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I have a confession to make..
I’m addicted to mahjong!
No not the solitaire type game where you match mahjong tiles. ACTUAL mahjong. And no I’m not very good at it, but yes I am addicted.
I almost never give up on an opportunity to play. Sadly, that opportunity comes rarely because you need 4 people to play, and a single round of mahjong is typically 2 hours. At least.
(Some of my friends probably hold the record at 5 hours *ehem*.) And why play one round when you could play two! :D
Problem: Organizing a mahjong game is typically a nightmare.
It usually involves me whatsapp-ing a dozen people, and after several dozen messages an hour later, ending up with 3 people who are able to play at 8 pm, and 1 who lives on the other side of the island and is able to play only at 10 pm.
90% of the time, the games don’t happen.
And this is not even taking into account the skill level / speed of each player. Playing with the odd beginner at the table means 3 people are going to get terribly impatient.
Solution: The Mahjong Matchmaker app!
Bored on a Saturday afternoon? Fire up the mahjong matchmaker, and find other mahjong enthusiasts around you.
Mahjong Matchmaker allows you to host or join a mahjong game. Rules are specified upfront (since there are a gazillion variations), and players are matched by availability, proximity and speed/skill level.
"But what about online mahjong sites?"
NO! Just. Not. The. Same.
Similarly to poker, you’re missing a lot of visual cues when playing online vs at a table. Not to mention the awesome feel of the tiles at your fingertips (which imo, is half the fun of the game).
Monetization: Freemium model
3 free games + in-app purchases for additional games.
Free download, search games for free, buy credits to “book” a spot in a game. Or sell an unlimited monthly subscription.
Just some ideas, but I think there are plenty of other ways to monetize Mahjong Matchamaker. And guess what..
It works for poker too!
With a few tweaks you could probably re-brand the same app for poker. The Poker Pith? (we need a better name.)
Now, who wants to build this?
How Klarna works.
Answer by Aileen Sim:
How it works:
Klarna allows users to make purchases online without providing their payment details to the merchants.
- User provides national ID number (e.g. SSN) at checkout
- Klarna does a micro-credit check with the ID number, fronts the money and pays the merchant first.
- User receives goods, and a Klarna invoice with 14 days to pay via credit cards, bank transfers, cheques etc.
The primary benefit of Klarna is this: Removing the payment step greatly reduces friction in the checkout process.
This reduces “cart abandon” rate for merchants. i.e. more people buy.
The Klarna magic - What makes Klarna work:
Easy availability of an individual’s information.
In Sweden, with a user’s ID number, Klarna can obtain..
- User’s address - This allows Klarna to pre-fill the user’s address, therefore creating an even easier checkout experience.
- User’s credit rating (similar to FICO) to assess his credit worthiness.
Effective fraud prevention:
- Goods can be shipped only to the ID’s registered address - prevents fraud from identity theft / stolen ID numbers.
- Defaults are reported to the national credit bureau. Similarly to FICO, a bad credit score can have a long-term impact on one’s ability to get a mortgage and credit. This prevents users from defaulting on their payments.
Klarna owns the “entire stack”:
- Klarna issues the credit to users - usually the most profitable piece in a credit card transaction - at 20-30% p.a.
- Klarna is able to eventually switch users from more expensive payment methods (e.g. credit cards) towards cheaper methods (e.g. cheques, bank transfers). This lets them reduce payment collection cost, whilst still charging merchants 3%.
Klarna’s business model:
- Fees to merchants
- Fees to users
- Interest charged to users
Their primary COGS:
- Cost of capital - for funds needed to issue credit
- Payment collection costs - cost of processing credit cards and bank transfers
- Cost of default / bad debts - consumers who fail to pay up. Klarna insures the merchants against bad debts.
More details on Klarna’s revenue streams:
Note: Fees vary with the specific products and countries. Some of these numbers may be out-of-date but should be indicative.
1. Fees to merchants
- Set up fee:
Certain products like the new Klarna Checkout has a set up fee of 3995 SEK (613.59 USD), which is currently being waived.
- Monthly fee:
599 SEK (92 USD) per month for Klarna Checkout
- Per transaction fee:
1.5% - 3% per transaction
2. Fees to users:
- Late fee / reminder fee:
- 60 SEK (9 USD) in Sweden. 135 SEK for larger outstanding balances.
- 9.95 EUR in Germany
- Fees for their installment product:
- 29 SEK (4.50 USD) one-time fee in Sweden
- 1.95 EUR (2.50 USD) per month in Germany
- Per transaction invoice fee:
Klarna doesn’t actually charge users this fee, but it is not uncommon for merchants to pass the fee on to users. Typically 29 SEK (4.50 USD).
3. Interest charged to users on installment plans or late payments:
Effective interest rates are pretty similar to credit card rates:
- 25-30% in Sweden
- 15% to low 20+% in Germany
Why consumers use Klarna:
- Easier checkout experience
- Security - Not needing to provide merchants your credit card info
- Users get to receive and inspect goods before they settle up.
- Option to pay by installments
- Convenience - Consolidate all Klarna purchases for the month into a single invoice
Started writing at Quora Blog. Go say hi.
Am maintaining both blogs for now and will continue to add to my pros and cons list.
Anyone else writing on quora blog?
Short answer: 2D vs 3D-like
Great article on this: http://speckyboy.com/2012/12/11/the-flat-design-aesthetic/
e.g. Windows 8, Android
Skeuomorphic: mimicking 3D
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