"It is estimated that 2.5 million people own Bitcoins globally; however, only about 1.2 million have a usable balance in their account.
And, among those who have sufficient balances, almost one million have less than a full Bitcoin."
Moneris chief product and marketing officer, Rob Cameron, recently spoke to Business Vancouver about peer-to-peer digital currency system Bitcoin.
Despite hype for Bitcoin and the remittance market in general, Cameron says that Moneris is focused primarily on customers. Citing data on market penetration (or lack thereof), Cameron suggests a “wait and see” approach before the company starts nudging merchants to hop on board with Bitcoin.
Innovation is often referred to as a “key to success,” but don’t forget about the customer along the way.
Internal vs. External Motivation
The story of GM’s Pontiac Aztec perfectly highlights the importance of listening to customers.
At the time of product development, GM was being criticized for lacking innovation and never doing anything new. To address this perceived weakness, chairman Rich Wagoner made the decision that 40 percent of all new GM products would be 'innovative.' Anything that seemed new and different got the go-ahead. As Car and Driver’s Bob Lutz points out,
“That [strategy] started a trend toward setting internal goals that meant nothing to the customer.”
The rest was history.
The Pontiac Aztec failed market research (miserably) and still got pushed out to the consumer. It was such a tremendous failure, that it led to the eventual demise of the Pontiac brand. Few corporate decisions have spoken so pointedly to the importance of putting customer interest above internal opinion.
Many companies, such as Apple, have demonstrated that innovation can certainly be the key to success. This cannot come at the price of customer considerations, however.
When asked about the likelihood of Moneris encouraging customers/merchants to adopt Bitcoin, Cameron continued:
“A key indicator that it’s still too early to accept Bitcoin is that the number of Bitcoin-accepting merchants has actually declined over the last year and a half. Most Bitcoin transactions are for currency speculation and exchange rather than retail purchase transactions. While we’re excited about Bitcoin’s technology and we’ve evaluated how to implement it, it’s too early for Moneris to embrace it right now.”
Moneris continues to cautiously watch Bitcoin, before encouraging its customers to take the risk.
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