Saturday, July 27, 2013

What can one learn from Qiwi about payments

Qiwi is a very successful, Russian payments company. (I am still trying to figure it out why it is called Qiwi and have a logo that make you think it is a New Zealand company). The beauty of the products provided by the company is the scope of the offerings (from virtual to mobile, it even recently start issuing Visa cards).

But it has not always been so. The consumer-base and transaction volume was initially built on providing payment services through kiosks. My information is that Qiwi currently run more than 200 000 kiosks predominantly in Russia and CIS countries. This is quite a unique situation. One sees kiosks in many places (shopping malls, bank branches and small retailers), but never has it been rolled out to be the back-bone of the growing business. So what is it that one can learn from Qiwi?
I would say that the following is important learnings:
  • Roll out kiosks with a well-thought-out integrated transactional strategy. The services offered and how these are integrated in the back-office is critical to build a sustainable business.
  • Put a lot of emphasis on branding. It is important that the customer should be able to associate a service that is available at a kiosk with a well-defined brand. The brand-promise should be clear and must be delivered faultlessly.
  • Build other payment services around and in support of the kiosk. For instance, soon after launching the kiosk service, Qiwi followed this up with the Qiwi wallet that can be loaded at a kiosk, but can be used for payments remotely. This innovation lead to further brand re-enforcement, client-loyalty and an increase in traffic.

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