How might we respond to the behaviours and needs of polyamorous bank-users?


UX Strategy
Project Overview
Smile was the first full-service internet bank launched in the UK in 1999. Part of the Co-operative Bank, Smile has been neglected and gradually lost customers. The company asked Hyper Island's students help to relaunch the brand and help them to better connect with younger generations.
My Contributions
Users Research
Users Interviews
Journey Mapping
Visual Design
Research process
In-depth interviews
Group interviews
Expert interviews
Online survey
As stated, the purpose of this brief was to find a way for Smile to better connect with younger generations, as well as provide them with a better day to day experience. In order to discover how Smile may do this, the team investigated the following;

Millennial's spending, budgeting and saving habits in relation to their lifestyles, aspirations and values.
Millennial's expectations, perceptions, and relationships with banks and financial institutions.
Millennial's perceptions of, and relationship with, traditional banks and digital banks.
Millennial's perception of Smile’s values.
Experts’ perspectives on target audience’s cognitive and emotional behaviours in relation to money and banking.
Key insights
The team identified three layers of understanding - behaviours, needs and implications for Smile - from which we were able to gain six valuable insights that led to a major one. The key behaviours and perceptions regarding banks include trust issues, ethical considerations, multiple needs from financial institutions, and life aspirations are captured in the main insight below.

Bank-users are polyamorous because they have different needs from different banks, and are not able to get everything they want from one bank alone.
How might we respond to the behaviours and needs of polyamorous bank-users?
Based on this insight, the team came up with the following solution: Smile, the open-banking lover.
Open banking is a system that provides a user with a network of financial institutions’ data through the use of application programming interfaces (APIs).

Why is it relevant?
Smile must accept that it cannot be the best of everything for everyone, so through the utilisation of open banking, it can facilitate the polygamous nature of bank-users by:

Respecting polyamorous relationships by giving users the freedom and flexibility to use other services and banks.
Showing users the benefits of centralising and analysing data in one place by enabling and guiding them individually to use the best offerings and services out there.
Being honest in what Smile can, and cannot presently offer.
Use the insights on desires and needs to continuously improve the Smile service offering accordingly.
Interested in the project?See the full report here
See the presentation here