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In the previous blog post we looked at a pure online player with a difference. This week I continue on our Design Thinking journey by presenting the result from Team #2 and look into what the INTI Bank Corp can do for their customers tomorrow that is different from today.

The challenge they set out to solve was “In 2025 how will banks provide their services”. Their broad approach opened up their thinking to a very architectural approach.

Starting off by defining their persona

The team defined their persona as a single mum, low income base with a challenging life. She is struggling to make ends meet, doesn’t know how to control her cash flow or even where to get suitable help and direction for her financial challenges. The circumstances are far from unique. The banking alternatives available today are often not perceived to be geared towards individuals in challenging situations. This leads to short term expensive solutions to overcome their short term obstacles, often leading to a situation where they are worse off.

The persona could equally be a student, single dad or an individual out of work trying to survive on very limited resources and lack of financial management knowledge.

So what would the single mum need from a banking experience of the future?

Established institutions are perceived to focus on the risk and categorise people into credit abilities. This drives the individual to stretch their credit cards, using payday loans and other less favourable strategies, rather than going to the bank to seek support to turn around their situation. They often feel penalised by doing so, are not comfortable talking to strangers and demonstrate how little they sometimes know or that things are out of their control. The opposite would be to take a social responsibility perspective to make a difference and support the individual.

The team worked on various ideas on how to engage with a persona and what type of support they would need to enable them take more control of their situation. The realisations were that today it is very hard for financial institutes to truly understand the situation and act on a plethora of life challenges with the right empathy, support and advice at the right time.

How could they make that experience easier, private and accessible? The importance of a branch was clear, but what should they provide…? Where should they be located and what spread should they aim for?

The team believed it should be a…

  • Place of knowledge, where people can be informed
    through training and seminars – Support Academy, taking them from beginners to
    experts in a trusted environment.
  • Know the individual through extensive profiling
    and pattern analysis. This will enable the right level and type of support.
  • Build customer lounges, very much in the style
    of Apple Stores – with private booths for the more sensitive banking matters.
  • A personal financial lifestyle app – helping
    with creating, monitoring and in the end meeting their goals in a sustainable
    way covering all aspects of their financial situation.

Being able to come in and get help to set goals and achieve them through support based on individual needs. Having face to face contact and an ability to educate yourself with the support from the bank through advice, and a platform that will work as a collaborative platform.

The birth of the Financial Super Store

People live with challenges everywhere, but the team thought that the model from a financial perspective would work best where there are dense population areas. The branches (or stores as they now are) doesn’t grow on trees. There could potentially be one in a mid-size city, a couple more in larger cities.

The concept will feel familiar to a lot of people. You walk into a store that will offer you an opportunity to explore the services and products they are providing and engage with a personal advisor. The advisor (context based interaction) will have all your information at hand and can track progress, suggest improvements to the plan and discuss options to improve the quality of live as they move on. The advisors will have different objectives, based on the individual customer situation and will be measured on the individuals’ success and not on sales targets. They can even book a time with a “genius” or content experts to get some specialised insights and ideas.

The offerings ranges from standard bank accounts, to cards, insurances and life planning options for the whole family, young and old, making the relationship between the bank and individual much more personal. Retrain staff to ensure a new focus on supporting members, rather than classical tasks, which are now 100% automated or digitalised.

The team came to the same conclusion as the first one – one single platform underpinning the operations and relationships was key for success.

The personal touch resonated well with test group. The educational aspects and openness, allowing individuals to explore the services was very well received. However, some found the level of staff insight into personal affairs potentially be a bit too much. This was believed to be down to the difference in demographics, where the older generation was more hesitant than the millennials. This was addressed through more private areas for those discussions.

Next week we will look at the third team and what Bean Banking can look like.