Citizens Access

Accelerating strategic growth through extending their digital banking services
Grab mobile app card screen
Citizens Access engaged 11:FS to help extend their savings proposition into new underserved areas of the market. 11:FS and the Citizens Access team worked together in an agile way to define their proposition, MLP and growth strategy. This included conducting in-depth cultural research, and qualitative Jobs to be Done research to better understand customer requirements, as well as sizing the opportunity space with some quantitative data.

Using the rich human stories from the Jobs to be Done and cultural research, we ran a collaborative design sprint to create and test a new proposition with the bank’s customers and proposed expanded audiences.
The challenge
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John Rosenfeld, President of Citizens Access
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John Rosenfeld, President of Citizens Access
Reimagining an existing product

Citizens Access, the direct bank offering of Citizens Bank, N.A., has grown rapidly with its online-only savings proposition in the past two years. However, as competition in the US market intensifies between traditional and direct banks, and new Fintech entrants, it wanted to increase the stickiness of their existing customer base and drive acquisition of primary account relationships.

The Citizens Access team knew they didn’t want to offer just an additional financial product, they wanted to create a truly digital service that helped their customers achieve more with their money and wealth. They wanted to better understand how customers used its existing products and the drivers and barriers to switching digital banks to identify the areas where people are most underserved by the market.

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John Rosenfeld, President of Citizens Access
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John Rosenfeld, President of Citizens Access
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The Jobs to be Done exploration we did with 11:FS, paired with their ethnographic work, gave us deep insights into how to design a value proposition resonant with our customers’ needs.
John Rosenfeld, President of Citizens Access
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John Rosenfeld, President of Citizens Access
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John Rosenfeld, President of Citizens Access
What we did
What we did
RBS Mettle mobile banking app and card
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US Retail Bank mobile app onboarding screen, dashboard, bills
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Research and discovery

To uncover the motivations underpinning customer behaviours, the 11:FS team combined a Job to be Done (JTBD) framework alongside deeper ethnographic cultural insights. In tandem, this helped to identify new opportunities for growth and ensures the new product extension resonates with the target market at both a functional and emotional level.

The research and discovery phase focused on:

  • Understanding the target audience’s JTBDs to identify gaps in the market. This helps with the key strategic decision of where to focus new proposition design.
  • Uncovering the cultural forces shaping customers’ belief systems and aspirations. This level of understanding helps us to form distinctive Stories to be Told that strengthen the connection between the brand messaging and the product.
  • Outlining the competitive landscape in the US across a number of related product types.
  • Creating a framework that maps out the levers to behaviour change which inform the design of the new proposition. Ultimately, this helps the team focus on creating new value for customers and therefore maximising their chances of customers adopting the new digital service.

The impact of this approach is human-centric product design and emotional brand resonance. It is grounded in a mixture of qualitative research, interviewing more than 20 customers, with quantitative research with approximately 1,500 mass and mass affluent consumers across multiple target market states.

Mox payment card
GrabPay card
Research and discovery

To uncover the motivations underpinning customer behaviours, the 11:FS team combined a Job to be Done (JTBD) framework alongside deeper ethnographic cultural insights. In tandem, this helped to identify new opportunities for growth and ensures the new product extension resonates with the target market at both a functional and emotional level.

The research and discovery phase focused on:

  • Understanding the target audience’s JTBDs to identify gaps in the market. This helps with the key strategic decision of where to focus new proposition design.
  • Uncovering the cultural forces shaping customers’ belief systems and aspirations. This level of understanding helps us to form distinctive Stories to be Told that strengthen the connection between the brand messaging and the product.
  • Outlining the competitive landscape in the US across a number of related product types.
  • Creating a framework that maps out the levers to behaviour change which inform the design of the new proposition. Ultimately, this helps the team focus on creating new value for customers and therefore maximising their chances of customers adopting the new digital service.

The impact of this approach is human-centric product design and emotional brand resonance. It is grounded in a mixture of qualitative research, interviewing more than 20 customers, with quantitative research with approximately 1,500 mass and mass affluent consumers across multiple target market states.

Citizens Access logo
Citizens Access logo
Mettle banking app transaction screen examples
Design phase

The research identified 10 Jobs to be Done considered vitally important to mass affluent customers. These Jobs represented desired future states that Citizens Access customers are trying to make progress towards. The quantitative research helped identify the top two JTBDs that the team could focus designing a proposition around.

11:FS ran a Design Sprint to create a new digital service for the target audience. Within the space of a week, the team had worked through a number of different exercises, including ‘How Might We’, lightning jams, storyboarding and user mapping. During the process, the team used 11:FS Pulse to review the best in class user journeys from Fintech apps around the world. This inspired the team’s divergent exploration into ideation and service design.

Strategy phase: a customer-centric proposition

Following the Design phase, 11:FS worked with Citizens Access to define their strategy for the new proposition. This involved working through some rapid concept and user testing sessions to ensure the service design helped the customer overcome the problem identified in the JTBD analysis.

11:FS moderated workshops with the Citizens Access team to define the purpose of the new proposition, its core values and the tone of voice the brand should adopt. The outputs of these workshops were combined with the cultural insights to enrich the Stories to be Told and thus their product marketing and brand strategy.

We tested different ways the brand could pitch the new proposition and arrived at a compelling direction for the Citizens Access team.

Finally, leveraging 11:FS’ vast experience of getting digital banking products to market quickly, the team defined a Minimum Loveable Product (MLP) prototype, roadmap and set of execution principles. This left the Citizens Access team with a clear direction on how to design a new breakthrough proposition and get that into the hands of their customers quickly.

GrabPay mobile app card screen
GrabPay: Southeast Asia’s leading digital wallet

Taking the 11:FS findings and ideas to the core of the offering, Grab set about building the app. In December 2019, it announced the launch of its Grab Pay Mastercard that sits at the core of its super app.

The GrabPay Mastercard is a significant step in Grab Financial’s strategic vision. It is the region’s first numberless card with access to an expanded rewards network and seamless Grab payments integration. It allows users, regardless of whether they have a bank account, to transact securely and easily online or offline, at nearly 53m merchants worldwide that accept Mastercard cards.

As an extension of the GrabPay wallet, it is highly secure with card details stored securely within the Grab app. It also has an in-app lock card function that is PIN-protected, allowing users to instantly suspend payments for lost cards.

Where super app’s go from here is only going to get more interesting. With Singapore and Malaysia both announcing their own Virtual Banking licences, the big tech companies from Asia are well placed to help the most underserved and over charged in ways that traditional banks can’t.

We’re proud to have played a major part in those developments through our collaboration with GrabPay on the launch it’s Mastercard.

Looking to build a bank?

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