Zeta Banking

Banking and payment systems have not evolved with the Internet. At Zeta, we intend to reimagine the world of banking by rethinking the landscape from the ground-up and making payments invisible.

Overview

Banking and payment systems have not evolved with the Internet. At Zeta, we intend to reimagine the world of banking by rethinking the landscape from the ground-up and making payments invisible. With the advent of modern-day banking, tellers started getting replaced by automated tellers (ATMs) and IFIs started becoming self-serviced by the use of debit/credit cards, net banking, mobile banking it was time to reinvent how banks and startups based on banks were operating.

The problem of banking is divided into multiple functional domains and supplementary domain. A new generation full stack banking platform, which provides all capabilities from core accounting to product management and payments in a seamless fully integrated suite. It enables banks to provide prepaid, savings, deposits and credit based to their customers, along with a range of features to manage these products and administer their financial statements. The core banking system was divided into 15 centers for flexibility and ease of control based on different user roles in a banking space.

My role

I am working with the Product Design of the Zeta banking tribe from June 2019. I collaborated with a Product Manager, a Product Marketing and the Development Team to research, scope, plan and execute.

To comply with my non-disclosure agreement, I have omitted confidential information in this case study. So, all information is my own and does not necessarily reflect the views of Zeta Banking.

Players we were catering to:

Existing FIs

who can support their core legacy banking products stack (both account-based and payment-based). We can call this a SaaS Offering

Fintechs

who need an unbundled bank product to be utilized and developed as a sandbox bank. We can call this a BaaS Offering

NeoBanks

who need a complete banking solution to service their account holders. We can call this another SaaS Offering

Designing for Banking & Fintech

Before i dive into the product and its design, having been used to creating for direct consumers myself, stepping into B2B design was challenging yet exciting. To give you a better view of what we were working with, i feel its best i draw a comparison between direct consumer products, and enterprise products.

A consumer product focuses on novelty: delightful design, subtle cues, friendly interactions. B2C is all about introducing new use cases and behaviours.

An enterprise product like banking was not interested in changing their behaviour. They’re trying to run a business as their main priority. They wanted to better and ease the process.

Landscape

Let us also take a look at the banking products that are provided by modern-day banks, the products could be segregated into 2 types of products

1. Account-based products
2. Payment-based products

Zeta was creating a platform to help all fintechs & legacy banks manage accounts, issue physical/digital cards, control spends on channels, and so on. In its simplistic form, Fusion provides you a framework that can help you build and solve for your fintech use-cases that you are going after, thereby reducing your prototyping cost, iterations to minimum-viable-product and time-to-market for your product.

Aphrodite: The Big Picture

Based on the landscape we discovered, zeta packaged multitude of features and support fulfilling all aspects of a product lifecycle in banking world - which was named aphrodite ( Aphrodite is an ancient Greek goddess associated with love, beauty, pleasure, passion and procreation ) The whole process was made sure to be split into multiple centers / products to facilitate the banking users. To get a holistic view lets plot the banking operations with user needs and see where aphrodite fits. (All 3d icons are designed by Rahul Menon)

Banking Internal Needs

  • Fintech startups approaches banks for using their platform
  • Financial Statements & performance tracking
  • Manage their app modules easily
  • Advanced insights & reports

User Needs

  • User scouts for an account
  • Applies for an account
  • Seamless Operations
  • Calls for support in times of distress
  • Looks for new features/upgrades
  • Wants to be in control of their money
  • Expects security & privacy from banks

Aphrodite Offerings

Scope

I reported to the design manager and collaborated with 2 product managers and our head of development to flush out designs. I took ownership of 4 important centers from the product suite, namely Notification center, Report center, Marketing center & Power center.

Going through all products & and its solution will violate my NDA terms, as the products are still in development. For simpler times, i will run you through the process of identifying a problem in one of the products.

In order to address the right problems, we as a team had to construct a roadmap for the product. The roadmap should show how, incrementally, the software would evolve to meet modern standards, how it would over for all types of users. With a robust vision, we were quick enough to realise we are going to need a component library or design system as the first step so that all work can align with a single set of standards.

