CoreWallet, featuring an orchestration layer for local payment methods 

Let’s begin… 

Read More
A computer besides a wallet, symbolizing payment gateways, online payment and ewallets

E-Wallets or Payment Gateways – A Comparison

When we compare e-wallets or payment gateways to payment with card or cash, we often evaluate the former as more convenient. That might be a bit of an overstatement, really. Holding your credit card in front of a card reader does not exactly sound like much work, does it?

No, what really makes modern digital payment methods so powerful is their feature-richness and flexibility. For example, you can simply conduct cross-border payments or transfer tiny amounts of money with digital payment methods. And even if you are bound to our own four walls (for some reason), you can pay for goods and commodities with just a few clicks. 

But payment does not equal payment. Behind the scenes of your checkout page, in the technical profundities of the software, it makes a huge difference whether the payment happens via an e-wallet balance or a digital bank or credit card transfer, facilitated by a payment gateway. 

Payment Gateways vs. E-Wallets? Not Quite!

However, make no mistake and don’t take “Payment gateways or e-wallets” literally. The two are not exact opposites: You need PGs to process a transaction no matter what. The real question is: How exactly does using e-wallets vs. regular payment providers influence the payment process, especially regarding user experience? 

Read More
A person holding a credit card facing an online marketplace, symbolizing online payment and the payment gateways in charge of the transfer

How to Tell Payment Gateways from Payment Service Providers (And Which One to Choose)

Digital platforms are the go-to spots for e-commerce – and terminals for countless payment transactions. 

Whatever platform a customer uses (be it Amazon, Etsy, a niche marketplace for specific goods like Chewy or a “meta-marketplace” like Check24), they will have to pay for their order at some point. That’s when Payment Service Providers and Payment Gateways make their appearance. It’s their job to detect fraud and validate the purchasing agreement. And ultimately, to debit accounts and move money.

But what exactly is a marketplace payment system and what is the difference between a Payment Gateway and a Payment Service Provider? This article will provide: 

  • A definition of Payment Gateways in contrast to Payment Service Providers
  • An overview of the parties involved in online marketplace transactions
  • Next steps for building your own Payment Gateway
  • Access to a Free White Paper About Payment Gateways

Let’s start. 

Read More
A software developer working on coding a payment gateway

How to Develop a Payment Gateway – in 4 Stages

Online marketplaces are complex systems. This complexity is reflected in the Payment Gateway needed for such platforms.

As a marketplace owner, you always have the option to integrate payment systems, offered by external Payment Service Providers. Depending on your business strategy, that might suffice. But using an off-the-shelf PSP will also limit your opportunities. You can’t evolve your marketplace to your preferences if the PSP doesn’t move along with you:

  • You want to offer payment methods, according to customer demand? The PSP must support them.
  • You want to scale up your business and move to new markets? The PSP must be set up to handle higher transaction numbers and adapt quickly to local financial regulations.
  • You want to enable customers to pay via a prepaid e-money balance and securely store their payment instruments? The PSP must offer an electronic wallet.
  • And so on…

Thus, ambitious marketplace owners might decide to build a custom Payment Gateway and remain in control over payments. As the company behind CoreWallet, the flexible software foundation for payment and e-wallet applications, we are familiar with creating Payment Gateways. It’s important to approach the development process with a clear plan. To help you master the technical challenges, we have compiled the common stages of such a Payment Gateway project for you.

Read More
A photo of Stephan Noller, CEO and co-founder of Ubirch, besides the interview topic of digital identity in fintech

finquiry #5: Stephan Noller on Digital Certification in IoT 

Over the course of the coming years, the web could permeate even more aspects of our lives than just computers and smartphones. The new smart devices are fridges and bicycles, forklifts and robotic vacuum cleaners, trucks and industrial machinery. In this internet-of-things, devices measure data points to adjust their workings and exchange data with users. 

But how do IoT devices record, store and transfer their data in a secure manner? And is decentralized technology the right approach technology for identification and certification in the internet-of-things? Internet Entrepreneur Stephan Noller has answers – and provides insights into the development of Europe’s first digital vaccination certificate.

Our Guest: Stephan Noller, CEO at UBIRCH

Psychologist, Internet expert, deep-tech serial entrepreneur. Cologne, Tel Aviv, Dubai. Stephan Noller has pursued software, blockchain and data-exchange projects with international appeal. He is the founder and CEO of UBIRCH GmbH, but he also co-founded a variety of other businesses, like Calliope gGmbH, which created an educational micro-computer for schools, or nugg.ad, the European market leader for targeting technology.

