The startling number of everyday functions that WeChat allows Chinese customers to complete is long.
- Making payments
- Scheduling doctor appointments
- Paying traffic fines
- Bike sharing (Mobike)
- Managing Credit Cards
- Booking transportation
- Checking crowd density
- Searching for online trends
- Making contributions (‘Donate Your Step’)
- Business communication and tracking
- Calling landlines or other mobile devices
- Virtual Reality
- Purchasing insurances
And a warning to the banking and insurance industries that such apps can come to dominate ecosystems. So time to make sure the simplicity, speed and utility of their banking and insurance apps are the equal of WeChat.
WeChat and Alibaba have demonstrated that they can be tech leaders and develop digital products and services that far surpass what is being done in most other countries. The second lesson? it is possible to establish a priceless digital platform and ecosystem – if you have a well-made, consumer-centric product, with amazing features and the audacity to think bigger than traditional companies and even tech giants. Most importantly, the future of digital engagement is not a single product, service or industry category, but the seamless integration of services that make the consumer’s life easier, delivered on a platform that consumers are willing to make their home page. In other words, banking (or any other category) will most likely run ‘in the background’ of a much broader ecosystem where data and insight is used to benefit the consumer in real time.