Friday, September 21, 2007

Chipknip to disappear from manned-retail locations

Many papers and the national news discussed the ending of the Chipknip in manned retail loactions. Among them also Het Financieele Dagblad. All merchants are advised to just use the debit-card for low value payments, which is by now just as cheap as the e-purse (developed in a time when off-line payments were considered to be a smart way to circumvent the high telecommunication costs).

So, since the 10 years of its existence, the merchants didn't pick up the Dutch e-purse, which is partly due to the product characteristics. Consumers don't appear to like loading the card and keeping track of its balance. But then again, the use in parking, vending and catering niches is quite considerable. Th benefits of not having to collect coins at home for use in those machines clearly outlines the hassle of loading a Chipknip. So in these segments the Chipknip will survive.

Yet, we should also not forget the headlines of 10 years ago. Merchant lobby groups at that point of time explicitly stated that they were going to boycot the use of the Chipknip in the stores. Well, they lived up to their promise. It would be interesting to know if Neelie Kroes or any of her staff at DG Competition would also consider such collectively enacted boycots an abuse of dominant market position ?