In 2007, Credorax was a start-up. Now, we have acquiring and payments processing capabilities in over 30 European countries.
To ensure we kept innovation centre stage while expanding internationally, we created what we aptly dubbed the ‘Innovation Lab’ – a programme for cultivating and exploring disruptive ideas. If our Innovation Lab projects prove successful and sufficiently disruptive, we can introduce them into our core product offering.
The Lab is our commitment to innovation. It’s not a one-time effort, but a process and a culture. It’s part of what we do, and that equates directly to benefits for our merchants, the end user, and equally important, our employees and working environment.
Three steps to innovation
Of course, along the way, our approach shifted. We learned what tactics worked best and what to avoid when attempting to disrupt either the market or our own services.
We now have an informal Innovation Lab ‘rulebook’ made up of a three-step process which keeps us on the most efficient track to innovation. For those hoping to prompt a similar innovative focus within their business, we’ve shared these steps below.
Step one: Allow for the Eureka moment
Every employee should make time for innovation.
Don’t limit idea generation to a small subset of employees – it needs to be encouraged at every level. While we have a team that heads up the lab, ideas are gathered from anyone and anywhere. Let your staff know that their thoughts on next steps or evolutions for the business are always welcome. No matter how big or small the idea, nothing is too ridiculous.
As part of this approach, you need to dish out credit but be failure tolerant. Even if you invest in something and then find out it’s not working, no one should be blamed.
Step two: Move quickly by forgetting ROI
Set a budget for innovation projects to ensure the rapid progress of good ideas. Once an intriguing idea comes to the fore, it should be presented to senior management for a quick yes or no before the managing team spends too much time developing it.
Don’t labour over whether or not an idea has a proven ROI – it just needs to show some potential value.
Run the idea as a quick project with a small sample of live customers and then check its progress. Losing a huge amount of upfront analysis will prevent stilted progress or wasted time. Live customer trials should run for around three to four months to gauge whether or not the idea delivers the result you’re after.
Step three: Set (loose) timeframes
Try to put innovation projects up for consideration once every quarter but be flexible about this deadline. Making timeline commitments before a project goes into development adds unnecessary pressure to innovate, which can end up backfiring.
The Innovation lab’s debut
The first project in our Lab was developed alongside an innovative anti-fraud eCommerce start-up. The goal was to help a Credorax eCommerce merchant overcome its fraud issues, while increasing its conversion rates. Together, we developed a fraud prevention and payment processing solution that after three months had:
- Saved the merchant a total of 200,000 Euros in fraud costs and chargebacks
- Increased its revenues by 9%
- Increased its approval rates by 5%
Not all the ideas you explore are going to be winners. We didn’t push out that particular anti-fraud solution beyond our initial trial with the above-mentioned merchant, but our collaboration inspired a number of different ventures that did make it into our fraud-prevention portfolio and full product suite.
Innovation is about learning.
If you go on to adopt some of these ideas for your business, bear in mind that innovation enables imaginations to thrive in order to solve problems and create new, valuable products for your customers.
If you want to hear more about our lab products and how they could help your business, speak to the Credorax team today