Over the years, the FinTech industry has seen consistent innovations that not only make it fit for present-day users but also makes it a lot easier to access traditional services that once required a bank visit. This FinTech Era has brought to consumers real-time 24/7 access to financial services via mobile banking, digital wallets and virtual cards. As the fintech industry grows, some of these services — mobile banking, digital wallets — have branched out.
In this article, we will be looking at digital wallets, what it means and it’s growth globally. Along with that, how the growth of digital payments is synchronous with digital wallets and incentives that make digital wallets lucrative.
First, what are digital wallets? According to Investopedia, — A digital wallet is a system that securely stores users’ payment information and passwords for numerous payment methods and websites. Common examples include Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, and PayPal. These platforms are being used to a great extent across the world. The growth of digital wallets is not segmented to a part of the world, no! It is a global trend. Millions of mobile users make a transaction every day with their smartphones. In the United States alone, 57 percent of users (which amounts to 60 million people) have used a mobile wallet at least once & as of 2016, PayPal has 600 000 users in Sub-Saharan Africa.
A key reason behind the rampant growth of digital wallets across the world is the ability to have one platform that makes all your transactions easier and faster as you don’t need to input your details every single time. Because of the quick transaction facility that digital wallets allow, it has been able to become one of the most used elements of the FinTech Industry. The rise in digital transactions is then another trigger issue which has resulted in the growth of digital wallets. Capgemini’s World Payments Report 2018 reveals that within 2015– 2016 the volumes of non-cash transactions have touched 482.6 billion and are expected to develop by 12.7% by 2021. Digital payments as an industry are anticipated to grow at a yearly rate of 18% between 2018–2023.
Of course, there are difficulties in the adoption of digital wallets. Most grown-up customers have not fully adopted digital payment practices, and changing from a traditional purse to a digital one will take some time. A lot of consumers have still not seen the need to change their payment behaviors, although most people would be inclined to switch if the new payment method would shorten the checkout procedure and if offered incentives as research has shown that discounts, rewards, and coupons could get customers to switch their payment type over to mobile wallets.
Steve Onwuka | Community Manager at Korapay: a cross border remittance platform focused on reducing the cost of money transfer and increasing its speed into and within Africa. Korapay allows individuals in the United States to send money within minutes to the bank account of anyone in Nigeria.
5 Important Steps of Launching a New Tech Product (Part 2)
Article by Darlyn Okojoie, Tech entrepreneur (Image: iStock)
As a continuation to part 1 of the article “5 Important Steps of Launching a New Tech Product,” we will look into the final steps that are crucial to launching a new tech product.
As noted in part 1, knowing how to create a successful product launch strategy from development to launch, promotion, and delivery to users is as important as the tech idea itself. The reason for this is that we have seen great ideas fail due to poor market entry strategies. Hence, the need to share some steps for launching a new tech product to assist founders, creators, and developers in increasing the chances of their product’s market success.
Here are the final 5 crucial steps in launching a new tech product that we have tested with Memo.Africa and recommend that every founder should consider to increase their chances of success:
1). Build anticipation for your product by pre-marketing
Creating teasers, disclosing some features of the product bit by bit, and creating strategic product awareness to build anticipation for the product before launching it cannot be overemphasized. When you build anticipation among your audience by promoting the product before launching it, it helps to create more dominant brand awareness in the market and ultimately drives sales for the new product when it eventually hit the market.
Building anticipation includes; creating a landing page, an email campaign for signups, reaching out to a journalist, bloggers and industry influencers, engaging in PR and advertising etc.
2). Build a solid supply chain or seamless distribution channel
Aside from taking inventory of your products and ensuring you have enough to meet demand when you eventually launch them, you must also ensure you establish a manageable supply chain or distribution channel for this product. Work closely with your vendors and distributors, and ask them what their maximum capacity is for how many units they can provide at one time. This initial response from customers will determine how to scale production if your product launch yields more demand than supply.
3). Network and share your product with your target audience
Now that you are getting closer to the launch date, ensure you stick to it to avoid having to inform the media, customers, vendors, or anyone involved, of any changes. Use every opportunity you have, both online and offline, to talk about your product. Promote the new product with all the available media tools and encourage your contacts to spread the news.
Go all out at this, sell your brand, and make sure you get the public’s attention on every platform available. For example, set a countdown on social media to herald the eventual launch of your new tech product.
4). Reach out to the press post-launch
Take your audience on a journey from inception to production to commerce using the media. People love to hear the origin story of a great product, especially if it has an interesting story, and you deploy the media both from a personal platform and through paid media.
Concerning the paid media outfits, once you have launched your product, and good reviews and feedback start rolling in, reach out to the various media outlets that covered your story pre-launch and ask them to share an update.
From the personal brand point, use your platform to post your story on any of our social media channels. Your audience wants to hear that inspiring product story of yours. This help to create a connection between your product and your customers.
5). Consider and prepare for public feedback and reviews post-launch
After the launch, brace yourself for customer reviews. No matter how successfully you have introduced your product to the world, public perception of your brand can be brutal if your organization delivered below expectations.
In the case of a negative review, be empathetic and always respond politely and provide a short-term solution to address the consumer’s immediate concerns and a long-term solution to ensure future customers won’t encounter the same issues. You command more respect for your brand when you respond as soon as possible to any question raised by the target audience.
