Launching a new mobile wallet into the public marketplace can attract a lot of pitfalls. As a mobile wallet and payments pioneer, we learned how to succeed the hard way.
Based on our successes and errors, below are some of the things that we have found crucial when launching mobile payment initiatives.
While Gartner’s research promised that near-field communication (NFC) would be a success a few years back (when Visa sponsored the olympics with their NFC initiatives for the third time) it has relatively useless in its current form – so people don’t use it. You need to find new payment problems to solve for consumers – or – find existing situations that are plagued by real issues which people want fixed.
The most successful P2P (person-to-person) payment schemes are branded separate from the bank and addresses the whole market, enabling anyone to send money to, well, anyone. By launching an exclusive app you not only narrow the scope, you miss the chance of tapping into other banks’ customer bases.
P2P will only take you so far. Many banks who launch P2P stacks see some initial adoption but later experience a significant drop in use. This seems to relate to a lack of relevant use-cases. If you have a plan for engaging merchants you may end up with a vibrant ecosystem where payments are frequent. This will drive increased P2P usage, as it becomes the tool you use almost every day.
NFC initiatives have proven that providing an alternative initiation method for retail payments has little or no value to anyone. Yes, it’s the place that has massive volumes, but also the place where there are virtually no problems to solve. Don’t depend on success in retail when launching mobile payments. Only if you are massively successful and have great volumes outside of retail can you move in that direction. Focus on one or two segments at a time and choose segments where mobile payments solve actual problems.
Integration into established infrastructure is complex, time-consuming and limiting. The desire for massive distribution may lure you into an endless development process. The most successful schemes out there have gone their own way, delivering some kind of initiation method that ignores integration as much as possible. If you have to deliver your own simplified mPOS (mobile point of sale), do it!
The most successful mobile payment initiatives are stand alone. They may end up being the subject of partnerships later on, but banks working together… this is a hurdle for both innovation and aggressive marketing. These are such important elements in a successful go-to-market strategy. Don’t be afraid of annoying other banks. If you do succeed in that it means you have probably won the market.
If you have a popular solution, many banks forget that the product must solve a problem. Adding all kinds of features may only clutter the user experience. Focus on doing one thing really well before adding other features.
Do you want to test a demo of the Auka payment app or know how your bank can launch a mobile payment solution within a few months to win your domestic market?