Design thinking/UX case study

Paying abroad with a bank application

After learning a few things about design thinking and its methodology it is now time to practice !
Ironhack — the bootcamp I’m currently taking in Paris — suggests to work on a case study about a bank mobile app. The aim of the exercice is to develop a function allowing customers to pay abroad with their bank app.

Anyone who have had the luck to travel in a foreign country have had to find a way to get local currency. In westernized countries this process is usually easy as technology offers many ways to deal with that issue, however in some backward countries you might face some hurdles. In order to better understand these pain points, I’ve interviewed 5 people and found out what were their main problems:
1. Carrying a cash is not always safe 
2. Some countries don’t have wifi access and neither accept card payment 
3. Bank fees on money exchange is always shady
4. Although mobile payment such as Apple pay exists some people are still fearful to use their phone as a mean of payment.

I then decided to look into companies that are specialised in dealing with money exchange and found that Western Union was offering the option to send money via a mobile phone (meaning no wifi connection but still a mobile network), which is adressing problem 1 and 2.

Western Union process to send money via mobile phone

  1. Log in to your profile. If you don’t have a profile, please register for free.
  2. Choose country, amount and delivery method (mobile wallet). 5
  3. Enter your receiver’s name and mobile number. 3
  4. Pay with your credit or debit card 6.
  5. You and your receiver will get a confirmation alert in the form of an SMS 7 notification when the money’s delivered.

That last step is actually helping with problem 4 as both the buyer and the vendor are receiving a text message confirming the payment.

Now that I had a solution that seemed to work I needed to prototype the application interface. I got inspired looking into existing bank applications but also mobile payment applications and thought I would just adapt it so that it includes the same process that the Western Union mobile payment one.

After a few attempts and testing here is what I came up with:

Since we are working on a mobile app for a bank, I had a look at a few banks mobile app and figured that most of them are offering similar options when loggin in. The difference lands in the presentation.

  1. I’ve selected this one as it seemed that customers knew straight on where to click to proceed to a payement.

2. The second step is to select which bank account you want to be debited from (providing customer may have several bank account in the same bank) and select the type of transaction you want to do. It offers you 2 options : transfer money to an account, or pay someone via a mobile number.

3. In order to know the currency recipient need to input the country first and then input the amount to be paid in the local currency (which would have been automatically set), the customer can then instantly see how much i twill cost him in its own currency.

4. A confirmation screen sumarizing the transaction so that the customer is clear and can proceed with the payment.

5. No action required at this stage. This screen is simply to inform the custumer of the procedure so that both vendor and buyer can be assured trhe transaction has been proceeded.

Although the process is not as smooth as it is when using mobile payement such as Apple Pay, it is taking in consideration the constrain of network you may face in some countries.

Just before you leave

If you’ve enjoyed reading this article, don’t hesite to give it a little thumb 👍 ! I’d also love to hear your comments to improve for my next article, so don’t hesitate to leave notes 🙏