service design · finance · mobile app
How can banks help improve teenagers' financial literacy?
More than 20% of United States teenage students lack basic financial literacy skills. In a world full of digital and global financial activity, the potential for financial scams, and the upcoming long-term life decisions involving money, this lack of knowledge can be damaging. Because of this, PNC Bank wanted us to design a service that can help improve teenagers' financial literacy.
My team and I designed a service that provides families with weekly financial challenges which encourages teens to build basic financial skills with their family together, while building a relationship with PNC.
My teammates and I worked together on research and ideation. Individually, I was responsible for prototyping the mobile application and making mock-ups.
Aishwarya Dwivedi, Tiffany Lai, Xuejiao Liu, Reva Pabba
The mobile application analyzes a family's data and recommends financial challenges that are tailored to the family.
Teenagers complete tasks with other family member and learn financial knowledge through first-hand activities.
Teenagers get rewards upon finishing a challenge, which can be turned into discount coupons or monetary prizes for them to use.
We brainstormed influences on teenagers in terms of financial activities.
We also considered influences on parents because they are closely related to teens.
From the analysis, we found that Banks only influences the parents but not the teenagers.
This led us to move research direction towards exploring the parent-teen relationship in terms of finance, because PNC needs to engage with teenagers through parents.
We interviewed representatives from PNC Bank about their resources and their vision of promising directions.
We reviewed 10 papers with topics including the current state of financial literacy among teenagers and evaluation of financial education programs.
We analyzed 7 products on the market with purposes to improve financial literacy among teenagers (Bank of America, ThreeJars, etc.).
We set up two surveys online:
Finance can be a community/family topic.
Managing finances is usually initiated by a trigger.
Successful applications maintain engagement with people by giving continuous, immediate, and unambiguous feedback.
Programs promoting financial literacy should be tailored to an individual’s knowledge, ability, demographics, life stage, and learning styles.
PNC bank does not have a direct engagement with teenagers, so they can't influence their financial literacy.
PNC can leverage the parent-teen relationship and provide a personalized financial service to the whole family with continuous trigger.
We started ideating how to solve the problem by creating three personae representing different family members.
Judy - mom of a teen in high school
Maria - a college freshman
Justin - a high school teenager
Has little time to invest in her son's life
Has a busy schedule with college and work
Spends too much when he goes out with friends
Brainstorming and speed-dating
Around these personae, we brainstormed 30+ ideas about how PNC can solve their need. We then created storyboards for top 5 idea (see appendix), and tested these ideas with teens and parents through speed-dating sessions.
Findings from speed-dating
The solution is Financial Feud:
Various challenges to choose from
Financial Feud has financial challenges in categories such as budgeting, investment, credit, etc. to help people achieve various financial goals.
Maria chooses the challenges related to student loans to learn about how to pay them off more efficiently.
Justin's parents help him choose the challenges in the "budgeting" category so that he can learn about budgeting his allowance.
Challenges tailored to each family
Upon permission, Financial Feud can uses data provided by the family or from their bank accounts to recommend challenges that best suit the family.
With data of Judy's family savings, investment challenges are recommended to her to help her family learn to utilize the savings better.
Based on Maria's financial history, she is recommended credit challenges to help her build a better credit profile.
Financial Feud gives family rewards upon finishing challenges. These rewards can be redeemed for monetary prizes or coupons. Families can apply for a card which allows the teenagers to use these prizes directly.
Justin is incentivised by the reward system and completes challenges with great motivations.
Judy can see how her son is using the rewards without the worry if he is making bad purchasing decisions.
This service creates value for not only the families but also PNC as well.
Storyboards for speed-dating
© 2021 mike yilin dong