The cumbersome structure and process flow of the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) channel is widely recognized as a challenge for mobile wallet (m-wallet) providers, adversely affecting their ability to sustain traction and active use of wallets. The text-heavy format reinforces the challenge for the less literate segments of a population. With the increasing ubiquity of smartphones among multiple income segments, there is now a viable and scalable alternative to the USSD format. In Pakistan smartphone penetration currently stands at 31 percent, with a further surge expected given the increasing availability of low cost smartphones and improved 3G/4G services. Keeping these factors in mind, the mobile financial services (MFS) industry in Pakistan is poised to explore the MFS app space.
Within this context Karandaaz Pakistan commissioned GRID Impact, a global research, innovation and design firm, to develop user friendly, responsive designs for a smartphone application for mobile money with a special emphasis on the less literate. The designs are being crafted using a human-centered design (HCD) methodology, with user and provider engagement built systematically into the process at critical junctures.
Preliminary findings from the first phase of the design study are documented in a Discovery Report, which is now available. During this initial phase, GRID Impact conducted interviews with sampled users, providers and other stakeholders in order to capture their views of mobile financial services in Pakistan with the ultimate aim of informing customer-sensitive concept designs.
Insights from the research will be incorporated into two concept designs that will be disseminated to the industry later this year. The resultant wireframes will be available to providers for incorporation within their specific mobile financial services applications, thereby enabling their customers to enjoy a richer and more user friendly interface and process flow.