Fanoo Child banking
The Future of Money project asked us to speculate and use creative methods to make changes to existing financial systems. The project required us to focus on how we may improve the current system so it would recognize social injustice and work to eradicate inequality.
Our research led us to focus on the source of the problem, lack of financial education during childhood years. This is why we created a child banking solution that takes into account the current everyday financial tools families need as well as teaches children via interactive educational material.
By the end of the project, we developed a child banking app prototype and system called Fanoo. The project won the Future of Money award and was later exhibited.
Product Design
Stakeholder research
Prototyping & Testing
User Interface Design
Our starting goal
From the very start of the project, we wanted to work towards solving a financial problem that impacts society and banking but that still has no clear solution. Rather than working on creating a competitor that exists within a defined market,the goal was to create something that was significantly different in its approach. After initial conversations with people around, it became clear young people struggle with financial education and this problem is exacerbated by new developments in investing and crypto currency. This is when we embarked on a mission to find a solution to the lack of financial literacy in young people.
To understand the problem and where it stems from, an initial plan was developed for the project timeline with objectives set for each chapter of our journey. Documents were set up to keep all ideas, research, and schedule accessible in one place. In total, over 100 pages of research and development were produced over the span of the project. Each one of the four team members was focused on different project areas based on individual strengths.  
We began by looking at the problem more closely. We sought to understand what limitations we have when banking and where these issues stem from. This is the step during which we found all evidence of the limitations that led young people to limited financial knowledge, particularly those who come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. These workshops which we conducted with young adults showed that all problems could be connected to lack of financial education during childhood.
Education from the early days
Once the problem was located and additional analysis carried out, it became clear that the best steps further were to develop a solution that could improve financial education at an early stage, during childhood. Developing financial literacy is crucial during these years for future financial confidence. While this does not focus on adults, the product is focused on preventing future generations from experiencing the same issues.
Research and interviews
We worked with primary and secondary sources to find information about existing solutions to the problem and why they are not currently sufficient. In addition to this,we went to the two most important stakeholders, the children, and their parents. We interviewed families to understand what they think about financial education and what they are currently doing to teach children. During our interviews with children, we gathered knowledge about the way kids want to engage with banking and what drives them to learn. This information was imperative to ensure that our solution is appealing to some of the most important stakeholders.
Research and interviews
Research and interviews
EDITTTTT RWhat we found about children. They want to learn in fun ways. They want to be able to pay more easily.
Thinking about further steps for the project, a stakeholder map was developed to understand the most important players in our project and how we are going to communicate with them and satisfy their expectations. It is important to think about the importance of other banks and collaboration for a centered solution. In addition to this, while the main users are children, the people who will make it possible for users to engage in the app will be their parents (our customers).
Defined idea
Consideringthe cashless future current trends predict, we knew that a digital method tocombat lack of financial education would be the most appropriate. We settled ona final idea to create a centralized child banking system that is free fromproblems existing applications within the same market have. We can do this byoffering simplicity for parents and attractive education for children.
  • Children need better financial education to prepare for adulthood
  • Children need cashless ways to pay as we are entering a cashless society
  • Parents need child banking made simpler and easier
  • Creating a platform where children could learn about finance
  • Creating a banking solution thatwould allow children to pay without the need for cash
  • Creating a child banking platform that is easier and cheaper for parents to onboard
The Solution
A centralized banking system for children to learn about finance and access their money without need for cash that is easy for parents to onboard and manage.
The Solution will:
  • Foster financial learning about spending, saving, donating and investing using interactive and fun teaching methods
  • Provide children with the possibility to pay without need for cash
  • Be centralized to make it easier for parents to on-board the platform
Long-term effects
The system will help children learn about finances at an early age which will result in healthier spending habits and intelligent financial decisions during childhood age. Most importantly, once the child enters adulthood, they will be prepared with necessary financial literacy.
