Digital Banking
for Generation Z

The client was one of the largest local bank in UAE. We build the region’s first ever kids banking app, launching the MVP in 6 months.
What we did

Scope of work and timeline

The product involved UX and UI designers who worked synergistically in order to build an innovative solution. Our Business and Growth teams were constantly in touch, providing us with valuable insights.
Research
Both desk and user research were conducted to cover the whole spectrum of perspectives necessary to develop a fully fledged strategy.
UX Design
After a thorough understanding of
the status quo, user stories were
generated followed by user flows
detailing the full user journey.
UI & Interactions
With a solid basis of UX findings, the
visual part of the app was designed,
including interactions.
Prototype testing
A round of usability testing was
conducted on selected user flows of
the app to make sure the solution
was user friendly and appealing.

The Challenge

In UAE, kids under the age of 18 are unable to open their own bank account. Instead, parents would open for them on their behalf, and they don’t see the money till they are much older. Gen Z is the first generation to grow up as true digital natives. They have most things digitised for them - shopping, cab-hailing and even classes, so why not banking?

The Solution

One of the key objectives was to inculcate the need for good financial habits starting from a young age. With a huge focus on education and personalisation, our final deliverable was a new app for kids, and accompanying features for parents on their existing core app to supervise.
How we did

Process

This case study is a quick summary, not a full representation of all the processes my team and I went through, which included many interviews, workshops, structuring (UX mapping, IA, wireframing) and usability tests.

What does the current landscape of kids banking look like?

We kicked off the discovery phase with the following research techniques, in attempt to get a better understanding of the behaviour and motivations of our primary users and a sense of existing solutions in the market.
#1 Market Research & Competitors Analysis
Both desk and user research were conducted to cover the whole spectrum of perspectives necessary to develop a fully fledged strategy.
#2 User Interviews with Kids & Parents
Both desk and user research were conducted to cover the whole spectrum of perspectives necessary to develop a fully fledged strategy.
#3 Co-creation workshop with Kids
Both desk and user research were conducted to cover the whole spectrum of perspectives necessary to develop a fully fledged strategy.

3 Key Drivers

On top of our key strategy, here are 3 key drivers we used to guide our thinking, and they served as benchmarks to evaluate the ideation and exploration phase.
Parental Involvement
Parents have raised how they wanted to be involved in this process of financial management. With that in mind, we thought of ideas to include them while ensuring the kids don’t feel invaded. From our interviews, most kids were ok with some form of parental controls with some exception of the older kids.
Easy Transitions
We considered 3 kinds of transitions. 1 is to consider the child’s transition to the next stage of life e.g. primary to middle school, and the other being transiting to being parent-independent. And the last is transition from Gen Z account to main account.
Eco-system
Think apple. It took years to build their eco-system with careful strategising, but they have successfully managed to lock in their users and create a high barrier to migrate elsewhere because of the eco-system. The goal is not in building an super-app, but think of how each feature complements another to create greater value.

The Outcome

An application that help kids manage their finances digitally, with the right amount of parent supervision. Experience of dealing with money with the least possible time and effort.

Dashboard

When we were doing the usability tests with kids, we realised some of them kids seemed a little intimated when they first saw the dashboard. However, they got familiar pretty fast. Our focus was to balance simplicity, but still allowing some form of learning.

Saving Goals

With repeated emphasis from parents to get their kids to start saving, this was actually one of the feature that the kids loved. They shared that it served a motivational boost and they liked how they could track their goals.

Pay-a-Friend

We asked many kids if they ever borrowed from their friends, and a 100% of them said yes. Therefore, we wanted to help facilitate this process by making it convenient and fuss-free.
So what’s next?

A peak into the future

When presenting to the CEO, we showcased the long-term vision we had for the new product. They will be developed in future phases.

Balancing user needs with business goals

We wanted to make this process an all-inclusive one, knowing that if were aligned to a common goal from the beginning, it would help smoothen the entire process. Therefore, we held a product vision workshop with some of the key stakeholders in the bank. Together, we raise our concerns and brainstorm together on what would determine the success of the new product.

From the session, we concluded that rather than thinking of the new Gen Z product as a single initiative, we had to consider how these kids would eventually convert as the bank’s core customers. As a result, our main strategy revolved around “creating stickiness”. This helped to form the base of our ideation and feature prioritisation later.

Learning Points

In this project, we saw the advantage of including multiple stakeholders through the journey, as they helped to give a voice in contributing to the final success of the product. The interviews with parents and kids were an opportunity to market to some of them who were non-customers.

There were also many areas that we could have done better. For example, we changed the overall styling after the presentation to the CEO. On the first try, we were too excited about creating a brand new image that we were myopic to the fact that we had to consider the kids transiting from this app, to the core app. This could have save us time and effort to deliver faster.