Understanding the Nigerian mindset towards payments

Design of mobile payments wallet to be used by satellite TV subscribers to make their monthly payments. 

Mobile and electronic payments
Nigeria and South Africa 2014-2015 

The challenge
Launch a user centric mobile wallet to make payments to service providers

The outcome
The wallet launch in Nigeria and South Africa and a strategy to target main and secondary users of the product.  

The approach that connected technology and human behaviour
A team of service and UX designers and researchers tackled this brief from a design thinking approach which started in the discovery phase.

By immersing in the users' environment and spending time with the stakeholders, the design team of which I was part, identified human-led gaps in the information search process employees usually went through.

We gathered a thorough understanding of a problem that on the surface appeared to be technology focused. When digging deeper into discovering the human needs of the personas performing their jobs, we discovered that the problems not only impacted people's personal productivity levels, but the overall business performance as a whole. 

The participant of a workshop described the experience of finding information as something that depended almost entirely on the kindness of a colleague, which threatened her inherent need to own and control her working situation, and ultimately her goals and her performance. 

The frustrations that people experienced when trying to find the right documents was detrimental to the decision-making affecting the business' general objectives, and sometimes going against the goals of the projects due to risk management and other crucial issues. 

Based on this overarching human and business need we decided to design a platform that tackled empathy and collaboration, given the above-mentioned insight, and at the same time tackled the business objective of achieving efficiency. 

Workshops were conducted with the client to align the business vision and goals, with the results from the user research.

Early prototypes of the concepts were provided envisioning the services in the future. 

The solution
An internal search and knowledge platform compatible with sharepoint, where users can find multi-region information about previous and current projects. The solution connected functionality with the human feeling of being helped and understood when needed. 

 

Summary
Launch of mobile wallet product to make payments for satellite TV and other services.

I conducted user research and ideated a solution to launch the product into the Nigerian and South African markets.

The brief
To advise on the design of mobile wallet enabling payments for various services for PayU, a company owned by Naspers, a media and Internet group with presence in more than 130 countries. 

Challenges
Identifying the right user groups.

Liaising with stakeholders such as satellite TV providers in multiple countries.

Designing around barriers to access such as slow uptake and lack of trust in electronic payments.

Approach
In defining the product launch strategy I liaised with the satellite TV providers who partnered up with my client to provide the mobile payment service.

I looked at the TV subscribers’ payments data and identified the context and users to be observed, which were retail shops where people pay bills, buy airtime and send and receive money without having a bank account.

I immersed myself into the payment experience of users, conducted in-depth interviews and kept record of my observations while they queued at the retailers, mapped the user journey with touch points in the experience of paying, and looked at additional services that could fit into the current payment model.

I developed a strategy to reach out to untapped users and advised on the product launch in South Africa and Nigeria. 

Outcomes
Ideation of concepts and a workshop with the CEO, the marketing director and the product lead to decide on the mobile wallet roll out strategy.

The launch of the mobile wallet where users could make payments for satellite TV.

Strategy buy in at executive level outlining how to expand the product adoption by targeting non-primary user groups. 

The business started collaborating with retailers in order to cater for the needs of the bottom of the pyramid so that they could pay for a wider range of services whilst shopping.

The project raised awareness about ways of reaching out to users such as targeting their intermediaries who could benefit from a quicker and easier payment system.