Chase Bank App Nigeria: Product Strategy & Feature Brief

For the last assignment Product Management class we practiced creating Product Strategy & Feature Brief for banking app we were working on in Q2 – a deliverable that explains a product’s roadmap and the reasoning behind its creation and priorities made.

A competition on American market of mobile banks is incredibly high. Almost every bank has an app, and most of them are able to implement all the features customers wish the mobile bank would be able to do – from checking account balance to depositing a check. So, MVP (Minimum Viable Product) for banking app in the United States should be very functional and powerful to survive.

But not every country has this high competition. I decided to imagine that my product will be launching on another market, not so spoiled as American, that will let me truly go through the process from MVP to fully functional process.

So, meet Chase Bank Nigeria! One of the pioneers of mobile banking in the country.

PREFACE

The country of Nigeria has been going through rapid economic and technological growth in the past several years and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. With internet access and smartphones becoming more and more affordable, their penetration rate has skyrocketed. Nearly every person between ages 18 and 35 who live in metropolitan areas of Nigeria owns a smartphone with an internet connection, and a lot of them don’t own a computer.

A mobile application and messaging applications, in particular, are on the rise as well. Combination of added convenience and very moderate data consumption make mobile application a center of not just communication amongst the users, but also the key element of online retail, e-commerce, and overall financial activities.

As it relates to the financial sector, most people in Nigeria find it extremely inconvenient to have to visit a physical branch of a bank in order to perform basic financial transactions. Most young people would prefer to use a mobile application for banking if it saves them time and if it consumes less cellular data than a website. Customers also demand mobile application that is modern and match usability standard of the western world. Their needs are not satisfied with what’s currently on the market. At the same time, customers generally aren’t wealthy and are used to micromanage their very limited amounts of funds.

JPMorgan Chase is planning a full roll-out of its banking services onto the Nigerian market and establishes the brand as modern and forward-thinking. In alignment with that, this document outlines the vision for the initiative of creating a modern mobile banking application that serves growing needs of prospective Chase Bank customers in Nigeria.

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OVERVIEW

Chase Bank mobile application is a core component of the roll-out of Chase product and service offerings on Nigerian market. It allows users to keep their finances under control in an easy and unobstructed way.

Chase Bank mobile application design is based on these four behavioral insights:

  1. The majority of customers in Nigeria own very limited amount of funds and have to micromanage their finances.
  2. Not having clear visibility to each and every transaction associated with a debit or credit card that the customer owns steers them towards avoiding using any bank cards at all.
  3. Many banking customers in Nigeria still have to visit a branch in order to perform a money transaction, but only because their banks don’t provide a more convenient way to do that.
  4. Most customers in Nigeria would prefer to email or message their bank, instead of having a phone call.

BEHAVIORAL INSIGHTS

  1. The majority of customers in Nigeria own very limited amount of funds and have to micromanage their finances.

While Nigeria is going through the rapid growth phase, 60.9% families in the country are still below the poverty line, another 20% are very close to it. For many, that means that they need to keep a very close eye on their account balance (whether it’s a real bank account, or just saved up cash) and plan their lives and activities around it.

Chase Bank mobile application should allow customers to have a clear and easy view of their finances, ideally showing trends and projections.

“I barely can make it to my next paycheck… Every month I’m trying to make it through, I don’t have any certainty if I actually will. It is stressful, but it’s my reality. I really need to know where every my naira goes… Otherwise I quickly will go in dept.” – Abebi

  1. Not having clear visibility to each and every transaction associated with the debit or credit card that the customer owns steers them towards avoiding using any bank cards at all, due to fraud concerns.

81% of adults in Nigeria prefer cash because they feel like they have a lot more control and visibility over how much they have and where it goes. They physically have to hand out the money in order for their “total balance” to decrease, which also gives customers a perception of full control of their finances. Customers believe that credit and debit cards are prone to financial fraud.

Chase Bank mobile application should be making customers comfortable through displaying all transaction and detailed information about each of them. Ideally, clearly displayed fraud protection features should be a part of the user experience, in order to assure the customers of high security and safety of Chase Bank products and services.

“I don’t trust all these banks. They can still my money and I’ll not even notice! And even if I do it’s probably going to be too late to do something”. – Rayowa

  1. Many banking customers in Nigeria still have to visit a branch in order to perform a money transaction, but only because their banks don’t provide a more convenient way to do that.

Most banks in Nigeria currently require their customers to visit the branch in order to deposit a check, transfer money to a family member or a friend, make a wire transfer, or perform any other monetary transaction. 84% of interviewed customers noted that they don’t enjoy the experience of performing those operations in person at a bank branch – mainly because it’s hard to find enough time during a workday to do that.

Chase Bank mobile application should introduce the suite of “Move Money” features that are possible to perform using the smartphone, without the necessity of visiting a Chase branch.

“I don’t use any banks and don’t have any banking accounts. What for? I don’t want to spend a whole day trying to get my money from them, I just can not afford it. I have to work”. – Jayamma 

  1. Calling their bank is a serious challenge for most people in Nigeria and leads to frustration and anxiety due to per-minute billing and a vast difference in language dialects between country’s regions.

Most cell service companies in Nigeria charge for phone calls per minute, while free Wi-Fi connection can be found in most homes, schools, and workplaces. Even via a 3G connection, a lengthy conversation with a bank representative over an internet chat is a lot cheaper than it would be on the phone.

Additionally, many customers in certain regions of the country experience issues when calling any company headquartered in the country’s capital, Abuja, due to a difference in dialects and accents. A simple conversation becomes a frustrating and costly experience.

Chase Bank mobile application should allow for an easy way to communicate with a Chase representative via a live chat, making every customer comfortable and confident that their problem will be resolved.

“I only call my daughter because I want to hear her voice. I tried to avoid calling anybody else. It’s too expensive!”- Machie 

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VALUE PROPOSITION

We promise to support Chase Bank Nigeria users in pursuing their goals in a safe and trustworthy way through providing an easy and efficient control over their financial lives.

HIGH LEVEL STRATEGIC ROADMAP

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DETAILED STRATEGIC ROADMAP

You can see detailed roadmap here.

CORE CAPABILITIES

Account Overview
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Fraud Alerts

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Move Money

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Live Chat

 

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Smart Money

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REFLECTION

I do enjoy thinking about product strategy and features. What, when and why we should build? How exciting these questions!

However, I found out that I always have a feeling that “we don’t have enough data to answer those questions”. During this exercise, we were supposed to make up a whole story behind our design decisions and it was hard for me. I wish I really know what people in Nigeria do, how they live and how they use their mobile banking apps. In real life, I need to learn how to find that spot where I know enough to make a decision to move forward with one idea.

Presenting this report I realized how important it is to know your audience: who they are and what they already know. Do they care about quotes from real people? Did they already see your product? What are their titles? And many other questions. It was hard to emulate real-life experience without knowing all of it. I’m really looking forward to the real life to teach me this and many more other lessons.

UX Design Professional World, here we come!