KA-Ching A New Finance Lifestyle Builder For GenZ
Learn More, Earn More, Pay Less
Nov. 2019 — May. 2020
Every spring, companies use Cornell Tech's BigCo advisor, collaborating at the C-Suite or VP level to research the business and industry, talk to company stakeholders, and build disruptive and innovative solutions that help them achieve their mission collaboratively with students at BigCo Studio.
Our interdisciplinary team worked with MasterCard to learn from their vision and mission, and eventually develop a digital product.
What does MasterCard need?
MasterCard is seeking to lead the tide of electronic payments.
Currently, MasterCard focuses on growing its core business globally, including product and service of credit, debit, commercial, prepaid, digital-physical convergence, and acceptance. While the Core business accounts for most of the revenue stream, MasterCard also intends to grow the pie and grow the share by diversifying customers and geographies, and build new areas through a combination of organic growth and strategic investment. To adapt the trend and eventually become the leader of electronic payments, we found that Gen Z could be the first target group to start with.
I created a design base that stood for freedom, fun and was yet not extremely forward, aiming for a sense of seriousness and responsibility. Daniel Armash was a particular inspiration and the font used was Gilbert for its associations with inclusivity and social justice, a homage to the passion of youth today.
Before starting the design process, we consulted with MasterCard to better understand their goals for the project as well as design considerations - their visual system, branding, visual design.
We preserved MasterCard's iconic palate while subtly shifting it to a more pastel palette fitting with their target demographic. We also presumed a certain degree of tech friendliness in our use of design affordances and such as well as a more opinionated approach reflecting distinct personas. Finally, we decided to game the interface instead of a banking/financial app interface filled with data and graphs as a primary point of interface.
Gen Z by the numbers
Of the U.S. population
Gen Z & Loyalty Programs
Incubator for future loyalty programs
After doing interviews with MasterCard's team we started to understand MasterCard users' needs well. We centralized all potential HMWs above，based on our team's background decided to focus on a Student loyalty program.
Gen Z Reading
Exclusive offers designed specifically for Gen Z students, creating good word of mouth and brand loyalty
91% of surveyed students said they would be more likely to shop with a brand when given offers
Creating a good brand relationship with students ensures they stay active customers for a long time
83% Gen Zers said they would likely share a student discount with their friends and family
Apple Pay, Google Pay, Banks
Brand Loyalty Programs - Macy’s, Nordstrom, etc.
Direct operators such as ApplePay don't have the datasets and experience of customer habits at the microlevel to be truly useful in providing discounts and such.
Brand loyalty programs like Macy’s etc. are infeasible, inconvenient and often untrustworthy in their data handling practices.
MasterCard has direct access to years of data unlike competitors and relationships across the board it could leverage and trust. All of this data is already ringfenced behind industry standard privacy and security compliance. It is also a one stop shop.
Our positioning is somewhere in between our competitors - the financial institutions/tech titans and the brands themselves. We have the understanding to serve actually useful tailored discounts. We also have the experience to do so at scale in a safe and secure way.
Therefore, we will build a product that leverages our strengths and market position.