Walking around in the world of Telecoms, financial services and new media always makes me look into the mirror and see if I have Myopia. Knowing that the technology which is possible is far ahead of what a consumer can actually comprehend my second question is when and where can we use this technology in our daily use.
To give you some examples…They showed me in 1992 a vendingmachine, whereby sending a SMS a can of Coke dropped out. I truly loved it and was and still am absolutely convinced that invention is fantastic and we are going to use this. In practice I am now 25 years further and we have to be honest the innovation of vendingmachines hasn´t gone mass market. It is there and more payment options are often possible, but my vision that every vendingmachine just needed a SMS for your Coke……unfortunately not.
When we launched our 1st prepaid payment card for internet in 2003 we were also convinced this was epic and bound to happen. When we were invited by the government, banks and group of new media solutions there was a huge debate about the economic model and impact on the market. It reminded me some important things the banks told us, with underlying proof. They explained me that they needed and wanted a certain amount of mass volume before it was interesting, basically under a billion volume don´t call us because we often cannot perform or make it sustainable. The second important aspect is that with all launches they did they realised that it takes 7 years for consumer acceptance, while they still have to serve the old technology as well. This is an important message why banks are not always fast and we take the ´cheque´ as an example. The cheque is still widely accepted in the market, while online banking is better, faster and easier…..only not for everyone and I got a cheque from a very respectable gentleman last month but who is not digital savvy. Prepaid internet payments are big now, but still relatively small, if you take the whole pie of industry payments.
While looking into the mirror I do realise that technology has made the community thinking in living much stronger. And that communities have the size and ability to take over services and facilitate their community while adding value and trust. The (mobile) internet is a new haven for various new business models and a community based model is becoming more widespread. The structure is based on consumer loyalty, generally incorporating some premium service.
When we put that into cold hard services, you actually see that within the payment industry there is a paradigm shift and to name a couple examples WECHAT PAY, APPLE PAY as also different way of banking with ATOMIC, MOVEN or even wearables. The community start building their profile and starts using different accounts for different purposes. On the profiling of consumers you get a complete new look, during the week you are a business man and you use the company creditcard, for parking your special wallet for your coffee a Starbucks wallet (business and private) and for the sportsclub or with friends you put cash in the community (drinking) pot.
Within the Telecom market we now see the same happening and I am yes again 1000% convinced that consumers will use multiple numbers for their own community. Community users are already used to have several e-mail addresses (1 for ebay, 1 business, 1 family etc.) and we are now seeing the awareness for numbers as well. Basically what we see is that the community is going to use multiple numbers (fixed and Mobile) on 1 phone depending on their own profile. 1 family number, 1 business number, 1 dating number, 1 temporary number to sell your house or on Ebay, etc.
I truly do not consider it to be cool to have multiple numbers, like having 2 mobile phones and those pretty PBX Deck phones on your desk. It is a community need in LIFE! We are already doing it with SKYPE, WECHAT, WHATSAPP and FACEBOOK Messenger. We are going to run our OWN Telco, with our OWN profile of multiple numbers.
A lot needs to happen to get there, but my gut feel, quantified with research is that this is a game changer how we use our own way of using TELECOM numbers, or shall I already call it Community numbers for your own Profile….