Who wins in 2021 and the reasons – Health Guild News


When I went to study abroad in 2018, digital wallets were not so popular in Malaysia. I remember seeing stores accept Alipay and Touch ‘n Go eWallet transactions, but there was still no widespread use.

But when I got home in late 2020, I was surprised to find out how much e-wallets had been encouraged. Many refunds, discounts, rebates and coupons were offered.

I was overwhelmed with all the different promotions and reward programs from all the different apps. So I was surprised by a question: which app is the best?

What is a super app?

The term “super app” was first coined in 2010 by BlackBerry founder Mike Lazaridis, and defined it as a closed ecosystem of many apps. This means that a super app is basically an integrated app that offers a variety of different services and offerings in a perfect way.

Today, the leading applications in Malaysia that fall into this category include Catch, Shopee, Touch ‘n Go eWallet, Stimulus, and, more recently, airasia Super App.

These super applications have reached the public awareness through excellence in a specific area, specifically, Grab was first launched as a transport service, Shopee as a platform for online shopping, Touch ‘n Go eWallet for toll systems, Boost with your e-wallet, and AirAsia is of course the most famous for being a reputable airline.

As we know, however, one of the criteria for being a super application is that each of these applications must offer a lot of services. Grab not only offers transportation service, but also offers food, packages, groceries and even household services that you can pay for through your GrabPay e-wallet.

Shopee has also expanded beyond e-commerce to deliver food and groceries while offering its own e-wallet.

The ShopeeFood user interface when we reviewed its services here

Touch ‘n Go eWallet now also acts as a popular e-wallet that brings together a lot of other third-party services. Like Touch ‘n Go eWallet, Boost has also expanded its reach by offering third-party services such as online shopping, food delivery, insurance and even investment services.

And now, airasia Super App has joined the chat. The airline has been heavily marketing the app as “The ASEAN Super App” in hopes of taking off in the region.

The company has been making moves through the acquisition Gojek’s Thai business and food delivery service DeliverEat in Malaysia, and has also begun its email services in Malaysia.

The airasia ride team at launch / Image credit: airasia ride

With AirAsia, the super app marathon in Malaysia has become more serious than ever, and it’s definitely worth watching.

What is the best super app in Malaysia and why?

Depending on the scope, funding, and popularity of these super apps, there is one particular app that is clearly leading the race: the Super Grab app. How did we come to this conclusion?


First, when it comes to your main e-business, Grab dominates the market. There are a few other companies on the market for car transport, but Grab is always the solution.

“Taking a Grab” has become synonymous with taking a trip. There are even specific pick-up and drop-off points for Grab cars across the country.

Grab has performed exceptionally well in his main business and certainly the same cannot be said of all the other contenders.

On this firm footing, Grab has grown even more to cover a huge bandwidth of services. The categories of services listed on your website include food, transportation, market, delivery, payment, airtime, hotel, rewards, gifts, and insurance.

Compare this to Boost and Touch ‘n Go eWallet, which are mainly used only for their portfolio functions.


Of course, Shopee has also been growing exponentially, but Grab has substantially more downloads.

Depending on the approximate number of installations in the Google Play Store, Grab has been installed more than 100 million times while Shopee is sitting on a little more figure 10 million.

Both of us airasia Super App i Touch ‘n Go eWallet They are also reported to have more than 10 million downloads, while Boost has surpassed them 5 million downloads. While these figures do not accurately reflect the current usage rates of each app, it is still a remarkable statistic.


Lately, Shopee has also been strengthening its brand by hiring big names like Jackie Chan, as well as K-Pop artists like TWICE and Blackpink to be its ambassadors.

However, that doesn’t mean Grab isn’t focusing on his brand and reputation. During the pandemic, Grab has been determined to show his support to the communities through various efforts.

According to its Social Impact Report 2020, spent $ 40 million on relief initiatives in Southeast Asia, helping people see it as a friendly, supportive corporation.

Undoubtedly, airasia Super App also has a very strong brand as it is a household name in Malaysia due to the budget airline of the same name.

However, just because he’s known doesn’t mean he’s well-regarded. AirAsia losses, such as Bankruptcy of AirAsia Japan, can leave a bad impression that affects the use of your overapplication.


According to Crunchbase, Grab has raised a total of $ 12.5 billion in financing. Shopee’s parent company, Sea, has succeeded $ 8.6 billion.

But the fact is that both Shopee and Grab are not yet generating net profits. Shopee’s parent company went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2017, although Chinese tech giant Tencent is the main beneficiary of the listing.

Grab’s upcoming moves will also make him a global player. It is preparing to trade shares in the US after merging with Altimeter Growth Corp. This merger will allow Grab to focus on its growth in Malaysia and beyond. From reach to brand to funding, Grab has it all.

With a solid foundation and abundant support, Grab will no doubt be able to carry out his ambitious plans.

For now, the other super apps don’t come very close. TNG Digital has 3 billion RM (about $ 700 million) in financing, while Boost Holdings is reportedly US $ 70 million. Crunchbase reports that AirAsia has full funding 145.7 million US dollars.

Right now, it looks like there is only more growth for Grab, which is why we consider it the leading superapplication in Malaysia.

But who is to say that no one will end up advancing down the road? Maybe Shopee will manage to get ahead on the last lap, or airasia Super App will quickly change course despite arriving late to the game. So far, however, Grab is slowly advancing the pace.

What is the app for you?

While Grab is winning this super marathon of apps, it doesn’t mean it’s the perfect fit for everyone. If you’re not normally greeted by food or driven everywhere, the sheer number of features Grab offers could be overwhelming.

You may just want to use a simple e-wallet app. This is what I thought at first, and that’s why I chose to download Touch ‘N Go eWallet when I got home. In America, super apps aren’t a thing yet, and maybe they never will be.

There, Postmates is for food, Venmo is for transferring money to friends and Uber is for when you need a trip. I had become accustomed to this kind of mindset, so I thought it was weird to have so many in a single app.

Eventually, though, I started to see the appeal of having everything streamlined, especially when you are rewarded with points.

Right now, I’m slowly accumulating my points on Grab to reach that glorious platinum level that will get me a priority assignment, more discounts, and an accelerated profit rate.

But sometimes I wonder how much energy and time I really save with just using one app. I mean, it only takes a couple of seconds to get out of the app and go to another. Is it really a much more efficient super app?

Are the super apps here to stay?

Sure, all signs point to the yes, but we all know that disruptive innovations can sometimes come without warning.

Still, the ethos and notion of super applications certainly follow the trends of our current society well. These applications reflect the globalized and digitized reality where humans want a streamlined and integrated experience.

But when it finally becomes apparent that Grab, or any other super app, has won the marathon, what does that mean for us? Will we have to face the disadvantages of a monopoly? Are you talking about the evils of a big giant corporation?

Well, no matter what the future holds, one thing is clear: this strong super application clash has highlighted Malaysia’s innovative and economic capabilities, marking the beginnings of a technological or innovative boom in Malaysia.

And right now, we’re looking at Grab to continue to lead by example as we wait to see if others will move forward soon.

  • You can read more opinion articles from us here.

Featured Image Credit: Bloomberg / Forbes

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