Worms. For the 16 million inhabitants of the Turkish metropolis of Istanbul, the German company KOBIL from Worms has developed a super app to make the metropolis more modern and more digital. The app allows all users to access all municipal services easily and securely, an app that aims to simplify the daily lives of Istanbul’s citizens and also improve communication with the city halls and all its municipal companies. Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM) installed Turkey’s first super app, which will be an example and inspiration for other major cities around the world. Istanbul aims to contribute to the fairness, creativity, and sustainability of a new vision of the modern city and make the lives of its residents easier. Super apps differ from ordinary apps in that they combine many different functions in one app.
The new super app “Istanbul Senin” was launched on November 18, 2021, at the Istanbul Convention Center, attended by Istanbul Metropolitan Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu and the KOBIL Group’s founder and chairman İsmet Koyun. Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu stressed in his opening speech that it should inspire every leader of other metropolises to follow suit. “Everyone who lives in this metropolis, regardless of age, ethnicity, religion, or lifestyle, has the right to help shape the city’s destiny. Istanbul will be a city where values rise because this city, rich in tradition, belongs to everyone.”
“With pride, I can announce that with ‘Istanbul Senin’ – translated as “Istanbul is Yours”- we are the first in the world to go live with such a great vision. “With ’Istanbul is Yours’, we are creating a completely new ecosystem and digital, secure platform where the highest user security is guaranteed, users can use their digital identity, a digital wallet, and digital contracts.”
The common platform, now offered with 16 million votes, allows energy and potential to be increased, said Ekrem Immamoglu, adding further “In this project, we have cooperated with one of the most important and renowned companies in the world, the German-based IT company KOBIL, for the installation, software, and technical infrastructure. The Mayor said that İsmet Koyun, the founder of KOBIL, is one of the most successful Turkish people in Germany, along with Özlem Türeci and Ugur Sahin, who developed the world’s first and most effective vaccine in the fight against the pandemic.
“Ismet Koyun, who emigrated to Germany at a young age to study, has returned to us today as the founder of a forward-looking software company. He operates worldwide, has developed many international digital security products, and has actively supported us in realizing this vision from day one. Welcome home Mr. Koyun, we are very thankful to you.”
“Pandemic – Regionality gains importance”
“The pandemic has shown us the fragility in supply chains, which is why regional production, cultivation, and consumption have become more important,” said the KOBIL founder, stressing that “in modern urban administration, besides digitalization, cities have many other tasks and duties, such as revitalizing the economy or taking social responsibility.”
“With a visionary approach, Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality has not only united its own municipal businesses with residents but also simultaneously supported the city’s SMEs with a new ecosystem and brought the participation philosophy to life under the KOBIL SHIFT super app. The goal of ‘Istanbul is Yours’ is to unite all businesses in Istanbul under one roof with the app concept.”
Super app: The easiest way to build your own ecosystem
“Today, ego-systems are being replaced by ecosystems, and the super app is the digital solution of the future,” Koyun highlights. “Unfortunately, the examples in the current digital world show that this concept is not properly fulfilled by many. We, as KOBIL, consider the super app to be more than an ‘umbrella’ application with dozens of applications.
For us, the super app is a turnkey solution that offers everything in one to meet the needs of all consumers. It is the ‘super way’ for businesses to establish their own ecosystem and better realize their potential.”
Koyun elaborated on his remarks on this topic as follows: “We have an innovative technology that enables companies to establish their own ecosystem, increase their interactions, get to know their customers better, provide trusted and secure data storage, as well as the agility and flexibility for future innovations.
It offers companies the ability to use multiple services through a single application in addition to the ease of installation without requiring deep expertise. Furthermore, partners can be integrated into the existing ecosystem very easily to expand their business.
“Istanbul is Yours,” will make the difference for regional administration
“Istanbul is Yours” will not only be a forerunner but also an inspiration and an example for other regional administrations in Turkey as well as other European and global metropolises and megacities,” says Koyun, adding, “by distributing services and increasing democratic participation of the population, there will be significant time and cost savings for citizens and businesses. The solutions that ensure this will also be used in other cities and countries. We as KOBIL with İMM are full of pride to be the forerunner and first in the world for such a project and to have made it together.
“Istanbul is Yours”: What’s included
Developed with KOBIL’s technology, the Istanbul super app offers features as well as applications that meet all the city-related needs of Istanbul residents while having the ability and opportunity to transform Istanbul into a start-up center.
The super app consists of three phases: mobile payment, easy access to services, and digital marketplaces. Within these phases, users have easy access to the following services and solutions.
Secure communication: In this section, users can participate in all IMM processes, quickly access and respond to information in emergency situations, set up their own messaging application such as WhatsApp, and access all information about the city in real-time. All these transactions are carried out based on the confidentiality of personal data.
Secure payment: Under this heading, users can use digital wallets, offline and online payments, QR code payments, micropayments, earn bonus points from payments to IMM and its municipal companies, make secure donations, and one-click payments with Istanbul Pay.
Secure business model: “Istanbul is Yours” will be a brand new marketplace platform for many businesses in the city. Any business can open a virtual (digital) store (m-commerce or store) on “Istanbul is Yours” and will have the opportunity to reach more people and increase its sales by using IMM’s proliferation. Also, both sellers and consumers are protected from product counterfeiting.
Moreover, start-ups can develop solutions for this platform and reach many more people through the super app. Thus, Istanbul will become a start-up and innovation center.
Secure social assistance network: “Istanbul is Yours” ensures that the increasing number of people in need of assistance in recent years are identified with a special program. As a result, secure donations reach the super app via the digital Istanbul Car