Dear Sataya Nadella
I’m a long time Microsoft fan. I own a PC, Xbox & a windows phone. This letter is about the latter. 3 years ago Joe Belfiore (I’m assuming with the permission of) while announcing windows phone 8 also announced that the carrier backed Isis, now known as SoftCard would also be coming to windows phone. I went out & got their secured SIM card & waited. I’ve been waiting for over 3 years now. They are now working with their competition, Apple. I’ve pretty much given all hope that an app will EVER come to windows phone.
Microsoft has for the past couple of years been a kinder, gentler company that will throw out metaphorical carrots for partnerships. That’s not working. A prime example of this is Facebook. It took them 2-3 years to bring their messenger app to windows phone. It’s still not available on windows. Same goes goes for instagram which took 2 years to come to windows phone after Facebooks’ purchase of it. It’s not available on windows and it’s still in beta on windows phone. Facebook got MILLIONS of dollars from Microsoft as an investment when it was starting out.
An even more subject appropriate example of failure of partnerships is SoftCard. Joe Belfiore announced windows phone 8 at the same event as the debut of the Lumia 920″ https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zq4GYlN9uDY The part that stuck with everyone is: they’d have an app within a year. Since then (there are EVEN MORE links about Microsoft’s partnership with SoftCard. These are just a handful) this is what we got: http://t.co/Hht4cIJyw8 & http://t.co/ZCvTaqf4A9 & http://t.co/zeYDVaJEeB & http://t.co/UCK2iQvCfG & then finally this happened http://t.co/j87qM4BVTa Microsoft should’ve beat Apple to the market to mobile payments market 3 years ago. But that would’ve meant being on Isis/SoftCard like white on rice. Now everyone on windows phone is holding their breath for the Zapp Mobile payments app.
I’d like to note that Microsoft has apparently acknowledged that partnerships failure. In the video above, the wallet hub looked beautiful, advanced & dynamic when windows phone 8 first launched. To call what it is now a shadow of its former self would be a MASSIVE understatement. Nothing personal but the latest incarnation looks like it was coded by first year interns on their lunch break. One failed partnership & Microsoft trades in its Shelby Mustang convertible for a used Ford Fiesta.
People have lost faith in Microsoft because they see it as a company with no strength and no cachè. It’s time to put the carrots away and wield a stick. Starting with tap to pay. PLEASE MAKE YOUR OWN APP. People aren’t going to adopt Windows or Windows Phone if they feel left out on features AND apps. When people start seeing iPhone users with Apple pay, it’ll be another reason not to use windows phone. I & many people via social media begged & asked SoftCard to make their app available. It’s not happening. Another service I use is called venmo (not available on windows phone). They and another service called looppay that competes’ with SoftCard said they aren’t making a windows phone app. None of these parties are partners. PLEASE COMPETE AGAINST THEM. Do it with one app that’s cross platform. Make it available for Windows, Windows phone, iOS, OSX, Android and BlackBerry. Call it OnePay: A wallet for everyone. I was hoping to make this app this app myself once I finish studying app development. But I want to use my phone as a wallet. I’ve wanted to do this for a while now. And I really want to stick with windows phone as I have since it launched. As I did with its predecessor windows mobile. Because I like and believe in the platform & want to see it grow.
Features of OnePay:
• Tap to pay: Pay any merchant that takes NFC payments. Integrates with windows phones wallet for quick easy payment. Just tap, enter 4 digit code, hit ok & go. Also tap any compatible phone together to exchange money whether the person is a friend or not (MUST BE PIN PROTECTED).
• Pay via QR code: Pay where NFC isn’t available. Using a unique QR code. One that’s also color coded & borrows from Microsoft tag. Also works from one user to another.
• All your store discount cards in one place. Snap a photo of your discount card. OCR scans it into the app. Your discount codes are saved in the users switchable choice of barcode or QR code (bar codes on phones don’t always work.). Saved to OneDrive.
• Request payment: Set automatic request. Automated reminders. Great for small businesses.
• Pay a contact: Send money to anyone with a OnePay account (sign up with a Microsoft account or Facebook account) to and from anywhere. Just select contact, select amount. Optionally add a note. Send money instantly & privately.
• Card agnostic: Routing number, account number for bank & debt card information. No need for partnerships with banks.
Services like Venmo I’ve noticed have a problem. If I have money in my account with them & If I want to send someone money, it doesn’t take it from the money I have in venmo. It deducts it from my bank account. Be smarter than this. Or ask where I’d like the money to come from. One thing I like about venmo is the next day pay out (happens so long as I do it before 7 pm on a weekday). It’d be nice if OnePay could give the option of doing this automatically with an alert letting me know this auto cashout is about to happen so that I can select postpone for one day like an alarm clock. That way I can use the money in my OnePay account rather than wait till the next day for my cashout.
• Does spending statements: Excel style statements. When (date, time) & where I spent money. How the transaction was done (tap to pay, QR, send to contact). Who it was with (person, friend, merchant). How much was the transaction. Allow for flagging individual transactions for fraud.
• Scan receipts: Itemize & get metrics on your spending habits using OCR & save to OneDrive. Never lose a receipt ever again. An accountants best friend. Great for finding deals on products people buy regularly. Use Photosynth for really long receipts.
• Bitcoin transactions welcome. Treat it just like money. Give users the option to spend it or convert it to cash (state exchange rate at time of cashout)
• Simple 4 pane layout: Make it look like Xbox music. With searchable transactions. Pane 1; make payment. (QR code, NFC or send to contact). Check balance. Receive/request payment. Manual cashout (bitcoin & money). Bring back deals. Pane 2; Discount/Club cards. Swipe up & down to riffle through cards. Tap the card & get a scanable QR code. Pane 3; Receipts. Sort by date & time or name of store. Pane 4; payment history. Who did you pay, who paid you & outstanding IOUs’.
Make an app for merchants. Call it OnePay business. A phone & tablet app that works with the consumer version of the app. The Surface as a simple, elegant POS. With profiles for cashiers that itemizes all actions. Make it work with an Excel created manifest/inventory. Finally, turf out Venmos’ owner PayPal by making a pay with a OnePay button & make it publicly available. Allow users and merchants to monitor all activity with OnePay from a tablet app or the web with a layout similar to kin studio. Partner with mint.com to help users manage their spending habits.
Partner with livingsocial for deals. Partner with Craigslist, BackPage & Local online newspaper classifieds to get the ball rolling on the OnePay button. Skip taking ANY money per transaction. It’ll give you good faith with merchants and consumers. Just collect data on where people spend their money & merchants for targeted advertising. SUPER ENCRYPT ALL DATA on Azure. Act as though your protecting military secrets. The highest bit encryption possible with MANDATORY two factor security. Have the Xbox customer service team handle customer service.
Square, Venmo, a full featured PayPal app, LoopPay, Google wallet & SoftCard. These are all things not available on windows phone. Business is a 0/1 sum game. The worst deal ANYONE should have with Microsoft should be NO deal at all.