Wednesday, June 13, 2012

technology disrupting business

You have gone to a website and purchased something recently. Usually there are the normal credit card options and increasingly, there is a PayPal option. It is almost expected to be there as it is so convenient, easy and secure to use. PayPal is looking to become the in-store payment option!
After TARP, the mortgage banking crises and the demise of Goldman and all the rest, it's a lot to ask a banking investor to think in terms of the threat of technological innovation. But click on PayPal's "In Store" page and you get a feel for the bank profit-killing gun PayPal is waving around. 
Sign up and you will see that PayPal has managed to engineer a point-of-sale system that does away with traditional debit or credit cards. Never mind that deck of financial identity plastic. The PayPal retail product doesn't even need a smartphone -- just your phone number and an easy-to-remember PIN.

Technology creating a disruption in business! And PayPal is not the only one. My internet buddy Trevor is visiting the US and we had made arrangements to meet this week. We already had email and other connections available so we shared cell phone numbers to prepare for connecting on the last mile. I didn't give it a thought until I recognized the incoming call and couldn't pick it up. Not due to fumble fingers but due to the service on the phone that prevents international calling. Trevor's from the UK and has an international number although he is calling me locally.

Scrambling to call Verizon to check out the options to add international calling to my phone took about 20 minutes and still wasn't activated about 30 minutes after the call. About this time I got my laptop booted up and decided to try Google Voice. I could also have used Skype. Both of these services are wrecking havoc with telephone companies like PayPal is starting to do with the banks.

What use of technology can you make to help improve your customer service or service delivery?