If you have an Apple or Android or Blackberry device, you have most likely seen the true strategic value of these platforms: distributing content and apps. One of the interesting concepts that has emerged recently is the purchase within the purchase — or the in-app purchase.
I’m a huge fan of the ‘in-app purchase’ — I try not to get too pulled into nominal virtual goods that are obvious money makers for the developers — but when an app offers true incremental value, I’m all for it. I am using the application, so I understand it’s value and what additional functionality the purchase brings. I have an installation so I’m invested in that platform, adding incremental functionality is quite easy and doesn’t require a new installation or additional learning curve.
When the customer elects to engage that functionality, it simply appears and the funds change hands. This is commerce at it’s most painless.
Designing banking solutions with this concept in mind opens up some interesting architecture possibilities:
- Functionality that when engaged by the customer is designed to also add incremental licensing, infrastructure, and related costs: Expenses aren’t incurred unless revenues are present — and revenues aren’t realized unless the customer sees value in the functionality.
- More optionality: customers can use and pay for parts of functionality and when value is not seen costs are not incurred.
- Customer sourced functionality: a design that offers a full feedback loop so that customers will decide which features they will consume next.
Technology has allowed for a much more direct conversation between the platform and the customer. By building an architecture that anticipates customer selection a complete robust system can be provided but not unleashed until the full feature set is needed and it’s value appreciated.
Features and functionality cost money and if not used or appreciated this investment is wasted — I think that a design that minimizes this waste makes good business sense. Just like with an in-app purchase, make it easy and show the value and the result is happy customers and revenue.