US Retail Bank

Building a new digital bank in the US
Grab mobile app card screen
11:FS is collaborating with a US bank to build - from concept, design and brand, through to technology infrastructure and delivery - a new digital retail bank for the domestic market.
The challenge
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Building a new US digital bank

A US retail bank has engaged with 11:FS to create a world class, differentiated digital banking proposition for the US. In a market that includes Tier 1 banks, supra-regional banks as well as regional banks, community banks and credit unions, as well as new challenger banks, it wanted to create a proposition that would stand out.

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What we did
What we did
RBS Mettle mobile banking app and card
WeLab logo
US Retail Bank mobile app onboarding screen, dashboard, bills
CaixaBank logo
Defining a differentiated proposition

For many Americans, real time, contextual mobile banking doesn’t exist. One reason is that the barriers for new firms to enter the market are high.

11:FS and the bank are looking to change that and use the rapidly shifting market dynamics and evolving customer expectations to create a new digital bank that solves key customer pain points including frictionless instant payments, instant transfers.

The project began with a Discovery phase. This included using Jobs to be Done as a framework to assess the retail banking market and identify undermet and underserved needs.

The 11:FS team then focussed on defining a prototype and then rapidly iterated against those initial ideas, creating a minimal loveable product (MLP). That pre-Alpha utilised 11:FS’ engineering talent, delivery know how and design expertise as it scaled the product that moved from inception to working prototype in a matter of months.

Mox payment card
GrabPay card
Defining a differentiated proposition

For many Americans, real time, contextual mobile banking doesn’t exist. One reason is that the barriers for new firms to enter the market are high.

11:FS and the bank are looking to change that and use the rapidly shifting market dynamics and evolving customer expectations to create a new digital bank that solves key customer pain points including frictionless instant payments, instant transfers.

The project began with a Discovery phase. This included using Jobs to be Done as a framework to assess the retail banking market and identify undermet and underserved needs.

The 11:FS team then focussed on defining a prototype and then rapidly iterated against those initial ideas, creating a minimal loveable product (MLP). That pre-Alpha utilised 11:FS’ engineering talent, delivery know how and design expertise as it scaled the product that moved from inception to working prototype in a matter of months.

Citizens Access logo
Citizens Access logo
Mettle banking app transaction screen examples
Meaningful outcome

After demonstrating significant success through the first 12 weeks of the project, subsequent phases have focussed on building the bank and getting it into the hands of early adopters.

In under six months, the digital bank has gone from concept to working prototype and is now in Alpha with customers. They are using the service and feeding back on their experiences. This is critical to ensuring the proposition is iterated along the Jobs identified during the Discovery phase that will allow the proposition to stand out in a highly competitive market.

The app-based account is delivering against the vision of creating a bank that offers meaningful insights into individuals’ finances, with real-time alerts providing ‘on-the-go’ visibility to their accounts.

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.

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