Customer stories

How Nets Implemented a Customer-Driven Sustainability Service

The well-known electronic payment provider Nets recently developed a service which allows consumers to calculate the CO2 emissions footprint of their card transactions. Customer insights proved instrumental in validating the viability of this service throughout development.

Nets wanted to validate its new green Climate Action Service initiative, before committing resources and developing it.

The cashless payment company partnered with Sonar on a large study to validate the appeal of this new idea, and to identify where it could have implemented it for maximum reach and efficiency. The study provided Nets with the validation it required to develop its initiative further, and with the right insights to optimise it and make it truly customer-inspired. This resulted in an outstanding activation, and a continued high adoption rate.

Study results backed Nets’ hypothesis

Nets is a frontrunner in the world of cashless payments, delivering innovative digital solutions to banks, companies and consumers. The company wanted to provide an ambitious service to its customers in banking for a more sustainable and responsible way of thinking about banking. And to achieve its goal, Nets needed validation of each process from concept-phase to the testing of the final product. Enter customer insights.

Tony Bach Christensen heads the strategic partnerships initiative at Nets. He teamed up with Sonar to get the validation and further conducted a large five-country study on consumer attitudes towards the service.

Sonar provided a study for Nets stating that consumers had a low perception of banks’ commitment to sustainability. People wanted to change their behaviour, but many felt that governments and companies didn’t contribute to making that happen.

This helped approve the concept behind Nets Climate Action Service; a new service in mobile banking apps.

The study also showed great adoption potential, with 75% of the respondents wanting to sign up for the service immediately.

“That is the interest you want to achieve whether promoting your existing banking app or introducing a new card service with a green profile,” emphasises Tony Bach Christensen.

The service needs to stand out and bring customers value

During the concept validation phase, Nets was able to support its product hypothesis, but the teams also found new data that moved them closer to part of the solution.

The study showed it is an area where banks can genuinely stand out and make themselves attractive to potential customers while tying even stronger bonds with their existing base.

You must ensure that your service brings value to your customers and really makes you stand out. Otherwise, why bother? asks Tony.

If the financial institutes of today will become known for their dedication to sustainability, they need to show that to their customers. In the end, this can turn out to be a win-win situation for them.

“Banks today have a golden-green opportunity to help their customers achieve their personal climate action ambitions and at the same time deliver on the promise of sustainable and responsible banking,” states Bach Christensen.

The first step during the concept validation gave the team at Nets a lot of useful knowledge that made them comfortable moving forward to the next phase, where they focused on respondents’ take on how appealing the user experience was.

In the validation study made by Sonar, 46% of people said that lack of affordability is a barrier when they want to change their behaviour.

The Nets Climate Action Service has a micro-donations feature built in. The study showed this was precisely what the user response was aiming for; a feeling of affordability. The respondents suddenly felt they could afford to be conscious.

If I can pay 3 percent more for my groceries and actually help the environment in a measurable way then, absolutely, I think that would be great, answered Mikkel, aged 33, in the Sonar Study.

Testing is a powerful tool to really know the needs of customers

Once the service concept is validated and the user experience for the target audience seems to be in place, it is always a good idea to test to target end users.

In the case of Nets Climate Action Service, an in-depth end-user study was conducted by Sonar in order to analyse the interaction and response of the user to a prototype.

“Important information was obtained about design details ranging from the practical onboarding flow to “interesting and catchy” visuals, and how to make the app intuitive and appealing to engage with,”
explains Tony Bach Christensen.

The results of the study revealed an increase in the interaction between the user and the service. Users showed a higher degree of engagement with the banking app while requesting more information on the climate topic. They also expressed that the key features of the app gave a positive feeling of a truly valuable banking service.

“I am very positive. It doesn’t require constant effort and I think it makes sense that you can differentiate for yourself, in which area you consider this to be useful,” answered Tim from Germany in the study.

In that context, Tony Bach Christensen describes that testing is a powerful tool for adjusting the service design, making it more likely to succeed in user attraction and utilisation.

You do not merely want your customers to like the service and think of it as a cool feature, you want them to use it and get the feeling that it brings value to them every day. That way, you generate stickiness and customer loyalty as well as a service that will attract new clients, says Tony.

Reach out to the partners with the valuable insights  

Tony Bach Christensen highlights the following as the last important step if you want to succeed with a project: you want to give the users a positive first impression of the new service – both in terms of simplicity, flow and design.

But if you do not have the time or resources to conduct thorough testing, your external partners can guide you based on their end-user research. This will give justified confidence in the choices.

In Nets’ own case, Sonar helped the company make insight-driven decisions throughout the development phase.

In this study, Sonar recruited participants from Scandinavia, the United Kingdom and Germany based on information from Nets. Then, they captured interactions via video and audio recordings, gathered all the feedback and translated it into useful and actionable insights.

And these insights made it possible for Nets to enable the banks to use the consumption data of their customers to assess the individual carbon footprint of each purchase made and calculate the suitable donation.