"Every day is a struggle to remain relevant"
MyOrder: pioneer in paying
When Dutch information technology student Thomas Brinkman created the MyOrder app back in 2008, the idea of using your smartphone to order items and pay for purchases was certainly a novel one. But how did he keep his business from fading into obscurity after such a head start? In other words: How did he make sure MyOrder remained relevant?
Thousands of consumers and businesses eagerly downloaded the app the first few years after its launch, enjoying easy ordering and payment at restaurants, bars, cinemas and parking areas. Rabobank acquired a considerable share in the company in 2012, and today MyOrder remains a key market player that puts the customer first and promotes innovation.
Thomas Brinkman: "Many people think of start-ups as a kind of dream: there's this notion of young and driven entrepreneurs looking to change the world and shake up the market. That view is accurate to an extent, but the actual process of starting a business is somewhat more mundane than that and involves a lot of very hard work. You're looking for that initial break, which means you need partners and target markets. And once you've made a name for yourself, the next challenge is to prove that you're more than just a hype."
Innovation, creativity and technology
MyOrder is well beyond the 'hype' stage at this point, as it never stopped innovating along the way. "Every day is a struggle to remain relevant. That's why we make a point of talking to businesses, consumers and partners every day. We receive a lot of valuable feedback that way, which we can incorporate into our business processes right away. Just think of what we're doing as using Lego bricks to create new solutions for our customers on an ongoing basis. We allow every opportunity for innovation, creativity and technology. What's more, the way we have set up our company makes it easy to respond quickly to all kinds of situations."
Brinkman reveals that he quickly learned that this type of flexibility is essential to any form of business success: "I first came up with the idea of using a mobile phone to place orders. But when I pitched my idea to a pub owner, he told me straight away that food and drink establishments would be more likely to get on board if customers could use the app to actually pay in advance as well – that would save them and their employees a lot of work and time. He was right, of course, and we immediately tweaked the app and added a payment feature. It just goes to show that constructive criticism and tips really drive quality."
Earning virtual points
MyOrder continues to keep close track of its customers' needs. Thomas Brinkman: "We heard a lot of consumers complaining about high parking charges in shopping areas, and at the same time we were looking to offer them discounts and loyalty cards through our app. In 2016 we will accommodate customers by introducing these incentives, which will allow them to earn virtual loyalty points they can then redeem for a free parking space. So we are able to give them a bit of a break there."
In his quest to find the right partners that would help MyOrder find the momentum it needed, Brinkman soon turned to Rabobank, which ended up acquiring a considerable share in the company in 2012. "Rabobank has a massive network in the business world and reaches millions of consumers. Also, when we were starting out they were the only Dutch bank to use a mobile payment system. We certainly made the right decision in partnering with them – they have been a big part of our success from the get-go."
Speed, convenience and safety
When asked to elaborate, he replies: "The bank gets to use our m-commerce innovations, while we have the opportunity to market our new products to a large group of consumers. For example, MyOrder parking has been integrated into the offers customers receive in their Rabo Wallet app, which is the bank's digital payment system. MyOrder users will also find a new feature in their app in 2016 that allows them to pay for petrol. When filling up at a petrol station, customers can use their mobile phone to select a pump number and the type of fuel, for which they then pay from the comfort of their vehicle. When using unmanned petrol stations, this means they save themselves the hassle of using ATMs at night or during bad weather. It will make the process of filling up your tank faster, more convenient and safer."
To learn more about MyOrder, please visit the website