Open Banking was very new, we wanted to push it to it's limits. Read how we built an industry first in a heavily regulated and constrained industry.

Project summary

VibePay was born out of an issue we identified within the secondary ticket industry - payments. They weren't immediate, payments were placed on hold by some payment providers, there was usually a fee involved in moving money. This is the issue with many digital marketplaces, who pays that fee? do we charge a fee on top of that for our service? If we reduced payment fees, the cost across the board was reduced and therefore much more accessible for the consumer.

I joined VibePay as one of the original employees in a 3 person design team. Initially, I bridged the gap between two other designers, one with a heavy research/ UX focus and the other with a great eye for visual design. For the my last 12 months at VibePay, I was responsible for conducting user research, testing and designing the UI for the consumer facing mobile app and website.

We were tasked to build this app using Open Banking. A relatively new piece of financial technology generally used for aggregating transactions across accounts into one place (AISP). We conducted a plethora of guerrilla research. Vibe as a brand had a hugely engaged audience of 16-24 year olds who wanted us to succeed. We spoke to many of them both over social media and in a more controlled office setting to really identify the problem. Our findings were pretty obvious - they didn't really mind platform fees. But they hated paying fees to send and retrieve their own money. They also craved a more social element to their financial lives. There was an obvious space for making finance more fun, and that was what we set out to do.

The app was initially released as an invite only beta. This worked in our favour as it allowed us to work closely with our users to improve the overall experience whilst creating hype around the apps release - building a waiting list of over 10,000 users in the process. The app was built in an agile way and we released an MVP to start with. We then designed new features, ran remote user testing sessions through Maze, refined and released every fortnight.

This project was full of unique challenges. Payments through Open Banking (PISP) hadn't really been implemented on a consumer app before, we were reinventing the wheel with this. The main challenge was consumer adoption rate. We had to convince our users that linking their bank account and making payments with their sort code and account number was safe, it was certainly unconventional. This took a lot of time, studying user behaviour and refinement.

At one stage, I was tasked with reducing our drop off rate at sign up - which sat at over 50%. Through remote user testing using Maze, I identified an issue within the flow. We were asking users to link their bank account at the first point of contact. As a result of these findings, we rethought onboarding and launched a new version which made use of progressive onboarding. This meant that users would not only have a shorter process of becoming a user, but would also get a feel for how our app works as part of the sign up process. As a result of this change, drop off percentage dropped to around 10%.

VibePay now has over 50,000 active users and often finds itself in Apple's top finance charts. Their offering is now much more than just a consumer app with their newly released business offering. The consumer app paved the way for a new way for businesses to interact with their customers.