What is Revolut?
Revolut offers a range of digital banking services in a mobile app targeted at young tech-savvy users, including:
- Transferring money abroad in 29 currencies
- A pre-paid debit card that enables cash machine withdrawals in 120 countries
- A crypto-currency exchange allowing users to convert currencies into Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash or XRP
- Vaults for budgeting and saving money
- Mobile phone and overseas medical insurancetravel and concierge service
- With standard accounts, users get a free UK current account and a free euro IBAN account. There are no fees on exchanging in 24 currencies, up to £5,000 a month, and you can withdraw up to £200 a month from cash machines.
Revolut also offers monthly subscription plans with higher thresholds for no fees, as well as instant access to crypto-currencies, cash back, travel and concierge service. Revolut’s services are currently available in Europe and Australia, but the firm is planning to expand into North America, Singapore and Hong Kong soon.
Identify weak points of current budgeting and analytics of Revolut App
Step 1. Information gathering and problem formulation
My first step was to investigate the prototype which I received from Revolut. It shows the process of setting a monthly budget on all purchases or a specific category. This function is located on the analytics tab and has 2 sliders on the top of the screen: the first one switches bank accounts, the second one selects the month to analyze spendings. It seems that they are close enough to each other and probably there is a problem of accidental switching. Under the sliders there is a chart of expenses within a month. It is not very informative because at this scale it is quite difficult to identify what the date is. Also there are some examples of push notifications. I think that users tend to go over the limit and a large number of notifications can irritate them.
The function of monthly budget allows people to save money. I decided to ask my friends and colleagues how they save money, what services they use to plan their budget, how much they usually save. All 6 people had different approaches: the first respondent set limits for each category of their expenses. Then the saved money was transferred to the same category in next period. Another user simply put aside a certain percentage or amount of his salary and transferred it to some deposit. Only one respondent used the app (money.pro), where he recorded all his expenses and incomes. Here I made a conclusion from my interviews: there is no single approach to saving money, everything is individual and this process depends on different factors (income, social status, etc.)
Then I got interested in scientific researches about saving money. From the article on UX Planet I learned about the common trends of saving and spending money in the modern world and how society affects our attitude to money. This article says that migrants from the cultures with high saving rates do tend to save proportionately more once in the UK, a finding especially strong for first- and second-generation immigrants, but present even in the third generation. Among the countries with high saving rates: China and Ireland. On the lower end: Pakistan and Uganda.
The key research for me appeared to be a study from the University of Wollongong in Australia. The article puts forward the very provocative argument that if we change the way we perceive time we’ll double our savings. If we change our perspective on time and see it in terms of endlessly repeating cycles — believe that today is really no different than tomorrow or the next day — we’ll wind up saving more. The advantage of cyclical thinking lies in the way in which saving is considered part of an everyday task. The cyclical thinkers made saving a present-moment priority — kind of like spending is for most of us — and as such they simply saved more. We do not need to set ourselves long-term goals and save for something in the distant future. This develops a financial procrastination. It is important to save a little, but try to do it every day.
At this step, I formulated several hypotheses which describe the problems in the app:
- All people save money in different ways and financial services should provide them with different tools;
- Combining different ways of saving money can help users to collect faster and more efficiently;
- Hoarding is very hard process. Frequent notifications can be a reason of anxiety or stress. It is better to encourage users even for small successes.
Therefore, my task will have several targets:
- Provide new tools for saving money in the app;
- Combine these new tools to make this process more efficient;
- Reduce the number of negative notifications. Try to praise users as often as possible.
Step 2. Competitor analysis
Basing on my previous experience, I have learned that most fintech applications were similar in their functions due to the strict state regulation of finance sphere. I thoroughly scrutinized three russian bank apps: Sberbank, Tinkoff Bank and Rocketbank. I rummaged in the Sberbank app and was pleasantly surprised to find out a large number of provided services. I liked money boxes which had different settings and options. Tinkoff Bank had an attractive and thoughtful interface. It was easy to switch between accounts and cards. The choice of period was also designed quite easily to be used. Furthermore I took a look at Monzo, the main competitor of Revolut. The app looked a bit outdated and tasteless.
In addition, I read several reviews of budget apps to run personal finance. The main functions were similar again: users had to fill in their expenses and income, then apps recommended to spend a certain amount per day. Some apps allowed to set a family budget and to control expenses of their relatives.
Step 3. Prototyping and solution description
Summing up the results of my research, I decided to completely redesign the scenario of user interaction with the Analytics tab. I wanted to change a user experience from negative and disturbing to positive one: to show user’s income first.
Numerous controls made this page complex and visually heavy. Looking for the best solution I drew up several different versions of the header block. Finally I fancied dividing the page into two logical sections: income and expenses. This decision allowed me to reduce the amount of information displayed on one screen and shift a focus to income.
To implement of my idea I chose a segment switch. The default state is the income tab. On this page I placed several widgets which allowed to set up a budget limit or different types of money boxes. Users can monitor their limit of budget or savings. Money boxes can be edited or deleted by clicking on them. The expenses tab have the same functionality: it shows expenses by categories, merchants and countries. To make the design more lightweight I changed the black segment switch to a dropdown.
Step 4. Testing
For testing I assembled a clickable prototype and tested it on my friends. The main scenario was to create a money box with a percent of income. Also I asked people to describe the purpose of the period control (chart) and the figures on the tabs. All 4 respondents completed the task and gave correct definitions. Users did not have any difficulties with the new controls and finished the scenario without hints. People noted the usability and information value of money box widgets. Sketch file with prototype is here.
By adding the income information on Analytics tab and giving the ability to combine different types of money boxes I fully achieved my goals. I made the header block more useful and helped to avoid accidental clicks by changing the period control (chart) and adding tabs. The problem with frequent negative notifications does not need a specific design solution. It is just necessary to reduce the number of annoying messages and notify about the saving money more often. All my ideas are supposed to help users to manage their finances more easily.