Nov 3, 2006

Blueprint for launching new cash replacement products like contactless

In a recent Digital Money Forum podcast, Mondex co-inventor Tim Jones tells Dave Birch why Mondex digital cash failed, and provides something of a blueprint that could help successfully launch contactless cards.

Mondex promised consumers the ability to use their cards everywhere, like cash, a promise which could never be kept. Tim suggests that it would have been much better to promise first that the card could be used at, for example, “every single NCP car park in the southeast of England”. Focus on providing a wonderful payment experience at the car park. Get the ergonomics right for that particular environment. Tim even stresses how important it is to help the retail partner use the technology to implement promotional marketing features that make the card much more useful and attractive for the merchant.

I’m looking forward to part two of the podcast, which will cover mobile payment operator Simpay, another failed digital cash project launched and funded by Orange, Telefonica Moviles, T-Mobile and Vodafone. Tim was CEO of Simpay.

It takes a lot of courage to talk about past failures, and a high degree of personal confidence. Dave and Tim are doing the industry a major service by sharing this experience in such a public forum as an open podcast on the web. Thank you.

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