Mobile Wallets, Identity Security and Banking Digital Maturity

My iPhone is the least valuable thing I carry. I like it that way – William Lovegrove on e-Consultancy

… having been through this recently myself I would concur… my iphone5 had a security flaw in it that meant it could be unlocked, you hardly ever recover a stolen iphone because once the sim is out it’s untrackable and the identity theft risk is very tangible in a society that is ‘risk-innocent’ and not protecting itself appropriately. 

It’s a race between a ‘few’ people who are looking at device security and a tipping point of security issues that wake people up to the risks…  that tipping point will get closer once banks implement mobile wallets – the device will be a much bigger target.
I’ve been involved with or around a few Mobile Banking strategies for UK banks over the last few years.  Banks are very keen to get in on the mobile wallet space and get ahead of Google, PayPal, Apple etc.  However banks are not traditionally innovators, certainly in technology.  They have been slow to wake up to the realisation that MOST companies now are enabled by technology (even in somecase have become primarily technology companies).  No one was really discussing the issues highlighted in this article (some did but were cut down because ‘we have to be in on this’)
My experience is that the Banks, whilst rushing to develop cool mobile strategies that ‘position’ them for innovation and marketshare, are absolutely not going far enough in considering the wider impacts of this technology.  Many have a good intent with making things easier for customers and increasing customer engagement.   However if you are involved in enabling a technology to become so intrinsically more intimate (yes finances are intimate) and thereby also making us a target for crime without considering how to mitigate this then you are not really making it better for us.
Here’s what I need (with this particular subject lense on)
  1. Give me somewhere safe to put my money
  2. Make it easy for me to access (unless I want to lock it away in exchange for some upside)
Very much in that order!
Fraud departments of Banks need to be ahead of the game here (a lot are using old standards for new channels), technology groups need to be on top of the latest thinking/developments (a lot are outsourcing the development of mobile channels to 3rd parties).
If Banks are going to be truly serious about being involved in mobile payments and wallets there needs to be a step change in how they go about being drivers of technology and innovation – across all operations in the bank.
After my phone loss – I’ve locked my new phone down now, changed all my passwords to a very secure system, backed everything up, removed financial information from the phone, set findmyiphone to track (to no avail), downloaded hiddenapp for future protection, reviewed my mobile phone insurance – that’s all easy enough right?
I mean – EVERYONE does that right?

Facebook Rolls Out Verified App Program – Revenue Model? Control Mechanism? Building Trust?

Facebook Rolls Out Verified App Program, Plus One Hell Of A Revenue Model For Themselves:
I disagree with Michael Arrington @ TechCrunch that the recent announcement of fb Verified App Program represents a new revenue model… I mean of course it DOES as in it will bring in revenue.

It just may not have high margin and may only be done by a certain proportion of the app marketplace.

I loved Michael’s comment that $9M was a lot of money where he came from, and it is where I come from too, however neither of us own one of the largest social media platforms in the world that is heavily invested in by Microsoft (did he forget the $240mn they put in??!!) $9M one-off SHOULD be small fry in fb-hq and if it isn’t then start worrying!

now if it was $9mn recurring and growing…. that might be a different matter as long as the margins were good… however $375 to test, verify an app – I’m sure there is automation but it does sound like a low-margin cost-covering exercise so there must be something else in it…

So imho what is more interesting is that fb want to get more involved in telling users which apps are good, and which aren’t.

fb’s Great Apps has already drawn a lot of criticism from, what might be sour grapes, commentators claiming nepotism, but hey I figure people that made a great platform probably have some friends who make some great stuff too… no biggie. Plus causes is a GOOD IDEA.

so whilst I don’t buy the big conspiracy theory of “great apps” I will entertain the possibility that being able to rank apps into badges of acceptability from fb will allow them to get more involved in how business is built on their platform. If you can introduce control on your platform you can certainly take a slice of the pie that other people are making in your playground. Fair Play

For those of us intending to roll-out serious business models with fun apps on social media $375 for the right to play in the playground shouldn’t be a big deal… the only thing is that we will expect a different kind of relationship with fb now… a little more serious now that we’re paying them money… are they ready?

