Business case or a payment solution – what are you offering?

business_case_vs_payment_solutionI’d like to pose a question to the attendees of  mPOS World 2015 event. When speaking to your customers, do you offer an innovative and effective mPOS solution … or a well-crafted business case outlining what gains and for what costs will the customer receive?

While both ways are valid approaches towards a customer, I can only recommend considering the business case approach. In all my years as IT executive, I was approached many times by vendors offering excellent solutions. To stay focused on the mPOS event, let’s narrow down to payment solutions like new digital wallet solution, mPOS tablet device or an NFC based non-brand credit card. Each of the offered solution is innovative even disrupting and offers new ways of attracting tech oriented customers to our stores and generating new revenue.

Each of solution has a price, but that is expected and after a few rounds of negotiations acceptable. But there is an another side to any new payment solution deal … and that is all the hassle on the customers side connected with the implementation. Energy, time, resources and costs that need to be considered, approved by respective owner, spend in accordance with the project plan, tracked for reporting and controlling issues and successfully completed in the POTIFOB (project on time in full on budget) way.

Considering just a simple NFC payment solution, there are a number of questions and points to be answered and solved to make the project a success.

1. Numbers … How many NFC capable devices are in my market(s)? How many NFC capable credit/debit card holders are in my area(s)? Do I sell goods that can be sold via NFC payments (e.g. price under 20 EUR?) What are incentives for customers using NFC?

2. Costs … costs for the NFC solution are just a small part here as we need to include: eventual purchase of new POS terminals including roll out costs, adjustments to POS software, adjustments to in-house payments processing software, testing and certifying the whole HW/SW solution by given authority (acquiring bank, VISA/MC, any government offices), solution testing in-house or externally, training of your IT staff, training of your sell guys, marketing costs (advertisement, printed posters and stickers in your stores, promotions)

3. Funding … do we need to pay for all costs alone? Who else might be benefiting from this project? Is that one willing to share some of the costs? Is our acquiring bank interested in this project? What about VISA/MC/AMEX/DISCOVERER?

4. Perks … what can be used to promote the business case in eyes of one’s superiors? Do we have numbers based projection of revenue increase vs. necessary costs? Can this project be used as a part of a larger marketing or IT initiative? Can we use some numbers based business case from previous successful implementations?

It is well known in IT departments of large retail chains … there is a lot beyond the decision of adopting a new payment method, but that might not be so obvious for solutions providers. Look around during the mPOS World 2015 event, discuss with your peers and see for yourself, what are the companies offering, business cases of sole payment solutions?