What values can a modern bank provide for its customers with a new EU law?
The European Union made a new law concerning financial information, obliging every bank to open up their information if their customer so desires. What oppertunities can arise from this new law, and what values can Banca Mediolanum provide for its clients.
Currently, the options for making automated transactions are very limited with most banks; they are usually centered around a certain day on the calendar. Intelligent Finance (IF) argues that in 2017, it shouldn't have to be this way anymore.
Intelligent Finance allows the user with more control and transparancy over his or her automated transactions by using more sources of information than just your calendar. By adding the location information of your phone, giving people more calculating operators or even information of other bank accounts, the possibilities are just endless.
This can make financing safer, easier and more adapted to people's actual lives.
Banca Mediolanum started the brief with a new law in the EU that would make data-sharing among banks possible, obliging banks to write API's that would make their data accessible with the users' permission.
The quick, two-week process started out with research among users; both clients of Banca Mediolanum and clients of other banks, as well as employees of Banca Mediolanum. We conducted interviews with these people, and provided a few exercises with them as well. From this, a few insights emerged.
All of our interviewees were very concerned about the safety of their financials and were not immediately receptive to the idea of sharing their financial information with other people than just their bank. They were also very concerned with the technological advancements around the contactless payments with cards and phones.
This feeling of lack of safety also emerged when we started talking about transparency and control. People felt that doing digital transactions currently lacked a lot of control and transparency.
After the research, we were asked to come up with a few direction based on our insights. We came up with a few, between which we had to decide.
The first thing we were interested in developing further was the notion of more safety and control. The client told us that they wanted to reduce the amount of friction in performing digital transactions, so it could be more seamless and quicker. Considering that financials is a very delicate matter, we didn't think that reducing friction in the bank's interfaces was a good idea necessarily. Is making it easier to spend and lend money the best solution for most people? Because of this we were interested in actually increasing friction
Both being quite technological guys, Bjørn and I both saw opportunities in prototyping all sorts of interfaces to increase the friction of digital payments; Increasing the amount of time between certain actions to give a sense of security. Making an action more difficult to perform, such as manually selecting the amount of money you transfer before actually tapping your phone, to increase transparency and control. But we felt the need to dig deeper, to give people more control. Also, discussions with the bank proved that this wasn't exactly what they were looking for.
Digging deeper into notions of transparency, control and safety, we landed on the idea of giving all control to the user, but in the most easy way. We wanted them to program the bank, without actually having to learn how to code. Inspired by a service that already does this for everything but finance, If This Then That, we started developing the idea.
This would really open up all possibilities, and allow the bank's clients to have a secure, transparent and fun interaction with their bank. When we started to think of sources, the possibilities were endless.
For example: By coupling location data of both a card-transaction and the owner's phone, we could do a security check to see if they match up and provide the client with a notification if they wanted. A parent could provide some extra cash for their child, if the child's balance dropped below a certain amount (the link made possible by the new EU law). You could donate $2 to a charity of choice, every time you spend money at McDonalds. The list goes on and on.
At the end of the project, after finishing the video and concept presentation, we had some time left. This challenged us to come up with a visual design exploration of how this feature would possibily play out in the Mediolanum portal.
Because financials are such a delicate matter, we thought that conceiling information behind icons and abbreviations might confuse the user-base of the bank. The approach would be prone to mistakes, which is not at all desirable. This is why we went for a text-heavy approach, communicating the premise of the idea in short and clear language, not open to any interpretation.
In this two-person team, we did everything together. From performing research with our target audience, to developing the concept and working on animating the video.