How to build the worst payment system in 10 steps!


During my journey with mobile payments and payment gateways, I was lucky to see and evaluate multiple payment solutions and systems.I have seen a lot of amazing and well designed systems and was also lucky to see some other systems that scored very law on my evaluation charts. And guess that most of them disappeared now and failed as expected!
Worst mobile payment systemWithin this series I will list the most critical points I used in my evaluation as guide line for any one wants to build a system to fail, and it worth mentioning that you can use the below tips on your own risk with no liability on the author![Hint] I will add some comments after each tip for explanation.

1- Don’t reinvent the wheel!
When your medical company start thinking about the mobile payment as a new profitable business, there is absolutely no need to start from scratch. To design a system to fail all you need to do is to customize your existing medical system and add balance column in your database and will have your own mobile payment system ready in 10 minutes!
[Hint] Believe it or not, I have seen systems that was created for non-related business and was totally morphed to a payment system when the company decided to change its vision and keep the zero cost as the only factor.
2- If it works over there it will work here!
Introducing new features to your customers regularly makes them linked to your product. When its time to launch new product all you need to do is to bring one of the success stories around you.
When you hear that Kenya launched a new product to pay with Kenya shillings, you just need to copy and paste it and it should work. It doesn’t matter you are in Europe or Gulf just do it as they did and don’t pay attention to the fact that Kenya shillings are not used or even accepted in your area.
[Hint] Please stop copying mPesa model!
3- Focus on fees, focus on revenue!
While you are designing a payment system, payments means money yes. You must focus on collecting as much revenue as possible, you will need to charge users trying to credit, debit their wallet, transfer to their friends and even more you should charge your silent users as well.
Don’t pay attention for those victims who took the challenge to test your service and try to empty their wallets by yourself before they actually do!
[Hint] One of the most chocking designs I have seen was a system that has the capability to add fees on each transaction and guess what? They forgot to check the final transaction status and the system were built to charge users even if the transaction failed!
 4- It is just mobile money transfer!
Once you start building your mobile payment system you golden transaction is MMT ‘Mobile Money Transfer’, when a user thinks about filling his wallet your system should transfer money from the agent to the user wallet, transfer to friend is just another transfer and purchase transaction is also a money transfer from user to a merchant.
[Hint] It is not the same at all, each financial transaction have its own unique style, controls, elements, rules and eligibility. To design a payment system you have to do your analysis carefully and per each transaction separately. As example purchases transactions should be refundable on a given set of rules and privileges while user to user transfer is absolutely not.
 5- Use SMS!
All mobile phones are capable to send and receive SMS you should not bother your self with the SMS security related issues or to those reports says that SMS is not a guaranteed delivery receipt for delivering goods. And do it simple to save the additional mobile application development and maintenance cost.
[Hint] You should consider the fact that SMS sender name could be easily manipulated, and SMS messages is always travel in a plain text format.SMS should be used for notification purpose only and more over you will need to challenge the SMS content to ensure that it will never carry any sensitive information…
This article is a generic guide line for anyone interested in mobile payment industry, and for sure any of the previous tips may work for you. Each solution should be assessed individually and this is the business analysis part.
[To be continued] …
Complete list of articles could be found here.
Photo Credit: http://sunnylol.com/images/2012/September/26/50622d1c42faa.jpg