Design Thinking Exercise

Ironhack UI/UI assignement — Prework Octobre 2017

The client : Whole Bank

Whole Bank started operations in Framingham, a small town in Massachusetts, United States. Their goal was to offer a different way to save and manage money by giving customers innovative options such as virtual currencies.

Whole Bank detected that the conventional Credit/Debit System shows big inconveniences for traveling customers.

Customers depend on the card to be able to get money from the ATM machines or to make payments. So they would like to develop a tool to let the bank customers pay without having to use the physical card.

Cards traditionally offer an amount of perks that make them suitable for the job: customers don’t have to carry cash, it takes less time to complete a purchase, and customers can easily get cash using debit cards at ATM machines.

But when traveling, a lot of things may happen:

  • Customers may lose their cards
  • Some shops don’t allow credit/debit card payments
  • Physical cards are susceptible to damage. Cards’ chips, magnetic bands, and contactless technology can deteriorate during the trip
  • The idea is to give customers access to a payment feature that they can use exclusively when they travel, so instead of using their cards, they can use the app on their mobile devices.

The interview : “problems” founded

I interviewed five traveler friends, they all agreed with the problems one might have when traveling with credit/debit cards and cash, but they don’t seem to really feel them as a problem but most likely as the risk to take when you decide to travel. Tree of them had lost their credit card or their wallet with cash at least once, it was certainly very inconvénient but they but they handle it quite well. They asked their bank for a transfer to a friend’s account or they called their family asking for help. Once back home they went to their bank and got everything back to normal.

Four of them have use or use contactless payment systems on daily bases and while traveling such as Apple Pay or Samsung Pay, they are very confortable with the apps and never thought of using other thing than their credit card, cash or contactless payment apps when traveling.

So, I didn’t feel there was a real problem or any expectations for the bank to have any new app feature to help them pay in a different way while traveling. They were more concerned about what to do if they lost their smartphone while traveling ! But going there wouldn’t help moving forward with my assignment 😬

Solving the “problem”

Even though creating a new feature was not identified as a problem after my interviews, I think that having an access to a payment feature that customers can use exclusively when they travel would be a great idea. Besides, It was the assignment, isn’t it ? So I sketched a prototype inspired in existing smartphones contactless payment systems

What I learned throughout the process?

Sometimes a client’s vision is not the customer vision, or needs. I think that Whole bank’s customers would certainly appreciate to have a new feature into their bank app, but I’m not convinced that there is a real problem for customers who travel. The existing methods and apps do their job just fine ! But if the Whole bank concern is to keep their customers inside their app rather than having to deal with Apple Pay and Samsung pay, making a contactless payment inside their app would be a solution.