Personal finance is an issue that a lot of people in our generation struggle with. With the advent of plastic money, online shopping, it gets easier and easier to spend money and harder to keep track of it in a tangible manner. Even though the technology these days is paramount in these industries, people still have trouble accessing and digesting the plethora of financial information presented to them in their banking apps. Our surveys told us that a majority of the population is still troubled by the cumbersome user-experience, clunky interfaces and the sheer indigestible amount of information bombarded at them in these banking/financial planning apps.
Another key insight that we discovered was that even though these apps promise to offer so much more than just checking their bank balance, 66% of our respondents agreed to only checking their banking apps just to check their bank balance. Here, we uncovered a really important product opportunity gap — which led us to explore the other ways in which we can help our target population.
76% of our respondents informed us that they manage their finances mostly totally mentally, and don’t use any sort of system to organize and plan their expenses. Additionally, 34 of our 43 respondents also reported that they only save for short-term expenditures — and not for long term investments.
An interview with a banking expert also told us that there currently is no consolidated portfolio of investments and cash flow in these banking apps — and it would help users a lot if they could clearly see and visualize where their money is being channelized. Another problem they pointed towards was that of how cumbersome the process of e-filing and taxation is in India. The Form 16 apparently downloads as an Excel file which you then have to fill out and upload back on to the server. Plus, in case you make any errors in the filing process, you aren’t notified instantly — but get an email weeks later, and sometimes even months.
These insights combined gave us a somewhat clear direction to move forward — how can we help our target user base — mostly college students — channelize their income into investment and saving for the long-term. Our survey data revealed that even though people do want to save for long-term goals like funding a business venture, saving for health emergencies, etc. they don’t necessarily do so. Our focus over here was on a pleasurable and intuitive interface which is easy for people to understand and digest in a glance, and wouldn’t require them to scour through tons and tons of information — simply delivering them what they need at the moment. We decided not to focus on the tax-filing side because of two main reasons: Firstly, even if we do implement a solution, tax-filing and its verification can only be done from the government — and we didn’t want to make a dummy solution which even we didn’t know how would work. Secondly, to limit our scope and not spread ourselves to things all across the world.
In order to keep our users engaged we’ll keep them updated of what their performance has been like over a certain period of time — how much they’ve saved, whether or not they’re meeting their short term saving goals, what their spending so far in a month looks like and what we predict it will be at the end of the month based on their current spending pattern. The user will also be recommended on how much they need to save in a month based on their income in order to reach those short/long term goals in the most efficient way possible. Under the financial portfolio, the app will show all the places where the user’s income is being channelised while also recommending stocks to invest in that match their income.
We wish to provide them with the means and ability to channelize their income in an efficient and productive manner, so as to balance their expenditures with saving and investment goals.