How do you win $15,000 and catch the eye of the biggest names in banking innovation? We sat down with Team Piggy Wealth—the winners of the Visa Bank of the Future UI/UX Challenge—to find out.
Lien Chueh, Fruzan Nijrabi, Erik Lavigne and Kimiko Yamaguchi secured the top prize on December 8, 2016, after presenting their payment app concept to a packed room of Mobey Day attendees at the Four Seasons Toronto. “We were very shocked to be presenting in front of so many people. It wasn’t just four judges, but 300 people in suits,” says Fruzan, a marketing student at York University.
Their friendly payment app—Piggy Wealth—stood out thanks to a combination of meticulous research, intuitive design and smart problem solving. Using personal networks from the three different universities they represented—U of T, Waterloo and York—the team surveyed 80 millennials to uncover gaps in existing payment applications.
“We listened to our audience and made an app that everybody wanted. And we had data to prove it,” explains Fruzan.
Their research revealed that high school and university aged students are looking for simple guidance around financial planning. They aren’t interested in mortgages or the usual upsells a bank might offer in-app. “This group is likely to have debt and financial burdens from university so that’s what we focused on,” Lien explains. Piggy Wealth incorporates intuitive tools that analyze spending and offers step by step guidance through tutorials, explaining finance in layman’s terms.
The backbone of the Piggy Wealth app is a suite of Visa APIs that allowed the team to incorporate money movement services (using Visa’s Direct APIs) and rich merchant offers (using the Merchant Offers Resource Centre APIs) and to address potential user concerns around security (using the Risk and Fraud APIs). “Overall Visa APIs were the key components that allowed everything to come to reality,” says Lien.
Design played a huge role. “Users or customers judge [an app] in the first five to ten seconds of looking at it—if it doesn’t look like something I can use right away I’m not going to use it,” says Lien. That prompted the team to create an interface that is already familiar to the average user using Google’s design conventions. It meant the experiences and interactions—like buttons and motion—are recognizable and ingrained in users’ minds. “We wanted it to be familiar—something you’ve seen before but with added benefits,” says Lien.
In addition to deep customer insights, Team Piggy Wealth’s success came from truly cross-functional collaboration. Each member brought a different area of expertise—finance, interface design, marketing and digital enterprise management—to create a well-rounded user-friendly product.
Finally, Team Piggy Wealth won judges’ hearts with an engaging presentation that focused on user insights and showed the application in action. “We knew we couldn’t accurately show how the user will interact with Piggy Wealth in a slideshow, so we made a video and people were really responsive,” says Lien.
“Afterwards a lot of people came up to talk to us,” says Fruzan. “It was cool to discover that our voice matters and people want to hear our ideas.”
The win is a notable stepping stone for a set of ambitious young professionals. “Fruzan and I are both aspiring entrepreneurs, so this is big for us. We’re trying to identify opportunities to create things of value that users like—that’s what we’re working toward.” These go-getters plan to keep up their momentum. In the coming months members of Team Piggy Wealth are teaming up on at least three more competitions, including Canada’s Next Top Ad Exec. We have no doubt they’ll take each one by storm.
Thank you to SayYeah for putting together this video.