Payments while Traveling: The Whole Bank Feature

Paolat De la Cruz
May 27, 2019 · 4 min read

About the Client

The Whole Bank motto is bringing innovative solutions to its customers for managing and saving money. The bank has been finding that customers have different kinds of problematic situations when they have to pay when traveling.

Let’s talk to users about payment on traveling experiences

Our target where users who travel, and had faced problems of payment in a city/country that is not where they live. So these questions were made:

  • How you organize/handle a budget for a trip/travel?
  • How do you pay normally in this new city? Why?
  • Had you any problems paying in this trip/travel/city?
  • Why this was an uncomfortable situation?

They expressed some main difficulties with payments when they travel abroad, we could organize this problem in four different groups:


  • It’s hard to know from before if a City/Country is more card/cash payment
  • They get robbed ( no cards, no cash)
  • Forget the wallet at the hotel

About ATMs

  • They have to find where are the ATMs in this foreign place
  • If they find an ATM, could be depending on the country that they cannot understand the ATM
  • They don’t feel safe at ATMs withdrawing money, they feel people are watching them

Paying on specific places

  • They are never sure if the place takes card payment, they have to ask or look for a signal
  • They are never sure if the card will work (because of plastic, connection, place, etc.)
  • Sometimes the card is not giving the authorization (late security activation for international payments)

About Cash

  • The Withdrawals limits on ATM sometimes are not enough in some countries, and they have to go back again to the ATM in a few days
  • Extra Fee’s of withdrawing money
  • Some countries if the ATM doesn't work, they have to go to specific banks to get cash in working hours/days

Defining: Problem statement

So, after empathizing with the users, many of the problems from before can resume on this:

Physical payments cards are not always reliable, practical, or secure and the user needs more payment scenario information when traveling.

How can we solve this? Brainstorming Solutions

  1. If the physical card is bringing problems, let's attach the card information to another device, in this case to the Bank App
  2. Access to a Map on the app, that shows places they can pay with Card based on Google Places; also shows ATMs available;
  3. The app could also give an average of ATMs locations, and places that accept digital payment on each city, so the user has an idea of how probable is cash needed on a city.

Let's prototype these solutions in the Whole Bank app.


Here are prototype views of features added to the Whole Bank App that can help to adapt the solutions from before, in an example of use.

On the first view we see the Home screen of the app, with Top View of the user's money Balance, options to see users different accounts, in the middle we can see list of transactions, and top bottom a navigation menu: Transactions, Cards, Add Transfers action, Map and Profile.

Situation One:

Let’s say our user traveled to Florence, Italy. He goes to the Wholebank App and has 2 new Buttons in the Homescreen: Cards and Map.

Because he is new in the city he clicks on Map Button, and there he can see where are the closest ATMs, and in which places he can pay digitally with the APP (Or Credit Card).

Situation Two:

Out user is still in Florence. He goes to one place recommended in the Map Button, and he doesn't have the physical card with him, but the cards info are also in the App.

He clicks Cards Button and sees all the cards he has with WholeBank.

He selects one and receives instructions to pay in the place. “Colocate the phone closer to the reader”.

The payment is completed and the user keeps enjoying his travel.


Is very interesting how each user has a very different experience of the same topic.

Helps a lot to write post-it notes with all the expressions of the interviewees and organize them because also some problems are similar or can be sole with a similar tool.

Writing the statement can be very practical because it closes in one paragraph /sentence what needs to be solved.

It’s really amazing peoples reaction traying the prototypes :)


Paolat De la Cruz

Written by

Caribbean UX / UI designer with branding and editorial design background working in Europe — In my free time I tell bad jokes while I cook something I drew.

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