How to make success with Contactless and NFC payments.Posted: October 18, 2013
Successfully implementing Contactless / NFC payments into your existing payments infrastructure can both serve your company well and support your reputation in eyes of your peers and even board members. While it is a project like many others, there are several points that makes is unique.
Strong business case – Introducing new technology is nice, having NFC features in your payment solution is great, but spending resources to roll out Contactless / NFC payments without a valid business reason makes no sense. You need to find the answers to a simple question: “What benefits will Contactless / NFC bring to my business?“. When possible, those benefits should be measurable – so you can quantify your costs and profits and supporting your core business.
Sponsorship from the board – as with many IT driven projects, you will face a lot of resistance from various departments. Let’s face it, there are many that do not trust IT and label IT projects as pure technical and non-business ones. Having a board member as sponsor of your project, you will get an advocate on the top level that can make sure that others will listen and cooperate. Furthermore, your sponsor can bring the project to the attention of other board members and with little luck it will attract their attention as well. As many of us know – a project with board’s attraction can receive additional resources (and respect across the company) far more easy then a one without this privilege.
Get the most of the project – knowing your business environment, what portfolio of solutions will you include in your project. Contactless cards? NFC smart phones? Contactless stickers / watches / wristbands? What is the penetration of each of those payment devices in your area? Evaluating the potential and answering those questions will help you to get most of the project while still retaining financial sustainability.
Agile implementation partner – finding an implementation partner that has a strong interest in the success of your project is half-way to victory. Such a partner will react quickly to your requirements and agile to all the adjustments that will come as the project will advance. Reasons why your implementation partner will show strong interest can be various, ranging from desirable reference (when you are the first implementing Contactless / NFC in your industry or country) to a good prepared contract with a considerable success fee.
Dedicated team – here is where you can do your own homework as leader and manager. A smaller team with the right attitude and enthusiasm is better suited than a large group of specialists that have only mediocre interest in the project. Once again, motivation facts will vary – from the possibility to work with the latest technology, through becoming an expert in a “sexy” area, to earning respect from taking part on a board level supported project.
Engage external stakeholders – there are others outside your company that could have interest in your project and its success. Maybe your acquiring bank or credit card issuer might want to join forces with you and use your project for own marketing. They can offer expertise, counselling and even financial resources to support you and your team.
Enthusiasm from sales – while this point looks like not much important, it is in fact crucial. It will not be IT that will work with the new payment solution, it will be sales that will have to work with it day by day. Too many project fail on the point that the (internal) customer does not find any attraction in the provided solution and will use it only partially or none at all. Creating enthusiasm from sales is not easy by far, but there are ways and tool to do it. Communication on all levels and through various channels is needed, presentation and training are important but the key is to find the benefit for the sales guys and “sell” it to them.
Marketing where it matters – like many projects, budget is tight and IT driven projects tend to spend their resources on hard facts like hardware and software. Therefore there is always a lack of money to be spend for marketing. But be smart – use the resources where it makes most sense – at the point of sale. Be it local store or your online shop.
Selling the results – thinking that the project is over when the solution is working and handed over to the customer is a common mistake (especially with IT projects). From a certain perspective it is never over, but when the technical solution is working, your true work as leader has begun. You need to present achieved results on different levels of management. Not once, but two or three times, each time with more and detailed facts. You need to show your business case and if you have reached your expectations. Maybe you will need to prepare a press statement or give an interview or two. In the end, you need to sell your project to all your stakeholders.