The “SmoothPay: Growing a Mobile Payment User Base” case illustrates the transformative capacity of
information systems (IS) in the mobile payment and loyalty solutions market. SmoothPay, a 14‐people start‐
up in Canada that offered mobile payment and loyalty solutions, enjoyed initial achievements after its launch
in 2014. In less than two years, through industry partnerships and community engagement, SmoothPay grew
to have over 100 merchants in its system, with over 5,000 users. However, the future was full of risks and
uncertainty: businesses and consumers in Canada were both slow in adopting mobile payments, and, as a
small firm, SmoothPay had not yet established brand awareness. SmoothPay’s management needed to
address several key challenges.
Your analysis should comprehensively cover items discussed in the SmoothPay case and reference outside
sources to support your arguments. Your case analysis must address the following questions:
Part 1: Mobile Payment
1. What is mobile payment? How has mobile payment evolved over time? Research, identify, and explain
four critical challenges facing the mobile payment industry. For each challenge, identify and justify ways
in which Information Systems (IS) could provide an innovative solution. (10%)
Part 2: Enterprise Strategy
2. Explain the term “strategic value.” Discuss, with three specific examples from the Smoothpay case, on
how IS provide strategic value for the organization. While engaging material from the case, you should
also review and evaluate SmoothPay’s website and public systems (e.g. mobile apps, etc.). (10%)
3. What are SmoothPay’s core competencies? How do these competencies differ from what is offered by
its competitors? (10%)
4. Define network effects. Explain how SmoothPay uses network effects to grow its business. In your
explanation refer to materials in the case and outside sources you independently researched. (10%)
Part 3: Market Positioning
5. Does SmoothPay demonstrate operational effectiveness or strategic positioning? Give three reasons to
support your argument? (10%)
6. In class, we discussed how the Internet influences industry structure. Apply Porter’s Five Forces
framework to analyze SmoothPay’s competitive strategy based on the information provided in the case
and other available information about the related industry. Your discussion must clearly identify how
SmoothPay could use IS to gain a competitive advantage. (25%)
Part 4: Future Recommendations
7. How should SmoothPay protect its business model? How should it handle competitors and imitators in
Canada and internationally? (10%)
8. What could be the next strategic direction for SmoothPay to deal with the challenges faced by the
industry and continue its growth? Give three specific examples of how IS could be better leveraged for
its growth? For each example, describe: 1) the feasibility of these solutions (e.g. highly feasible,
moderately feasible or somewhat feasible); and 2) the timeline required to implement the solution (e.g.,
long term or in years, mid‐term or in months or short‐term or in weeks). Justify your response. (15%)
This is an individual assessment. Students are advised to attempt all answers with an academic perspective, so
that they attain maximum benefit from the feedback provided. Students are also advised to be proactive in
reading and researching beyond and in advance of the scheduled topics, and proceed to consultation and support
services if and when required.
 The essay should be no more than 8 pages long (excluding cover page and references page), single‐spaced,
and written in Times New Roman, size 12 font, with 1 inch page margins. Add page numbers to your report.
 The essay should be organized into different sections (in the same sequence as the questions above) and each
section should be given an appropriate heading and question number. Add a brief introduction and
 You MUST include a title page for your essay, with your name, submission date, and instructor’s name.
 One final page should include the references as specified below and any other extraneous information.
 The essay must be written in your own words. Excessive quotes, even when referenced, are not desirable.
 Not complying with each of these instructions will attract a 5% penalty per offence, of the maximum possible
At least five references to reputable external sources (scholarly articles) outside of the course content are
required. It is important that your paper is based on information that you have identified through academic and
reputable research. After including references, you may then add your opinion in the paper so long as it is relevant
to the subject you have chosen.