With the unique problem at our hand, we started to build the bigger picture.

Identify who will use the product.

The first step in our process is to identify everyone who will use (or is currently using) the product. Then, we decide which of these people has the biggest influence over the product or problem we’re trying to solve for. We consider each of these details about the user while working on product direction and visual design

Sales Manager

• Will define programs to cater to the specific use cases of their customers.
• Monitor sales/volume/p&l performance of product/program level.
• Attribution based sales analysis at program level

Operations Executive

• Institution Setup
• Product Setup
• Program Setup
• Channel Setup
• Wallet Setup
• Account Holder Provider Setup
• Account Provider Setup
• Resource Provider Setup
• Transaction Plans Setup

Executive Management

• Summary of a given product or product family

• Summary of a segment of a given product or product family

Maintain consistency

With enterprise tools, you are building products that help organizations and their employees do their work better. Unlike consumer products, B2B products generally have longer product-cycles running asynchronously, many times with distributed teams. We came up with design principles governing our design decisions, visual assets & UI Patterns.

Flexibility

Extensible (Multiple applications can plug-in content, actions and other components into each application's UI)

Delight

Demonstrate respect for people's time and attention through thoughtful and elegant craftsmanship.

Clarity

Eliminate ambiguity. Enable people to see, understand, and act with confidence. User journey. Always be thorough

Efficiency

Streamline and optimize workflows. Intelligently anticipate needs to help people work better, smarter, and faster. Reduce errors.

Consistency

Create familiarity and strengthen intuition by applying the same solution to the same problem.

Interview experts on banking

Before we start the design sprint process, we interview various experts to help us better understand the working of banks and their requirements better. Which helped us understand how banks discover, deploy, source, assess and monitor products and users . It served as an end-to-end map of the target user’s journey, throughout the products lifecycle.

Notification Center

Based on our findings we understood notification center is going to be the place where an admin configures message definitions of a bank events. These message definitions corresponds to how a particular kind of information is to be communicated to a recipient across multiple channels. which defines the presentation across each channel.

So for example, if an individual withdraws an amount from the bank or ATMs and subsequently receives multi-channel information as confirmation.

In the Notification Center, anything that needs to be sent can be set up using three methods that can be event-based or time-based or API-based. Then the customer of the Bank receives a message according to the information and their criteria that can be defined by audience segmentation. An audience segmentation is nothing but a group of people, who are assigned according to their different characteristics (i.e., attributes).

Notification Center needs the capabilities to

Configure message definitions along with creation of messages templates for mutliple channels.

Add audience in static as well as dyanamic manners where you can even add them with the help of APIs

Configure channel providers, enabled channels for mutliples channels and create routes plans according to your needs.

Configure languages as per the user needs and to create the impact globally.

To understand the process better, i will further explain message definitions which is a part of notification center and takes care of creating events and publish definitions for the bank. Following, will include concept explaination, Information architecture, product solution & visuals.

Message Definition

Across industries and sectors, Product Lifecycle Management is the business activity of managing, in the most effective way, products all the way across their life cycles; from the very first idea for a product all the way through until it is retired and disposed of.

Financial institutes purchase Zeta Banking System to avail the ability to produce various artifacts in a way that serves their economic interests. As part of the Zeta Banking Suite, Message definitions will help as a bridge between the FIs and theirs customers to share about their different offerings and events occuring in their company and create leads to use their system. In order to achieve this objective, Message definitions introduces various ways such as Time-based promotional notification, Event-based transactional notification and API-based transactional notification with the help of event sources.

Measuring success

We saw multiple banks showing interest in our product. We also saw directionally positive updates from client pitches. The product suite was presented in multiple events across the country, especially the one in Mumbai titled “ Democratizing Banking” which brought in a lot of traction. Finite number of fintech have adopted a few our centers from the product suite. Currently HDFC & Fampay are slowly transition their system to our product.

As we continue to evolve our product suite, we are delving into usability tests and revamping our product’s design system.