The importance of the mobile app as a way to make bookings cannot be overestimated. Mobile payment channels will differ from those on the desktop (e.g. Apple Pay, Android Wallet). This first deliverable is to create a special mobile app payment channel.
Partners typically connect through an API with the platform. Based on the importance of partners to our growth, the API must be stable and easy to use and test. Over time the API will require some extensions to deal with new functionality on either side of the API. There are two releases planned for the partner API, one after 6 months and one after 18 months.
Flexible booking will be a complete new booking mechanism allowing hosts and guests to come together in a very different way as today's setup (which is based on the guest looking for a dinner opportunity). Flexible booking will use profiles of both host and guest and use a instantaneous queuing mechanism in combination with a push mechanism to bring them together. Significant work is still needed to arrive at the final version but we believe that culinary adventurism is at the core of such a setup.
The fact that the transactions on Withlocals platform are in fact to a large degree microtransactions, the creation of a smart transaction engine which can take into account not only all the payment channels and their respective parameters (e.g. commission %) but can combine that on the level of payment flow, not just individual transactions. This will allow Withlocals to increase its margin without reducing the earnings of the hosts or increasing the price for guest: optimization and incrase of revenue comes through optimization of the payment flow.
Establishing a scalable server structure to host the Withlocals platform for Europe; this will be done in steps to ensure the growth of traffic as well as data can be managed properly. WP1.1 European Server Setup 30/9 31/12 31/3 30/6 30/9 31/12 31/3 30/9
The combination of mobile app and DMP will allow the creation of accurate AND useful push propositions to the guest (but also to the host). As with the flexible booking, guests/travelers can be reminded that it is 5PM and they are in the vicinity of Host XYZ who is preparing a delicious local dish - why not book it now? There are many other possible (push) scenarios that can provide useful input/suggestions to the app user. Two releases are planned where the first release is a pilot release where app users most likely will have the choice to opt in/out. First release moved from 18 to 21 months (February 2017); final release moved from 24 to 28 (September 30th 2017)
The integration of key PSPs that would cover the roll-out of the first 10-12 countries. Europe has a very differentiated payment infrastructure where almost every country has its own payment service providers. There are a large number of PSPs active in Europe and, in fact, worldwide. Given the importance of supporting the proper payment channels with respect to conversion (a guest actually booking a dinner with a host), chosing the right PSPs will directly impact the number of bookings and hence the success of Withlocals in Europe. Given the significant activity in the FinTech as well as the progression in the banking systems, this second phase intends to upgrade the first phase to incompass the complete EC as well as upgrading the banking end (lower cost) for transactions with the hosts.
The integration of key PSPs that would cover the roll-out of the first 10-12 countries. Europe has a very differentiated payment infrastructure where almost every country has its own payment service providers. There are a large number of PSPs active in Europe and, in fact, worldwide. Given the importance of supporting the proper payment channels with respect to conversion (a guest actually booking a dinner with a host), chosing the right PSPs will directly impact the number of bookings and hence the success of Withlocals in Europe.
The platform also has important communication functions: not only between guest and local host but also between the different communities themselves. Helping hosts and ambassadors to improve their work, connect more seamlessly and share best practices is important to further raise standards; keep innovation within the offering as well as the operations within the countries and regions. Last but not least, innovative ways of letting guests book a home dinner experience will boost the number of bookings as well as improve integration with the different partners who employ different time models for their customers.