This mobile app delivers saving plans for different profiles and financial situations. Thought especially for those who are in a precarious position and can’t save money easily.
Hani Motoko was a Japanese journalist who lived between 1873 and 1957. She is considered the japan’s first female journalist.
A great part of her work was focused on finances and she was very interested especially in household finances, which were controlled by women while men worked. After a lot of research, she came up with a revolutionary method that would improve the financial situation for normal-status families. That method was called Kakeibo.
Basically, this method consists of writing down each day both, incomes and expenses, offering an overview of what is actually happening with our money. Once this analysis is done, the time for questioning ourselves comes. Those expenses which are done for not necessary goods, do we really need them? Kakeibo proposes few questions to state an answer, avoiding impulsive expenses as well as creating healthy behaviors in the long-term period.
My aim is to bring those principles together to the XXI century and make an App that can challenge us in a healthy way, offering different ways to save money even if we are not in the best possible financial situation.
1. Difficult goal to achieve
2. Many factors are involved
3. Already many competitors in the market
4. Many different profiles to take into account
Analysis and User Research
The market is already collapsed by Apps for online banking and others that offer similar services. Doing a new thing that can be different and attractive is, at least, a huge challenge.
As I observed while doing the benchmarking, most of the existing FinTech Apps offer services that are related to the control of finances and offer a clear overview of the current user’s situation. But not many of them deliver the possibility of creating a plan which can help us to have a healthier position. And those that do so, are not very attractive in terms of features. They are confusing and not really helpful.
I think we all would like to ask a financial advisor about possible improvements we could do, but that option is not very affordable for many. What if we implement the possibility of that inside a mobile App, something like a pre-advisor?
There are many people having many different financial circumstances out there.
After the user research focused on financial profiles within the Spanish current society, the message was clear: most people live in a precarious situation and don’t think that saving money is something easy to achieve, even though they do it. There is a general feeling of insecurity and anger, and most of them would implement some improvement in order to become the household economy healthier and more stable.
They consider themselves natural savers and but most of them don’t find a method that offers what they are looking for. – Some of them use already mobile FinTech Apps.
The Spanish users bet for a safe life rather than a luxurious one, but to do so some financial training would be needed and most of us don’t have it. It comes with the experience but sometimes is too late. What if there is something that offers that training or, at least, makes us think a bit more about how we use our money taking into account both the surrounding situation and ours?
Ideation and Prototyping
After benchmarking and empathizing with the prospective users I started to sketch some ideas.
This kind of App is actually very complicated and full of features, so I tried to think of the best connection between them but keeping it away from a very complex shape.
My aim was to give the possibility of an Advisor, different plans for saving, and the classical overview of incomes and expenses which would come from the connection of the App and our bank account. All of this could be seen from our personal account.
The final version of the app consists of a regrouping of the four basic topics that were important to me.
On the one hand, there is the already well-known connection with the bank account offered by other fintech applications, showing a panoramic view of the current situation of the user at any time.
On the other hand, there is an option to choose a savings plan adapted to the situation and needs of each person. Within this feature, there is the possibility of activating the advisor, which through asking a few questions will suggest to us which savings plan best suits our needs and circumstances.
The kakeibo method appears when we want to set a new savings goal for a special occasion. In this context, the app will ask us a few questions to make us think if we really want to withdraw money for this special purpose. Once all the questions have been completed, a specific plan will be established for that specific goal.
– Name and logo: The incomplete shape of a cut – the traditional Japanese money box – Hani, the name of the author of this method + Money, establishing a relationship with the classical «no honey, no money».
– Background color: White + purple (#C9C1EB). – White is preferred by many users when reading Data and bright purple refers to the color used to point to richness and comfort. – Green (#00A843) as attention color.
– Font family: Futura. Very elegant Sans serif typography. typography.
– Navigation menu: Five items to favor the fast access to the main features of the App.
Precariousness as normality and not as a rarity
We use to think about precariousness as a thing we have to escape from. But actually is the normality for a lot of people, people with good training, good education but not many possibilities. Society is design for those who are not in that situation but in case we are, we have to adapt our lives to it anyway. May be is not the preferred field for investors, but make things that actually offer people real solutions should be considered as a primary topic, at least until there is a big twist in our way of thinking and living.
We learn in the school many useful things but maybe we are lacking in other many. Financial education is an unfinished business for many educational systems and actually implementing something like that would help us to grow faster and healthier. Experience is very needed as well to taste the edges of life but a bit of previous information would be a great help, for sure. Pedagogy and how technology can help is a very interesting field with sill many unexplored paths.