Thierry Kneissler (1971) is CEO of TWINT Ltd., Switzerland’s first integrated payment and shopping app. TWINT is a spin off of PostFinance. Before moving to TWINT, he was member of the Executive Board of PostFinance for 6 years. He joined PostFinance in 2003. Earlier positions include business consultant for an internet company and project manager for a bank.
He studied Economics and is an Executive MBA from University of St. Gallen. Thierry Kneissler is married, father of two children and lives in Berne.
Twint is a unique mobile solution in Switzerland. Can you please tell us how does it work?
Today we pay by using cards or cash. Twint is an app where you connect the money and pay with your smartphone at the point of sales, in the Internet in eCommerce or in other apps. You can also send and receive money from your friends. As a client you download the app on your smartphone, register yourself and then you become a Twint client. You have to connect your bank account or load money, then you go to the point of sales and do the payment.
How came the idea to develop it?
It was in March 2014, I worked in PostFinance and internally we had another project in the area of mobile payment. With two colleagues of mine we thought to bring another solution and started thinking in another model between March and April 2014. Then we showed this model (which was Twint) to the board that said “Yes, this is the model we want to do”. Technically we started the development in September.
How did the consumers/users react to the availability of the service?
Since 4 months we are in the market, users reacted positively and the number is increasing day by day. We have already thousands of transactions today.
Can you define the profile of the users who downloaded and frequently used the service?
It's like the user that you imagine, when talking about a mobile application: younger, both men and women, between 18-50, who use its smartphone daily. We don't have any special demography, and that's ok for us because we want to go in the mass market and reach all Swiss citizens.
What are your goals for 2016? What are the future evolutions?
We'd like to reach a couple of 100.000 clients. This year we will do a lot of marketing, mostly end-consumer marketing and we will increase the merchants side, our partnerships, point of sales and eCommerce.
Do you imagine to export and apply the business abroad?
For us it's an opportunity and our system can be interesting for other countries. We have interest of foreign countries and companies in these countries, but actually doing some concrete project is always a long way. If we find some potential partners that really want to develop Twint in their market, we will do it, why not.
Is mobile the new paradigm for ePayment even in Switzerland?
I really thinks so. Mobile payment is here and it will stay. People do anything with their phones, so why don't they do payments as of today? 2015 and 2016 Switzerland made big steps into this direction. I believe, that is an irreversible development, which was just started.
Talking about virtual loyalties card, is the model destined to work?
Switzerland does not need another loyalty scheme. In Germany they have for example Payback, which is a huge loyalty system, but in Switzerland nobody wants another “national” system. I really strongly believe in a system that runs store based loyalty cards for eShops and physical stores: for example, a bakery, where you buy 10 sandwiches and the 11th is for free. We believe in this kind of loyalty. And in individualized coupons for Shops of course.
We'd like to ask you a curious information: which has been the most original and strange purchase being conducted through Twint? Or who's been the first to use the app for a purchase (what did he/she buy and in which city?)?
We don't really have special transactions. People pay for all kind of things. Our team were the first to use Twint app in April 2015. We made the first purchase in the headquarter of Swiss Post at the caffetteria where we bought some chocolate bars.
The first and only
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