Issues in competitor solutions:
  • Analyzed banking platforms do not have features that kids find attractive or fun
  • The minimum age for child bank accounts is 11. This stops early financial education
  • Parents have over 90% of control over the child’s bank. This limits autonomy which in turn limits learning
Strong points in competitor solutions:
  • Successful implementation of tasks and rewards section that can be arranged by parents within the app
  • Setting up saving goals
With our research providing us with a closer look at our audience, we still needed to investigate why current child banking solutions are not more popular. We investigated our competitor child banking solutions and observed some trends. We identified that due to certain limitations like difficulty for parents to set up the platform and uneven experience between different apps leads users to dissatisfaction.With this knowledge we have identified ways in which we will combat these problems:
  • Foster financial learning about spending, saving, donating and investing using interactive and fun teaching methods
  • Provide children with the possibility to pay without need for cash
  • Be centralized to make it easier for parents to on-board the platform
These will set us out apart from the competition by making it simple for parents and making it possible to grow a community of children on the app.
High-Level blueprint
Childrenneed to improve their financial knowledge from an early age. They also need newways to pay digitally as we move into a cashless society. Parents need better control of their child’s expenses, improving pocket moneyspending and child education. Parents need all solutions to be easy toimplement.
Partnerships will be made with child-oriented companies who will advertise their products and news. These partnerships and advertisements will fund Fanoo. Collaborations with banks will also be important as Fanoo already creates an educational platform and then gives an opportunity for children to stay with the banking providers of their parents’ choice. This provides an opportunity for banks to gain more clients.
The majority of our activities are all online, so the impact on the environment comes from the technological side. Banking cards will be optional and made from compostable materials.
Children can also make a change by donating on the app. They can learn about important facts.
Scalability is focused in potential larger campaigns with brands, schools and child-focused events. These all serve a similar target audience and can benefit all parties. Further expansion may be focused on creating other educational services. As children will grow up with Fanoo, it may be possible for creating an adult banking platform.  
Our partners
We knew that in order for this system to exist, it had to be financially viable. Our focus was keeping the right balance between business as well as child well-being. Partnerships with child-oriented companies was the most suitable method to make the application free, accessible and centered around the needs of children. This is a great avenue for partners as the app is centralized therefore has a big potential to reach a wide audience. Special collaborations will allow cartoon and game characters to be introduced inside the app to replace our mascots for a limited time.
UI mapping
Once we knew the main functionality that we need to deliver to satisfy our users, we analyzed and shortlisted the most important functions inside a user interface map.Our discussions led to the identification of what functions each screen should contain and how deep inside of the app each function should be. Drawings were then made with main elements connecting pages to one another, preparing them for prototyping.
Logotype that works for everyone
One of the main and longest iterative processes was finding the right branding language.We looked closely at what makes banking design trusted for parents but also making the design fun for kids. That is why in the end we developed a shape that is simple and can adapt to different needs, situations and customers.
Logotype that is fun for kids
While thelogotype was kept minimal for parents, for children, an energizing animationwas created that featured the mascots and other fun elements. This was a way tomake the app for children feel like a more immersive experience.
All UI mapping was later digitalized, and final stylistic decisions were made. Based on prior research as well as competitor analysis, individual screens were designed in low fidelity by the team. Later, all drawings and maps were used to build the final prototype of the banking app. Alongside this, the development of the game map was begun. All findings as well as branding decisions and elements were used during this prototype development. Testing was done along the way with children who agreed to participate and test the app remotly.
Different apps for different needs
Considering that the children grow and develop fast, we knew that different apps (or app skins) would be required once certain age is reached. An additional app was also necessary for parents since the functionality of their app needs to be different. To satisfy the needs for different app experiences, we also developed a prototype for different age groups as well as the parents app. This was an important undertaking as parents needed to test the application and provide input on what functionality they need.
Game prototype
Development of the game prototype was most important as it had to appear appealing to children. Initial research was done into what type of mascots kids find most engaging and easiest to connect with. For this, the map was designed indifferent stages with feedback provided by participating children on how the game should look and how they wish to interact with it.
Across different stages, the solution was being constantly tested with different audiences. We carried out several presentations to talk about the idea in front of a designer panel where all feedback was collected and implemented. To make it appealing for children and parents, communication lines with those audiences were kept active remotely. Each member of the team was focused on different communication with different stakeholders whose needs were then implemented at different stages.
After winning the Future of Money award, the project was presented at an exhibition spacewhere people got to interact with the solution and provide ideas. Design professionals as well as students interacted with the exhibition which led to many new conversationsand ideas for future development.
Copyright © 2018-2024 David Povilaika.