Today, I had to recharge 3 pre-paid mobile phones in my family.
Usually, I still get the recharge done from a mobile shop, since it allows me to visit a mobile shop, and observe for a couple of minutes, what is happening in the telecom and handsets sector. I see that I dont recharge at the same store(s).
Today, I wanted to try one of the online options, since I did not have the luxury to go out early in the morning, since the shops would still be closed.
I first went to Mobikwik, since I have never used it.
The landing page is snap, you enter your mobile number, it fetches your operator, gives you re-charge options, and then you proceed.
It asks for the valid email address, in the next step. As a first time user, I enter my email address.
Mobikwik makes a check and finds out, that I am not a registered user yet, and then asks me to do this...
But hey, I came here to recharge my pre-paid mobile phones and not to create a wallet.
I immediately shut the tab down and then moved to Freecharge. I have used the Freecharge earlier, because of my shopping with Snapdeal.
It is interesting to see how Freecharge handles this.
The first time when I created an account with Freecharge, it did not screamingly prompt me to create a wallet.
I wanted to make a payment, for which they asked me to create an account, it was not obtrusive, and made me felt like, it must be important, in order to proceed. For ex, what happens, if my payment fails. It is safer to have an account.
Today, when I logged into Freecharge for recharging the mobile phones, I noticed in the right corner, a very subtle and "not-staring-in-the-face" , "Your Wallet".
I never created a wallet, Freecharge created my account, while I was trying to make the first payment, and then it automatically created a wallet for me. The whole thing was subtle and non-obtrusive.
Compare this with Mobikwik's experience.
I wanted to recharge my mobile phones, instead they want me to create a wallet?
Mobikwik is probably not doing anything different than Freecharge, but it is the way, they are trying to do it.
One has to be very subtle and careful, while trying to balance, what user wants and what the product owners. Needless to say, the user always comes first.
I want to recharge my mobile phone, Mobikwik's want me to create a wallet. How do you balance this?
The ideal way is the Freecharge way. Create a wallet, while creating my account. Tell me in a subtle way, whenever I log in the next time, that there is already a wallet ready for my use, and it's balance is zero at present.
The user is not being forced to do something, for which he never came to the site in the first place. User completes the transaction which she actually only intended to do , the company gets one more wallet created also.