How to design a good financial app? (Wonga Pay case study)

In 2021, we were invited by Wonga to help develop a brand new product in their portfolio – a card payment app with the possibility of later repayment.

Wonga wanted to enter this new segment with a well thought out proposition. The challenge was not only to create a competitive offer, but also to translate complex financial processes into a clear and intuitive interface.

What language to use so that it was both simple and understandable to the user, without losing the precision required by legislation and business standards. How to make the identity verification process work? And finally, how to make the whole ecosystem around a newly developed application coherent?

First steps at high speed – or a Sprint in Design

A key moment in the project was when we held a five-day Design Sprint. During this time, a team of designers, researchers, developers and business representatives focused on developing the key features of the product. We paid particular attention to one of the most challenging elements – the account registration process.

When the product involves access to a payment account with an associated card and limit, it becomes a priority to make the process as tight and secure as possible for both the customer and the organisation. In the financial industry, this means thorough identity verification, database checks, complex risk calculations and many other requirements. The Design Sprint resulted in the development of a prototype of this journey, which could then be tested with the first respondents.

The importance of identity verification

From the very first tests, it was clear that customers’ attitudes to scanning ID documents varied greatly depending on their age, experience and motivation. It was particularly useful to be able to identify the extremes of user attitudes and quickly test how well we were responding to them using a working system. Through rapid verification in the research process, we quickly realised the importance of keeping the next steps as simple as possible and limiting the amount of information to what was relevant to the task at hand.

What happened next?

While we were working on the registration pathway, we were also fine-tuning the other modules. A refreshing step in the whole process was when we redefined the personas after the surveys. From building and maintaining a dozen different ones, it worked much better to map the extremes of attitudes and move along the developed axis.

The ecosystem

The design system did not stop at the application level, but also analysed key mailing types, from which we mapped the recurring components. Once they had created separate designs for the mailings, the team moved to building them from ready-made components based on recommendations for the desired message sequence. In parallel with the development of the application concept, a landing page with knowledge base modules was created.

First feedback

While designing such a sophisticated application, we found it helpful to test with first-time users in a closed environment, the so-called ‘Friends and Family Phase’. You can read more about how to approach this phase here.

With financial products, the full user experience depends on many interactions. Will the payment notification arrive on time? Am I waiting too long for the verification result?

These types of situations are difficult to reflect in even advanced prototypes, so a smooth and quick pilot phase with external users is a must.

After research, design and testing, it is now time to optimise the performance of the application and make improvements based on user feedback.

Additional information

Selected methods and tools:

  • Design Sprint
  • Service Design
  • Benchmarking
  • Personas and their roles
  • Customer Journey
  • Co-creation workshops
  • Usability testing
  • In-depth interviews

What was developed during the project:

  • UX/UI concept of the application with modules such as: onboarding with identity verification, transactions, cards, refunds, transfers
  • UX concept of the landing page with modules such as FAQ and blog
  • Advice on the design of the application system
  • Design of system components for email communication
  • Map messages across channels

Want to find out how to design your financial app? Let's talk!

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    Michał Madura
    Senior Business Design Consultant

    +48505016712  +48505016712