We went back to our 200 households to tell them to save the IVR number, pick up the phone when we call, and to ask to see what bank they use (just to see if they offer ECS service)
After 20 households we realized this (asking what bank they used) was a bad idea. Customers got so upset they wanted to cancel the service right there. Luckily I think we talked them down (our interns are pretty well trained/are really good at talking to people) but we got the info we wanted- people don’t trust us yet.
I think we will try again in 4-5 months, but apparently it’s too early to even begin to mention banks. A lot of entrepreneurship is watching, waiting, and gauging. I think the best conclusion we can reach is that people do take bank accounts seriously, and we haven’t built enough trust yet.
Will we ever get to that point of trust? Even better question- EVEN if we build incredible trust, will they give us bank account information? I think if we haven’t got there after 4 months, we will look seriously into other longer term solutions. Also, we are starting to get press/get publicity so that will help- and we should see if we can require bank account info to even sign up for the NextDrop service (hopefully we will get to that point in the next few months). But I’m willing to wait until then, because if we CAN swing this, it would be huge for long term sustainability.