India is home to largest underbanked population in the world - 25% of the total underbanked people on the planet are in India. It's a statement enough that existing financial tools in the market aren't designed for those in the lower income group despite all the push by the system in last few decades. Existing financial institutions have always focused on serving those who can give the banks enough liquidity in maintaining an average monthly balance, credit score comes after it.
With the increasing penetration of the internet, mobile is almost about to become the first universal device. Thanks to the telecom industry that has shown the world to deliver services at high volume and low cost, overcoming the geographical constraints on the way. Why can't banking services do the same? It's time that we put the power in the hands of individuals instead of the system. Hence, we decided to build a mobile-first financial tool to empower them.
The predominant USSD interface is clumsy, text heavy, hierarchical, and a barrier to uptake. Smartphones open a whole new range of interface options that can leverage touch-screens, images, graphics, and sound. A well- designed interface can affect millions of customers in their day-to-day interactions with finance. Many market signs point to rising smartphone usage in the next 5-10 years. Smartphone interfaces could be a key to unlock value for low-literate consumers overcoming communication barriers imposed by early-stage feature phone-based models.
While working with the informal lenders in the low-income geographies where micro-entrepreneurs operate, we identified key principles of design that drives their engagement when it comes to accessing a financial tool
It is not meant to be comprehensive, but is intended as a starting set of principles that will improve smartphone interfaces for basic mobile financial tools in low-income geographies.