Well it’s now pretty public about what we’re doing with Kerv and if you’re reading this, it means you may either be a backer on Kickstarter, a friend or colleague, or that you’ve seen a link in the media.
As it’s in the public domain, and we’re asking for help and support from customers then I wanted to start sharing some more information about Kerv so that you can understand us, the product and our vision - and hopefully, you’ll be interested enough to want to join us on this journey.
I’ve spent around 7.5 years working in payments - specifically with electronic money products. The specific tasks vary but fundamentally it’s been about helping to build payments businesses by attracting more customers and encouraging them to use a particular product.
During that time, there’s been a lot of exciting developments with the emergence of real alternatives to the traditional banking providers. We’ve had disruption to existing technologies and industries such as mobile point of sale, and we’ve seen genuinely new products emerging such as virtual currencies. There’s a lot that is truly exciting and innovative.
But there’s also much that I have been disappointed with. It’s not simply that the pace of change can be excruciatingly slow, but that the end result can often be extremely disappointing. We see products that restrict the customer because they’re linked to a specific bank, or mobile operator. They may deliver a specific function, but they do little else - so as a consumer you are then adding another product to your wallet. Often they look and feel very clunky.
In short, I believe that a great many products coming to market are developed “because they can” rather than genuinely thinking about the end user. From my own experience I’ve had many occasions where I wonder if our clients have tried signing up for, and using the products they are launching.
So within the course of my work, I’d regularly be involved in discussions about frustrations and how to develop “workarounds” to make things function better for the customer.
I’d love to be able claim there was some great epiphany moment as that would make much better reading - it was simply the realisation that the best way to effect change was to do so ourselves.
And that was the fundamental basis on which this venture was conceived - at the time, we had no idea what the result might be. Just that the user had to be the most important part of the proposition and the “product” should be built around the user.
Next time: how we developed the product proposition and brought Kerv to life