written by
Edwin Ting

What’s a Convenience Fee?

Business 1 min read

Singapore is ploughing towards a digital economy, but it seems it’s organisation and citizens are highly averse to it.

Now, going digital has many implications and to think of digits as only mobile payment is highly inaccurate.

In fact, digitalization is leveraging technology to improve quality and efficiency.

I lived in China for 10+ years and had been fortunate to have experienced the hyper growth of technology adoption in China over the last 5 years.

So, when I moved back to Singapore at the end of 2018, I was fairly disappointed with the state of affairs, considering that Singapore had its digital Master Plan for 4 good years since 2014.

So, today I was booking a couple of movie tickets via an App and I was charged a “convenience fee”.

Hmm ... yes, it’s definitely convenient for me to book tickets directly from an App, but to actually call it a Convenience fee and charge $1.50 for it, in my opinion, feels a little outrageous.

I personally think this fee should have been charged to the movie theatre, rather to the consumer. Isn’t it more convenient for the theatres now to get ready access to customers now without even having them come down in person? This additional data even helps to plan for schedules as it shows future bookings too.

Besides charging the theatre, the App could develop interesting products around the movies. Could they organise events and sell tickets for revenue? Meet and greet? Meet ups?

How about movie swag?

Pre-sales to get tickets on opening night?

Charging the customer for a basic service of merely buying a ticket is too lazy. Buying a ticket should be hygiene factor of any movie app or theatre app.

For businesses to really embrace technology, I believe they need to rethink parts of their business model and decide where their value really is and charge for that.

If it’s merely a matter of taking something that previously only was offline and now making it available online, that’s like basic. Please go a few steps further and improve the customer experience of enhance the value provided.