Customer behaviour – Mine and TFL

I got all excited about TFL Contactless, then customer mindset became an issue – mine. So TFL announce contactless on buses here in the UK and soon to be the Underground and I get all excited. You see I use a Pay as You Go Oyster (The Oyster card is the contactless payment system for the London Underground and other public transportation in and around Greater London), but every so often as I go through a gate, normally when I am in real rush, it says oops sorry no credit. Now I know I can set it to automatically top up online but I still seem to lose track. Overall though I love it, quick, easy to use.

David Parker is the founder and CEO of Polymath Consulting. Polymath Consulting has now delivered over 50 projects for clients in prepaid cards and emerging payments. The company’s current work includes projects in the Middle East, USA, Asia, Africa and Europe.

Parker has an indepth knowledge of payments and payment cards and is known for his work with prepaid cards, mobile money/mobile wallets and and Mpos. Parker has previously worked for companies such as The Gaming Bourse, The Pepper Corporation and Saatchi & Saatchi (Saudi Arabia).

 

I got all excited about TFL Contactless, then customer mindset became an issue – mine

So TFL announce contactless on buses here in the UK and soon to be the Underground and I get all excited. You see I use a Pay as You Go Oyster (The Oyster card is the contactless payment system for the London Underground and other public transportation in and around Greater London), but every so often as I go through a gate, normally when I am in real rush, it says oops sorry no credit. Now I know I can set it to automatically top up online but I still seem to lose track. Overall though I love it, quick, easy to use.

So here we are the perfect solution, my banks Credit Debit cards have issued me with contactless cards. No more worrying about whether there is credit, just tap and away I go for ever. Then I had a thought, I used it for the first time and realised that in the past I kept my Oyster card in a separate wallet, now I had to pull out my main wallet each time I needed to pay. Did I really want to do that, did I want to have to pull out my main wallet, with the risk of other cards falling out each time I wanted to pay.

And then there was another little problem, even if I take my complete wallet out each time there are issues, firstly there is an issue if you have more than one contactless card. You get a conflict potentially and neither might read or the wrong one, then if you have both a contactless credit/debit card and an Oyster card in your wallet, the Wave and Pay readers can’t tell which one to use and return an error. To get one or the other to work, you have to take the wallet out and sort out which one to tap.

But unfortunately that is not the least of it, now TFL have told us that for some people they have been charging both the Oyster Card and the Contactless Card – nice of them.

So logic dictates what I need to do is to put my transport card in a separate holder much as I did my Oyster card, but this is it, I have one debit card and one credit card. Do I want to risk either in separate holder, something I might lose . . . mmmm.

No, so my choice is either a dedicated contactless scheme card prepaid, debit, credit for transport or stick to Oyster. Debit seems a lot of hassle to open a bank account just to pay for my transport, credit seemed overkill so prepaid it is. Now what was the name of that prepaid solution that worked – ah yes I remember Oyster! Yes I am back with my prepaid, preloaded Oyster Card in a separate wallet. Feel safe, if I lose it all I have lost is my transport card.

So the point, well technology is great, but will customers want it, use it, need it and remember Gourville’s ‘what you have’ theory:

A new product, service or process has to be nine times better than what a user is already using, or is doing, if it is to motivate them enough to change their behaviour or adopt a new product or technology.

Why nine times?
Well, Gourville’s premise is that the people peddling change will overvalue their fantastic new offering by a factor of three.
In parallel, users tend to undervalue the benefits of the proposed change by a factor of three

I was good at maths 3 x 3 = 9