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Airtel Joins Indian Super Apps List, Offers Hotel Booking Via OYO In-App

Flipkart, Paytm, PhonePe, Amazon, WeChat, Truecaller are among the many digitally focused companies in India and abroad serving multiple offerings through their own platform.

Telecom giant Airtel, which had integrated taxi booking services through Ola, payments through Bhim UPI, IRCTC train booking into its Airtel Thanks app, has now added the OYO app for booking hotels. Offering multiple services from a single app rather than a single-function app reflects business strategy to transform a super app. Flipkart, Paytm, PhonePe, Amazon, WeChat, Truecaller are among the many digitally focused companies in India and abroad that are starting to offer multiple offerings through their own platform.

The partnership is a win-win for Airtel and OYO, in which Airtel can improve its user engagement rate on its app and transactions through return payments, OYO manages to “reach the millions of Airtel customers,” said Burhanuddin Pithawala, Vice President, Conversions, OYO Hotels and Homes.

“The phenomenon of super apps started with WeChat in China and Indian apps are also building their services in this direction, but they are not there yet. Super apps need to have high density in their platforms to meet daily customer needs such as transportation and food, ”Brij Bhasin, general partner at Japanese venture capital fund Rebright Partners, told Financial Express Online.

Interestingly, users can either pay the full amount of the reservation in advance or pay Rs 1 for the reservation and the remaining amount later, the company said in a statement.

The merger will add to “digital services and offerings, including insurance and content,” on the app, said Varun Das, vice president – Product, Bharti Airtel.

In addition, users could also benefit from the offers available on the standalone OYO app through the Airtel app, although they can get 60% off bookings made through Airtel Payments Bank through June 15, 2019.

Transforming a super app aims to increase customers’ wallet share instead of letting them access other different apps. The trend is still early in India because the integration is not seamless in terms of discovery and intuitiveness for other services that we need to get other applications. Companies therefore need to improve the discovery of these services, Bhasin added.

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