This mobile app delivers saving plans for different profiles and financial situations. Thought especially for those who are in a precarious situation and find it difficult to save money.
A personal project with the goal of improving users’ financial situation, offering safe and viable savings alternatives in an accessible and approachable way.
Type: Mobile application (iOS and Android).
Tools: XD, Illustrator, Photoshop
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 with a special interest in household finances, which were at former times managed by women. After deep 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 the money. Once this analysis is done, the next step is about questioning ourselves. Those expenses made for not necessary goods, do we really need them? This method, Kakeibo, is based on questions that eventually lead us to clean up our financial habits by avoiding impulsive expenses.
My aim is to bring this to our current moment and create an App that offers different ways to save money even if our financial situation is not in the best shape.
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 full of online banking Apps with many different features and services that can already fulfill the user’s needs.
As I observed while doing the benchmarking, most of the existing FinTech Apps offer services that are related to financial control, giving 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 build a better financial situation. And those that do so, are not very attractive in terms of features. They might be confusing for many potential users.
Furthermore, asking for advice from a professional is not always an affordable possibility for many, and not many Apps out there offer services that guide the users to good and safe choices for them.
Hard fact: there are many different situations when it comes to finances.
After the user research focused on defining financial profiles within the Spanish current society, the statement was clear: at least half of the population live in a precarious situation, and saving money is not even an approachable goal. There is a feeling of insecurity and anger but most of them would like to implement some improvement in order to become the household economy healthier and more stable.
They consider themselves natural savers but most of them struggle to find the method that suits them. – Some of the interviewed people were already using mobile FinTech Apps.
The Spanish users go for a safe life rather than a luxurious one, but to do so a financial education is needed and most of us don’t have it. So the problem behind the problem is one to take into account too.
Ideation and Prototyping
After benchmarking and empathizing with the potential users I started to sketch some ideas.
This kind of App is actually very wide and full of features, so I tried to think about how would be the best way to link them while keeping it simple.
My aim was to bring together an Advisor, saving plans customized for different user profiles, and an overview of incomes and expenses. The App would be linked to our bank account.
The final version of the App gathers the four main aspects I wanted to achieve.
On the one hand, there is the 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, three options for a savings plan, each of them easily suitable with different user profiles. Within this feature, the Advisor can be activated to suggest us a plan based on our financial situation in case we are not sure about which one we should choose.
The kakeibo method appears when we want to set a new savings goal for a special occasion. In this context, we access a different feature where we’ll answer several questions in order to find out the reasons to withdraw money for this special purpose. Once all the questions have been completed, a specific plan will be established for that goal.
– Name and logo: The incomplete shape of a cat – 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 a fast access to the main features of the App.
Precariousness as normal and not as a rarity
Even if we all want to escape precariousness, it is daily life for many people, people with good education and intentions but perhaps other difficulties. This problem can become a chronic situation for many people and that’s why political and social efforts are needed when it comes to providing citizens with powerful tools to overcome their financial precariousness and improve their quality of life.
We learn in the school many useful things but maybe education systems are miss attending many other topics. The implementation of financial education would probably be a good investment when it comes to social wellness, helping us to build strong and healthy personal economies. Pedagogy and technology can work together in this interesting and unexplored path.