If you follow this blog, you might have seen that I was recently involved in running a 24-hour workshop to get to grips with that thing we call the Internet of Things – the IoT. We already know it is going to change the way we do things. But our purpose was to think about how this disruptive force will affect the way we go about meeting needs and creating value for our customers.
By way of a keynote (although the event was much less formal that that), we invited along Joern Larsen, CEO of Trifork to talk about his experiences in bringing digital business transformation to the financial sector.
Trifork is a software business which provides the technology for Danske Bank’s MobilePay app. This type of technology is being adopted so rapidly that it won’t be long until we’ve forgotten the age when we couldn’t buy a coffee without using our smartphone or watch to pay.
It seems like in less time than it took to sell the concept to Danske Bank, MobilePay has grown from simple P2P payments to providing solutions for small businesses, online shopping and third party applications. Currently MobilePay has over 2.5 million users, and has an important role maintaining the brand image of Danske Bank to a user group that includes many people that are not actually the banks’ retail customers.
Larsen shared a five point plan for product development which begins (as all good marketing does), with identifying a need: “If you have to solve a pain, and you can solve that pain with a product, it’s so much easier because then you know the task you have to solve,” says Larsen. “That’s exactly where we were with MobilePay: The problem we had to solve was making it easy to make person-to-person payments, because that had not been possible before using a mobile phone.”
Joern quickly moved to the software solution itself and it was clear that nothing less than excellence will do: “Then the next thing is, you have to do it right,” Larsen continued. “If it’s not technically perfect and it’s not secure, you cannot gain the trust of the user because they don’t trust using the service.”
His third point is about an intuitive user experience. In fact, the idea of creating a mobile P2P payment system came directly out of Larsen’s own experience as a parent: “You have to put a lot of effort into usability because if it doesn’t get picked up just like that by young people, old people or middle aged people and it doesn’t make sense within just a few clicks, or a swipe, it’s never going to work.”
“How I used MobilePay in the beginning was with my kids. They would send me the sorts of requests kids send – ah, Dad, you owe me some money because I had to pay for a train ticket so I could come and visit you! Of course, they thought I should pay their expenses, not them. So I could just swipe and I could accept the payment just then.”
The fourth of Larsen’s five-point plan relates to publicity: “Even if you have a really good product and it’s technically perfect and user friendly, you still need some hype around it. You need PR and marketing to make sure that a sufficient number of people start using it at once. You have to make sure that sufficiently many people start using it at the same time. So they can start telling their friends it’s really cool and they should start using it too. If you only get one user, I think it won’t go.”
Finally and appropriately given recent high profile concerns about online risk, Larsen’s fifth point addresses cyber security issues: “In our company we have security experts. But more so, banks are used to dealing with break-ins, hacking and security. All the emphasis on security and the safety of use is on the bank and their experts – they know what to look for. But there are also third party companies who can go and test your software and try to hack it. We always use services like that when we are working on highly secure systems.”
If you’d like to see more about the workshop, we’ve posted a short film on Youtube: IoT – A View From Outside In