Since the recent financial crisis, there has been a shift from credit card usage to debit card as many people lose trust in the banking system. Debit and prepaid cards accounted for more than 60% of all general purpose card purchases (Nilson Report). Noticing this trend, many banks have been implementing more overdraft fees. In 2008, over $36 billion dollars were made in Revenue from overdrawn accounts alone!
For consumers, it is not easy to know exactly how much is currently in the bank without having to log into your account. To add to this burden, transactions are posted on different dates even if made on the same day, resulting in an inaccurate depiction of an account balance. Penalizing consumers for nonsufficient funds and overdrafting that are sometimes out of their control may provide short term gain, but at the cost of future clientele. The lack of transparency around overdrafts and the heavy penalties discourage consumers from using debit cards and further reduces their level of trusts of banks.
This project explores what a mutually benefiting relationship could look like if banks empowered consumers to be more responsible with their finances and thereby leaving more money in the banks.
Squared is a simple and fun way to do banking in the comforts of one's home. Through a biometric login, it simplifies the process of paying routine bills, such as rent, electricity, etc, by pleasantly alerting when a bill is due. It provides consumers with a clear idea of how much they really have at any given time, so that they can enjoy other aspects of their life.
Today's existing banking methods of communication were evaluated to locate areas of opportunities. Additionally, a visual outline of the various types of typical bills consumers encounter. Far often than not, these bills have different methods of payments and have different due dates (weekly, bi-monthly, monthly, or bi-annual basis)
Forgetfulness was a big factor in why people often become behind on their bills, resulting in overdrafts and other late fees.
8 people were interviewed to understand more around what they tend to forget to do, why they tend to forget and how or what methods they use to remind themselves. The goal was to see if there was any possible correlation with general forgetfulness and financial priorities.
Direct quotes from user interviews helped generate design criterias as guiding principles for the final design. Areas of opportunities for each category were outlined below the quotes
The Guiding Principles help guide the early sketches and storyboarding of the what the ideal eco-system looked like.