TWINT: built and powered by AdNovum App successfully launched

Software solutions are literally difficult to grasp. Not so the AdNovum-engineered payment solution TWINT, which made the launch of this latest app particularly exciting.

At around lunch time, the TWINT team is all set: the food stalls have been equipped with the payment terminals, the approx. 50 helpers are ready and the core team is connected via chat. Simon Zweifel, technical project leader at AdNovum, is sitting at his laptop computer, all relaxed. In the meantime visitors and fans are flocking into the stadium. The diagrams on Simon Zweifel's screen still remain largely unchanged. Deceptive silence? Or start of an unexpectedly smooth soft launch?


Today, TWINT is launching its new payment solution named … of course: TWINT. With the new app, the PostFinance's (PF) subsidiary wants no less than «start a revolution». Yet, what sets TWINT apart from its competitors? The start-up positions its solution as integrated payment and shopping app. This provides customers with high flexibility: they use the app to pay at a cash register, in online shops or within other apps. In the near future, the app will also enable payments among friends («peer to peer»).


As TWINT is open to all Swiss Banks, the Swiss Post, iOS, Android and any telecom company, the start-up unlocks maximum customer potential. A subsidiary of a major corporation, TWINT draws on PF's resources and know-how, while working at the speed of a technology company. AdNovum thus fits perfectly as technical partner: It has engineered the solution from A–Z and ensures its operation and further development.

Kick-off for an app

Today will show whether theory and practice are compatible. It's Sunday afternoon, August 9, at the "Stade de Suisse" in Bern where every last seat will be taken as the two local football teams play against each other. Because the stadium is celebrating its 10th anniversary, tickets are sold for some very moderate 10 francs. Of course, fans and visitors are in the best of moods ... and the preconditions for the launch very promising!

The TWINT booth at the entrance of the stadium shines in a light green – almost impossible to ignore it. In addition, the name is an earcatcher: TWINT alliterates with Twitter. And what a tempting offer: download app, get credit balance of 10 francs, test app! In terms of figures this means that a person who embarks on the TWINT adventure gets into the stadium for free. It's no surprise the friendly helpers in their green t-shirts are already quite busy three hours before the game is kicked off.

At around 1 p.m., everybody is still warming up: the fans, the football players and the TWINT team. On the field, the YB Old Stars – consisting of former regulars such as Jean-Marie Conz and Lars Lunde – and the Suisse Legends – consisting of former internationals such as Andy Egli and Stéphane Chapuisat – are getting ready. To mark the occasion, they will play against each other before the official Super League derby.


On the bleachers, Simon Zweifel is keeping an eye on his diagrams. The curve reflecting the number of TWINT payments is now significantly steepening. Indeed, people are queuing at the food stalls for bratwurst and French fries. «It's quick and convenient», says a young man who has just used the TWINT app to pay. Unfortunately, on his friend's phone the app didn't work. Maybe he has forgotten to activate the push notification. On the other side of the counter, everything is working smoothly. With the app it's just as quick as with cash, says one of the ladies operating the cash registers. Her colleague nods in agreement.

Soft launch: chip pass for the further development?

Is the revolution taking place – in peace and quiet? Almost. Just now, theory and practice collide. Some cash registers work differently from those in the tests. «This is a new situation», says Simon Zweifel, «but we know the solution». At this point, there is still sufficient time to update the settings. Luckily, Simon Zweifel is in touch with the support team in Zurich via chat. According to him, the system will be put to the test at 4.45 p.m., when the fans get more food and drinks during the break. Says it and calmly waves away a wasp.

With the kick-off at 4 p.m. approaching, more and more fans are taking their places. On their way, many of them seem to stop at the food stalls, as the curve of the TWINT payments still shows an elevated level.

Kick-off! This is the TWINT team's last chance to take a deep breath and once again check all the technical details. Everything is working just fine. The system should thus be able to handle the large amount of payments expected during the break. Unless Murphy's law strikes …

The moment of truth

Break. The food stalls are crowded – with families, groups of adolescents, couples, fans dressed in black and yellow, and in red and white. Football has a way of making everyone hungry and thirsty, also supporters. Every thirty seconds, beer and bratwurst are sold. The cash registers keep ringing. Again and again, the TWINT app enlightens the screen of a smartphone. The friendly helpers in their green t-shirts are standing by. No disruption, no failure, nothing?

«Very handy, I would definitely use the app again», says a family man. «Easy to use and cool» – also this teenage fan is quite pleased. And so is the majority of the app users. If it comes to a standstill, it is usually because this payment method is also new to the staff behind the counter. That's when the TWINT team provides discreet support.

What about the payment curve on Simon Zweifel's screen? Contrary to expectations, it hasn't skyrocketed at the beginning of the break. «Most guests have probably tested the app before the kick-off and have used their credit», he assumes. There are no warning or error messages popping up on the screen either. The system is stable and keeps running smoothly. Obviously, it has passed the test already before the expected peak.  

Direct hit rather than own goal

At the final whistle at 5.45 p.m. – YB defeats Thun 3:1 – the work of the TWINT team is done. Conclusion: soft launch successful! That's very encouraging. After all, there's still a long way to go. Until the digital wallet has revolutionized the way we pay, the two local teams will probably meet again.