5 Important Steps of Launching a New Tech Product (Part 1)
Tech Entrepreneur & Co-Founder/COO Memo Africa, Darlyn Okojie
Knowing how to create a successful product launch strategy from development to launch, promotion, and delivery to users is as important as the tech idea itself. The reason for this is that we have seen great ideas fail due to poor market entry strategies. In fact, most consumer tech products that are launched have a higher chance of failing; according to publicity.com statistics, 95% of the 30,000 consumer products that are launched annually fail. This is a common occurrence among small businesses attempting to launch a product.
Hence, the need to share some steps for launching a new tech product to assist founders, creators, and developers in increasing the chances of their product’s market success and not continuing to second-guess whether the product will survive the next day.
Here are 5 crucial steps in launching a new tech product that we have tested with Memo.Africa, and recommend that every creator should consider to increase their chances of success:
1). Does Your Tech Product Meet the Users’ Needs?
The first question behind every founder’s mind should be why would someone buy your product? If you can provide a good answer to this question, you have solved a significant part of the question of meeting the users’ needs. Figure out how your product could solve a problem, satisfy a desire or improve someone’s quality of life. You can get answers to this question by conducting a basic market survey. Through this survey, you will be able to understand how your customers will justify buying your product, and that is how you can begin a promotion strategy. A good product launch plan should always put consumers’ needs first and satisfy them in the best way possible.
2). Know Your Competition
Knowing your competition is a crucial aspect of any product development, especially those that are leading in your industry. What is it about the product that makes users prefer them over others? What is their branding like? What makes them unique, what is their price? And compare this with what you are offering. Leverage these insights to build your product. Ask your team, what will set your product apart from the other product in the same category. Why should consumers choose your product over the competition? Identify your product’s unique advantages and leverage them to sell your brand.
3). Make a Prototype and Test it
This is one of the most critical aspects of any new tech product. If you ignore testing, your product outcome might end up failing grossly. To avoid the risk of investing in a product that is overly flawed before it hits the market, create a prototype and get beta testers to try it so they can offer feedback on how to improve it, if necessary. Don’t wait for customer reviews after launch to improve your product, it can be disastrous to the product and your brand, scaring away partners and investors. No matter how excited you are about your product, always test before launching.
4). Reconfigure Your Product
This is a follow-up to the above point. Once you have a prototype and start testing your product and gaining feedback from testers, friends, family, and colleagues, to correct the defects; do not hesitate to adjust where necessary. Little changes here and there can make a big difference in your product’s quality. Getting somehow outside the team to vet the product can lead to discovering new features that should be added or those that should be removed, which eventually makes the product better. You may not eventually end up with a perfect product, but you will arrive at a product that excites your customers and that you are proud of.
5). Identify Your Revenue Model and Run the Numbers
It is not enough to have a fantastic idea or product; you must be able to identify its primary revenue stream. Some tech ideas are great but they do not have market value.
Also, it’s wise to establish your profit margins as one of your product launch phases. Compare similar products’ performance in the market and, as much as possible, determine the likely number of products sold, total revenue generated, break-even sales volume, and net profit earned.
In the area of marketing the product, you need to decide what to establish as a reasonable conversion rate for any of your marketing channels e.g., website and then figure out how much traffic you would need to reach that goal. You need every bit of this knowledge to make informed decisions, and avoid winging any aspect of it.
I hope you have learned a thing or two from this piece. Kindly go to Part 2 of this article to complete the basic steps to a successful product launch.
Written by: Darlyn Okojie, Co-Founder & COO, Memo Africa
Waxed: Revolutionising Africa’s Transport Industry
Waxd Group CEO, Anthony Stewart (Image & Article: Waxd)
An estimated 70% of Africa’s urban population live in informal settlement housing. They rely on privately-owned minibus taxis and public bus transport systems to travel to work, send their children to school, and live out their day-to-day lives. The need for digital payment and cashless fare collection solutions – that provide a secure and seamless way for people to access the routes they use every single day – is critical.
Digital payment systems for the transport industry will remove the need for physical tickets and cash payments, and speed up transactions and transport times. With public transport spending accounting for up to 10% of consumer income in Africa, the implications for the transport industry are vast. South Africa alone has over 200,000 minibus taxis transporting more than 15 million commuters daily.
The Waxd story started when Waxd patented a method for processing app payments through EFT rails, cutting merchant fees from 2-3.5% to 0.4%. Although the idea was good, it needed the co-operation of the banks. This was not very forthcoming as the solution would cost the banks in transaction revenues. After months of frustration, Waxd decided to look at areas of innovation where the banks had failed.
Waxd provides an accessible payment solution that enables public transport drivers to accept different payment methods from passengers, including biometric and prepaid cards which can be recharged by commuters to pay for their rides. Transport operators, owners and drivers can also track their revenue in real-time and manage their fleet with improved efficiency and transparency.
An informal, unregulated transport industry leads to many challenges being faced by all stakeholders. A digital payment system leads to a simpler, safer payment solution for all – from commuters and drivers, to owners and government.
The Africa transport revolution is happening at a rapid rate, and Waxd is at the forefront of developments – committed to providing technologically-advanced payment solutions and to enabling financial inclusion for everyone.
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