‘How to transform a product-oriented company into a market-oriented one?’

Referent_Equens-StuijtEquens is one of the largest payment processors in Europe. Roughly fifty million cardholders, more than 500,000 retailers, one million businesses and hundreds of banks use the service on a daily basis. Equens was founded in 2006 out of a merger between Interpay Netherlands and the German Transaktionsinstitut. In 2008, the transaction processing subsidiary of the Italian ICBPI Group was included as a partner.

‘Knowledge of the customer is essential’

Equens has become an internationally and market-oriented company with branches in the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and Finland. ‘Knowledge of the customer’ is essential, according to Michel Stuijt, Market Management General Manager. ‘What question lurks behind their needs?’

“Equens was formed through a merger of three payment processing institutions of and for banks. These transaction processors were almost all ‘utility companies’ and provided the payment traffic with all necessary services around it. We sell trust and our people are content-wise very knowledgeable. Some of our directors and shareholders are also our customers, which brings along a special dynamic. It really required a mind shift for employees and customers alike, to transform from a product-oriented “cost-plus” philosophy into a commercial company that responds much more pro-actively to its environment. And that was necessary because the payments market is changing fast. Because of new players in the market and the development of new payment concepts, success rates were under pressure. “The need to further develop opportunities, early in the buying process of the customer, was most urgent.”

Environment Awareness

“During 1.5 years Eisenfelt has coached a pan-European team, totalling some 35 market managers and delivery managers of Bank and Cards Acquiring teams.”

“We were tempted to always immediately find a solution for a specific customer request. But what question do you answer? What problem do you solve? Can we anticipate a customer problem through pro-active advice based on our expert knowledge? What does the DMU look like? Do I know what is really going on with that customer? Eisenfelt made us more aware of our surroundings. To this end, workshops were developed, managers were individually supervised and Eisenfelt’s adopted very ‘hands-on’ practical opportunities with us.”

“The Eisenfelt methodology is not only important to attract new contracts with new customers. I dare say that we were able to longer bind some customers to us, and through a wider range of services, thanks to Eisenfelt.”