Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Indian Payment Trends I Expect to Unfold in 2015

Indian Payments marketplace trends will be segment dependent. I have borrowed upon CK Prahalad's Pyramid model, while thinking about market segments.

Top of the Pyramid

At the Top of the Pyramid segment, it will be social commerce, for example Oxicash and ICICI are already providing transactions support over the social networks, others like EKO will be launching their respective products.

The CX (Customer Experience) of Social Commerce will improve.

Middle of the Pyramid

NFC based smart card prepaid wallets will be more popular with the middle of the pyramid. Currently the prepaid smart cards are not inter-operable in India, even though the standards and regulations are in place, the B2B relationships are in search of a robust business model. Recently, I heard about a NFC enabled ICICI Debit cards being co-branded with Delhi Metro, so that it can be used for a seamless travel experience in Metro.

Bottom of the Pyramid

For bottom of the Pyramid it will be card less ATM cash withdrawal, and Aadhar linked no frills accounts that can be transacted using a feature phone using National USSD Payments Gateway.

I wish for a better financially included India in the year 2015.

How ICICI Bank Looses e-Commerce Transactions

Today, ICICI Bank lost an opportunity to fulfill a payment for my evening shopping at Snapdeal.

 I saw a really good deal, with 80% off and decided to go for it. While checking out, I selected the Internet Banking payment option and choose ICICI Bank. However, after the first factor authentication, it's risk profile software, somehow decided to send me a SMS OTP (One Time Password)  on my registered number, which happens to be a prepaid Airtel mobile. Being the end of the year, with SMS traffic on it's peak, the SMS failed to reach me on time and the transaction timed out.

Fortunately, Snapdeal did not loose the transaction, and I could re-order from the shopping cart. I eventually had to pay by my virtual Visa Card.

A few lessons I learned from the CX (Customer Experience) :

  • It's a good idea not to empty the shopping cart before the transaction is fulfilled. I remember, Flipkart cleaned the cart out in past and I lost the full cart.
  • Banks should use more intelligent risk profiling, for example, I had logged into my ICICI Bank account about 15 minutes ago, using the same, IP, browser and the machine. If ICICI had taken a note of it, it could have avoided sending me an OTP and for second factor could have used the  usual means of debit card matrix. 
  • Be aware that SMS is not reliable, so either use USSD or send a backup OTP by mail. HDFC and Amex do this.
  • Having a mobile wallet would make immense sense for e-commerce sites. Flipkart has it.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

User Experience of using Quick Response Code for LG and Monte Carlo

Today early morning, being in a festive Diwali mood, I saw two advertisements in Hindustan Times, that I liked and wanted to buy. One was the newly launched LG Water Purifier and other was the sweater from the new winter collection from Monte Carlo.

Both these products are my type of brands, the brands that I feel deliver value for money.

Notably, both these advertisements had a Quick Response (QR) codes printed on them. QR codes are best for impulsive buying through mobile devices.

As I was expecting an early morning call from my colleague, I had my phone near me. I used it to scan the QR code.

I expected that the QR code will take me to a micro-site, which will be adaptive and responsive, made for multiple mobile form factors. Also, this micro site should have a simile of the paper advertisement, for a brand recall and a BUY NOW button.

Both of these two QR codes linked sites disappointed me.

The LG Water Purifier, QR code had a caption saying that to find out more details scan the QR code. While the site linked to QR code was a generic site for LG India. So, end of my CX (Customer Experience) journey.

The Monte Carlo advertisement was more nearer to what I was expecting. It showed a page on my 5 inch Android Kitkat phone, that resembled the advertisement which had the QR code, and guess what, it also had a BUY button !!

But as soon as I pressed the buy button, the experience started to turn sour. The size check box was not rendering correctly in vertical position (portrait mode), so I tried tilting it to horizontal (landscape) and then I could select the size. Then I pressed Next button. It put the product into a shopping cart. I expected a Pay now button, but it highlighted the continue shopping button, much as in a PC site. Anyways, I hunted for the checkout button, and pressed it. The page showed garbled, HTML content all over, it got me completely turned off, and I lost patience and shut the mobile browser down. Another lost opportunity to monetize a portion of an expensive news print advertisement on a national daily.

Wish you all a Happy Diwali and a great shopping experience.  

Friday, 3 October 2014

IMPS Merchant Payment is still a Challenge

IMPS Merchant Payment is still a Challenge

I was excited to see that ebay India was listed as one of the IMPS (Immediate Mobile Payment System) P2M (Person to Merchant) for online shopping. I decided to try them out for my next buy.

So, this weekend when was checking out from ebay, I decided to choose IMPS option. I usually use two banking accounts, HDFC and ICICI Bank. And both I realized did not support P2M OTP (one Time Password) generation. I also have Oxigen wallet, but since it was listed separately, and I know it works, so I tried using HDFC and ICICI banks. After two blotched attempts, and time outs, I realized that both these banks don't support P2M OTP transactions.

I did not try out SBI, as much earlier, I had given up on SBI, due to their attitude as well as their online banking User Experience. I had posted. one of the samplers captured aptly by a SBI customer earlier at G+

Thus, my conclusion is that the P2M User Experience (UX) needs to improve, it should be similar to that of a credit card transaction flow.

For example:

1. Shopper selects IMPS when checking out of online portal, Mobile number and MMID is asked once and can be saved in the profile for later re-use.

2. The shopper receives a OTP via a SMS on her registered mobile.

3. Shopper is promoted by the online for the OTP.

4. Transaction completes, confirmation is sent by the bank to shopper's mobile.

The SMS OTP gateway should ideally be managed by NPCI, for a uniform customer experience.

Monday, 17 February 2014

My Customer Experience Journey with Thomas Cook International Prepaid Card

This blog is inspired by CX (Customer Experience) Design, more specifically using the Customer Journey mapping tool, applied to my experience of trying to acquiring an International Prepaid Card.

We, as a family, had been planning a short vacation to Singapore, so on my way to recent Business Travel, I saw a large display advertisement at the Thomas Cook booth at T3 International terminal, New Delhi Airport. I went to the booth and wanted to buy the prepaid card. I was disappointed by the message delivered by the booth sales person, he said something like: "This is just an advertisement, please visit a city outlet to acquire the card". So, this was the first opportunity, missed by Thomas Cook to sell me the product. I was at the airport, ready with my Passport and boarding pass, they were willing to sell me traveler's check or change my currency, but NOT the product they were prominently displaying.

I What's Apped my wife about the Thomas Cook International prepaid card and requested her to checkout the city Thomas Cook outlet, she googled and found a nearby store at Sector 50, Noida, she was in the market at the time, so she just walked in to the store and asked if she could acquire the product. Surprise!!! She was told that this outlet does not sell it, but she needs to visit another outlet at Sector 18, about 5 kilometers from our home. She just let it go, did not bother. This was another opportunity lost for Thomas Cook to sell.

When I came back from my trip, I caught some fever, probably due to sudden change in weather; However, I requested her to try it online, at  , though skeptical, she gave it a try from her Android Tablet, it failed. Then she went to laptop, the transaction failed, she shared the screen shot with me on G+, and I tweeted it with the screen shot. Thomas Cook replied asking me to call the number on their web site. End of my journey to acquire the Thomas Cook Product.

Not a Happy Ending. but an excellent case study in how NOT to design a CX.