During the research phase, the critical task was conducting interviews to define the challenges that people with varied international assets and liabilities across different institutions face.
During the design phase, the critical task was reviewing the functionality of mobile app and websites from various international financial institutions to use the best versions for different financial tasks as inspiration for the initial prototype.
We created an initial hypothesis for the main goal of people with international accounts when trying to manage their personal finances:
People with international accounts want to save time managing their personal finances.
Then we began conducting research to validate this hypothesis, understand if there were any frustrations that people with international accounts have with managing their personal finances, and design solutions for how MoneyBrilliant’s app could be enhanced to improve people’s experience with this personal finances aggregator and management tool.
Our goal for interviews & surveys was to understand people’s frustrations with managing their finances across institutions and countries & work arounds they were currently undertaking in lieu of having access to more convenient options. Key insights were:
- Majority had a combination of at least 3 types of domestic and international financial accounts across multiple institutions.
- All interacted with their accounts digitally, mostly using their financial institution’s mobile app or mobile website to manage finances.
- The most frequent financial tasks were: checking balances, transferring money between accounts, paying bills & paying people.
- People used 3rd party services outside of their financial institution’s platforms for transferring money and currency conversion.
- Discounts & customer reviews rank highest in importance
- Great customer service means a convenient, speedy & stress-free process
The user research we conducted helped us to evolve the initial hypothesis from people with international accounts want to save time managing their personal finances to:
People with international assets & liabilities across multiple institutions find it frustrating to access their personal finances individually to manage funds between all their accounts.
Next, we focused on trying to understand potential MoneyBrilliant app customers.
We created an empathy map for a persona with the scenario of transferring money between international accounts to pay a bill to see trends and develop clear definitions of primary MoneyBrilliant consumers. Key commonalities were:
• Desire to seamlessly move money between all accounts.
• Wanting to see a snapshot of balances within each account and a net worth total of all of them.
• Annoyed about having to use many 3rd party apps as a workaround to accomplish one financial task.
• Wishing they could pay bills within same location they manage other financial tasks.
We discovered two MoneyBrilliant personas, Erica the Expat and Charlie the Investor.
The primary persona is Erica. She:
- has financial accounts in multiple countries and currencies
- regularly monitors all of them and moves money between them
- manually enters balances in Excel to get a snapshot of her net worth
- wants to feel on top of her personal finances while being efficient
- is frustrated it takes a lot of her time to log into individual accounts
- wants her finances to seamlessly & fluidly exist between countries as she does
The secondary persona is Charlie. He:
- invests in the Australian & U.S. stock markets
- prefers quick snapshots of this portfolios’ performance
- wants investment value captured in his total net worth
- needs to move money easily between accounts to quickly take advantage of investment opportunities
- wants to see his U.S. portfolio value in AUD without having to convert using external services
- hates separately logging into each of his financial accounts
The persona development we conducted helped to define our solution statement:
People with international assets & liabilities need a centralised portal for accessing their personal finances to holistically view and manage funds across all accounts.
Next, we explored MoneyBrilliant’s current business operations further, and compared them to the financial management services marketplace to develop solution options.
We created a value proposition canvas to brainstorm how we could evolve MoneyBrillant’s offering.
Major goals were: easily see all account balances, securely log in to all accounts at once, quickly move money between accounts and painlessly pay people & bills.
Major pains were: finding it tedious to log in to each account separately, not being able to see all domestic & international assets & liability types in one place, and having to use a combination of 3rd party services to manage their finances.
Major pain relievers were: aggregating multi-national accounts in one place with a single secure login to spend less time managing finances, providing convenient currency conversions, and enabling users to effortlessly see balances, transfer money to people & pay bills within app.
We compared six competitor personal financial services. The primary take aways were:
- there was no one company that holistically serviced users to address the frustrations and goals we uncovered in our research
- with the exception of one company competitors only serviced assets & liabilities within a single country.
These findings identified that there is opportunity in the market to fill these gaps.
Business Model Canvas
We reviewed MoneyBrilliant’s current business operations (black text) and how they would evolve if our redesigned app concept was adopted (blue text) in the following image. Key take aways are:
- Suggested new higher subscription plan with added features
- MoneyBrilliant would attract a new submain niche customer segment of people with international financial accounts
- MoneyBrilliant would have to develop agreements with international financial organisations to access log-in credentials and syncing account information
- Potential new web development, partnerships or use of APIs for xe.com, Google currency converter and/or PayPal would be required
Minimal Viable Product
We identified priority features to include in the mobile website as the minimal viable product:
• Multi-national assets & liabilities aggregator
• Currency conversion
• Bill pay from connected accounts
• Money transfer between accounts
• Money transfer to people
Our intention was not to change the entire app, just redesign and add functionality that involved the main tasks informed by interviews & persona development: checking balances & net worth, transferring & paying, and connecting a new financial service to the app.
We began by each hand sketching our different perspectives. We looked at what aspects we could reuse from the current app, competitor’s mobile website & app functionality, and developed new approaches.
We conducted 7 guerrilla usability tests, and 6 that matched our personas. The feedback we received from these tests informed our iterations, which are annotated in the following images to describe the evolution.
We created a shared usability testing tracker during design to identify comments that came up per screen flow, how frequently a comment was made and our status of implementing the feedback as we were iterating. This was key as it created a process for agreeing to changes & when to implement them, and kept us on the same page.
We identified the following potential resulting benefits if our redesign concept were adopted: expansion of target customer market, a more robust product offering, & increased revenue for MoneyBrilliant as well as an increase in customer satisfaction, time saved & greater confidence in their financial position for customers.
If we were able to develop the app further, we would design & test these additional features:
• AI technology to automate financial tasks
• Instant funds transfer service for additional fee
• Add cryptocurrency accounts
• Transfer funds via email, phone number or bluetooth
• Improved transaction categorisation for budgeting
• Invite other users to manage finances together
• Charting capabilities
• If we had additional time I would have the survey out for longer for more qualitative research
• I further developed my storytelling skills while preparing for the presentation
• I practiced designing collaboratively with my partner
• I learned how to use Sketch & InVision
• I improved my skills in identifying useful aspects in competitor’s designs, and making them relevant to the project’s platform & customers