Loop’s Last Hurdle: Consumer Acceptance
“We can clearly tell the hype behind many of the mobile wallets out there. We can gauge the adoption based on the demand we are receiving from merchants – and it is not there. Most of it is clearly hype.”
Henry Helgeson, CEO of Merchant Warehouse, issued these words when characterizing the mobile commerce landscape at PYMNTS Summer School 2013. And he’s absolutely right. But, what if there was a solution that completely eliminated the issue of merchant adoption, and the issues that come with it, and took it completely off the table.
That’s Loop – leaving them with no less than one of the most formidable challenges facing any new product – consumer adoption. Market Platform Dynamics (MPD) CEO, Karen Webster, caught up with Will Graylin, Loop CEO to get the scoop on how Loop will crack this very tough consumer engagement problem.
“What the consumers are looking for first and foremost is utility,” Loop CEO Will Graylin told PYMNTS.com in an interview. “The utility is being able to securely store, or organize and be able to use what’s in their physical leather wallet at the places that they shop. If we can facilitate that, and do that very well, we can serve as a great utility for them.
For more on how Loop plans to elevate its user experience, identify and tailor its product for its target consumer and evolve its branding and design to best meet customer needs, Webster spoke to Graylin at length in an exclusive interview.
Karen Webster: What does consumer acceptance mean, and what are you doing to help get consumers to use Loop at the point-of-sale (POS)? (Jump to 1:30)
Will Graylin: Imagine if you go through the trouble of loading your wallet into your phone, and 18 out of 19 places reject your transaction. You’re not going to use it, and you’re not going to refer it to a friend, right?
We’re providing users with an application that should make it easy for them to load their cards…”¨”¨That can be payment cards, credit cards, debit cards, loyalty cards, gift cards, prepaid cards… if they’re able to use it at the vast majority of places they shop, they’re going to be using it on a much more frequent and regular basis. ”¨”¨
What have consumers said about the alpha version of Loop? (Jump to 8:45)
The alpha pilots have come back very, very positive.
The most positive thing is people getting the delight of the clerk reaction… Currently, we’re working at about 92.4 percent of the top 250 retailers. Now we’re continuing to improve that level of acceptance.”¨”¨
What is the most important aspect of getting consumers to accept something new? (Jump to 10:45)
What’s really important is the user experience and how intuitive it is. We’re constantly trying to improve our app right now, to make it very easy for consumers to understand how to load it, how to use it.
There’s still work we have to do in making it easy to understand, showing little video clips and so forth. ”¨”¨I would say getting the word out and showing consumers that it can be done will attract the first wave of consumer adoption… We’re aiming for really the top 1 percent to 2 percent of the population to start.
Could Loop adapt itself as a fun and interesting accessory (Jump to 13:00)?
We’re working on accessories that can add that level of appeal. We’re having a lot of fun with this and it’s certainly to see how the different products will appeal to the different groups.
To hear the full conversation, which covers why the Loop wallet is more secure than traditional leather wallets and includes a preview of Loop’s newly launched Kickstarter campaign, listen to our full podcast below.
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Will Graylin CEO of Loop
Will Wang Graylin has started five companies focused on mobile computing, security and payments since his graduate thesis on “Addressing the Complexity of Mobile Computing” at MIT nearly a decade ago. Mr. Graylin is currently the founder and CEO of Loop. He recently served as CEO of ROAM Data, a premier mobile application and payment services company, helping enterprises extend valuable data and transactions to the cell phones of their mobile professionals. He serves of the Board of Movylo a Mobile Marketing company and ONvocal, Inc., both privately held companies. From December 2001 to April 2007 he was founder and CEO of WAY Systems, a mobile Point of Sales (POS) services company. He grew WAY from zero to the #2 Mobile POS provider in the U.S. and was honored with the 2005 “Movers & Shakers Award” by Transaction World magazine. Prior to WAY from March 2000 to November 2001 he was founder and CEO of EntitleNet, a security software company, sold to BEA Systems for a profit in 2001. Before that from March 1999 to March 2000 he was founding President of Marbles, later Skyfire Technologies, the first mobile thin client software company focused on enterprise applications for mobile workforces. He earned two Masters degrees from MIT (MBA & MSEECSS) through the Leaders for Manufacturing program, after serving as a US Navy Nuclear Submarine Officer for nearly 6 years, the first naturalized China born immigrant to serve in this program. Will is fluent in English, Mandarin and Cantonese.