Together with a consortium of renowned companies, the Cologne-based company has developed and is operating the official infrastructure of the EU Digital COVID Certificate for Germany.

Read More
A hand holding lollipos, which stand for loyalty programs

How You Build a Wallet-Based Loyalty Program And Profit 

One of the key drivers of growth and profitability is customer retention. You may be converting a nice piece of your traffic into sales. But you need a healthy customer retention rate, i.e. your ability to keep a paying customer over a period of time. Else, you will be spending more money over time on acquiring new customers.

The cost of acquiring a new customer is high. According to Harvard Business Review that cost can amount to 5 to 25 times more than it takes to retain a customer. That is why you will see a lot of businesses have implemented a loyalty program to entice people to return and increase retention.

But what would a higher retention rate mean for merchants? According to Bain & Company, a 5% increase in retention rates can raise profits by more than 25%. By having a loyalty program in place, you end up spending less while simultaneously increasing your profits by targeting your existing customers.

With this article, we want to help you build a thriving business as a merchant or marketplace platform owner by granting customers the incentive of loyalty points. We outline how you can integrate a loyalty program into a payment system built with CoreWallet. The article will answer the questions: 

  • What is a loyalty program?
  • What types of loyalty programs exist?
  • How to set up a point-based loyalty program for your business – on the technical side?
  • Why will you benefit from implementing your loyalty program with CoreWallet?   
Read More
Three board game pieces symbolizing German companies getting into fintech

5 German Companies Blossoming Into Fintech Players

We don’t only buy from them. We also pay with them. 

In contemporary e-commerce and digital service platforms, we observe a growing number of players who enter the realm of fintech. Those originally non-financial companies understand that offering embedded financial services has become a key success factor. And for some: A profitable side business (if they can sell their self-built payment or wallet systems to other companies).

Those companies realize their fintech ambitions in various forms: Some just rely on external partners and simply embed financial services, such as insurance or loans. Others have higher aspirations and aim at core payment processes. They want to run their own payment solutions. Perspectively, external enterprises or customers not associated with their primary business should use them, too.

If we had to guess: The former paragraphs had specific brands pop up before your mind’s eye. Apple, Amazon and Google. WeChat, perhaps. And of course, the term “Pay” attached to all of them. 

But besides the big names, non-financial companies from various industries have broken ground in fintech. 

And as we have a certain affinity to the German fintech scene, we want to take a look at 5 of new fintech players from Germany and where their ambitions lie. Here goes, from B to Z:

Read More
A credit card used for payment on an online platform

How Online Card-Based Payments Function

On today’s online platforms, we face an extensive choice of (digital) payment methods, some of them fairly non-traditional (like blockchain-based payments), some having been around for a while (like credit card, direct debit, vouchers and gift codes). In some countries, payment methods that bridge the online and offline spheres of web shopping remain popular, too, such as cash-on-delivery. In others, BNPL and e-wallet-based payment flows are popular. This article will take a deep look into one specific form of online payment, though:

Card-Based Online Payments

These include all manners of payment cards such as Credit Cards, Debit Cards and Prepaid Cards. They may exist in purely digital form or have a physical equivalent. In any case, local banks issue the cards and they operate on the rails of international or domestic Payment Card Schemes.

In the following paragraphs, we will focus on credit card-based payment systems, presenting their basic flows and involved parties (like issuer, acquirer and so on). This article will examine in detail:

And go! 

Read More
A picture of a Moritz Königsbüscher, providing insights into the topic of Payment Analytics

Finquiry #4: Moritz Königsbüscher on Payment Analytics 

Over the last decades, online commerce has become increasingly data-driven. Companies monitor search engine metrics, measure user behavior on their pages or ask customers for their feedback in digital forms. 

One branch of data evaluation for e-commerce and service platforms, that promises valuable insights, is Payment Analytics. But it’s also a challenge to set up a functioning environment and make sense of one’s findings. 

In our fintech interview series “Finquiry”, payment expert Moritz Königsbüscher addresses the topic and shares best practices. 

Our Guest: Moritz Königsbüscher, Freelance Payment Consultant

Moritz Königsbüscher has examined payments from almost all angles. He worked in payments and product management roles in companies both on the payment service provider side and the merchant side (e.g. Arvato, Xing, SoundCloud, RiskIdent). Working as a freelance payments consultant for banks, startups and corporations of varied industries, Moritz recently launched the PreAuth Academy, a service specializing in online payments training. 

Read More