Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Track Presentation: Incorporating New Features and Functionality onto Prepaid Platforms


Tim Sloane, Director, Debit Advisory Service, Mercator Advisory Group


Scott Johnson, VP of Account Management, Galileo Processing

Scott, Galit, Executive VP, Meta Payment

Tim Coltrell, CEO, Account Now

Chris Britt, Chief Product Officer, Green Dot Corporation

Tim Sloane began with a brief introduction of each of the panelists and their general perspectives on the topic. He then opened up the discussion to questions to the panelists:

Q: What are some key issues to address when launching new functionality in card programs?

A: Products must first address consumer needs. A company must invest heavily in research, surveys and other forms of market research are vital in understanding what the consumer truly wants. Another thing is to make sure that there is great value to the consumer. There should also be a reward system set up in which customers are rewarded for consistently using the product.

Q: How do you determine the costs of different features of customer service while rolling out new features?

A: It’s important to balance speed and functionality. Ultimately, you must really understand the value proposition.

Q: When introducing a modest change, is there a standard process being followed to make sure that all the ends are tied together?

A: Need strong project management discipline to carefully deliver and roll out all related processes that come along with new features.

Q: There is an argument out there that many prepaid platforms have become a “me too” industry, are there true opportunities for innovation in the industry?

A: Financial services in general are easy to copy products from other people but it really comes down to execution. It is a continuous process to improve the product and add new functionality to it. It takes a level of technical experience to implement this.

Q: Another complexity is managing the inventory of cards, do you find that a challenge?

A: Make sure you have a great processing partner to ensure that your customers are receiving mailings of their cards.

Q: What is the best new feature that will be launched in the UK within the next 12 months?

A: A new feature to look out for in the upcoming months is SMS texts and alerts stating balances for consumers.

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