Facebook Rolls Out Verified App Program, Plus One Hell Of A Revenue Model For Themselves:

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Starbucks’ Service Commitment, Starbucks Service Moment

Starbucks’ Service Commitment, Starbucks Service Moment:
An excellent quick overview of the commitment some companies are willing to make to improving their customer service and a great story from the frontline of the wider impact Magic Moments can have.

Whilst it is difficult to measure that impact it is certain the moments like this make customers feel more significant and the on the old hierarchy of needs that’s right up there. If I can have a retail experience that also makes me feel significant I’m going to get quite loyal to that brand. How else would Apple have survived the debacle that was the iPhone 3G launch without loyal customers who were looking for more than just a phone and so were willing to put up with the annoyances of getting the ‘phone’ bit right.

What Magic Moments are you creating for your customers now? What would need to happen for you to be able to take a “moment”, as Starbucks have done, to get with your front-line and get everyone motivated to create excellent experiences for your customers?

dancingmango » What is it that makes your product distinctive?

dancingmango » What is it that makes your product distinctive?:

My recently easternised friend and excellent customer experience dude, Marc McNeill, has found a fantastic interview with The Master Brewer for Guinness. In the world of technology and consumer products/services we might equate him to a Product Manager/Developer. He has an on the ground responsibility for producing the end-product.

Our Master brewer shows that his priorities lie with an overall customer experience and how his product features (flavour, colour etc) fit in with that… the actual product features are the last thing he mentions.

Marc challenges us to think about what this means for the way that we organise ourselves around defining the customer experience in the context of developing innovative and irresistible products

There are very few master brewers who go beyond just satisfying their customers with features and functionality, to focus upon delivering “a great all round experience”. To turn the mediocre and mundane into theatre. Like Apple have done with the iPhone. Like Guinness do with their stout. Yet something gets lost as you move away from the strategic owners of the Brand, to those responsible for tactical implementations. And this loss can obviously be costly. If the Guinness Master Brewer was only responsible for a drink that is an acquired taste, would it still be the sixth top ranked global Beer brand?

This is an example from a single product world, but in many companies we are dealing with developing individual products that bundle together to form the consumer proposition. Understanding how we can enable our Master Brewers to be responsible for excellent flavour that complements the rest of the products on our menu is key to being able to offer value at a consumer level and understand the profitability of our component products…

I would look to companies such as Apple, Telcos (where there are often many components to the end-bundle a customer might buy) and premium financial services to see how they organise themselves around understanding customer needs and delivering a selection of products to them that together create an overall experience. There is a lot an organisation needs to do to be able to deliver an end to end experience across a range of products and services. Guiness has the luxury of being fairly single-product minded… for the rest of us we need to make sure our organisation is lined up to deliver not just our product developers…

The bad table

I thought that Seth’s recent musing on restaurant service levels has something for us all to think about with regards our service offerings. He describes being offered the “worst table” in the restaurant, when he asked for an alternative table the one he pointed out was declared “reserved”…

Do you have a “worst table” that some of your customers end up with? Do you have a “best table” and how do you decide who gets that?

The bad table:
marketing dilemma: who should get your best effort? Should it be the new customer who you just might be able to convert into a long-term customer? Or should it be the loyal customer who is already valuable? Sorry, but the answer is this: you can’t have a bad table.

Here in the UK we have a great advert for Nationwide which makes similar points about customer service but from the flip-side:-

The “New Customers Only” mantra of promotions that are only available if you are a valuable (in this instance, new) customer…

Every offering, every level of service, every product you have should offer value at a level that means something to your customers new or established.  It is of course the case that ‘some’ of your offerings will be objectively compared to others and found to be ‘better’.

I think the lesson here is that you shouldn’t hold back on your good stuff just in case a better customer comes along.

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