Mobile Banking For Developing Countries

Christopher Darby | Daniel Choudhury | Stuart Holland

Target Device

Monochrome display 128x128px resolution

Selector Keys Multifunctional

Navigation Keys 4 directional keys Number Pad Standard 12 button

Low Memory

Basic graphics

Vibration, Play sounds

Challenges to m-banking adoption ‣ Mental model of a mobile phone

- “Is it a phone or a wallet?” - Does it store my money, or only transfer it?

‣ Trends in use-cases

- Transfer between family members - Payments that can reduce travel

‣ Social/Cultural issues

- Is it safe? - Can I bill my customers through SMS?

‣ No exposure to computer systems

- No concept of menus or hierarchical navigation

‣ Human mediators


Design for the lowest common denominator


‣ Cultural attitude towards, and usage patterns of mobile phones ‣ Symbolic relationships ‣ Illiterate and semi-literate demographic

CONSISTENCY ‣ Unusual decisions to maintain consistency, related to the demographic. ‣ Interaction that adapts to most makes and models of phones


‣ Consider the implications of UI decisions on implementation of solution ‣ Balance cost of implementation with user experience


Adhere to perceived affordance of a mobile phone to avoid alienating the user

Target users are unfamiliar to banking terminology


Target users are unfamiliar to banking terminology

Adhere to perceived affordance of a mobile phone to avoid alienating the user


Balance Check Shows current balance in m-banking account


Top Up Scratch card or merchant credit transfer


Credit Transfer Transfer funds between Mbanking accounts


Bill Payment Pay bills based on prior invoices

Interface simulation

Users are uncomfortable with the use of multifunction soft keys

Lock Screen ‣ Simple padlock symbol is universal ‣ Users introduced to concept of pin-code security Symbolism ‣ Low literacy user base Soft key mapping ‣ Maintained throughout interface ‣ Cross is delete on editable fields Voice annotation ‣ 5sec hesitation delay before prompting ‣ Human-like interaction for users

main Menu

Avoids the use of hierarchical structures

‣ Grid layout ‣ Arranged by frequency of use Symbolism ‣ ‘?’ is universal ‣ Similar icons used elsewhere in interface ‣ Concept of bill payments unfamiliar to users Navigation ‣ Extensible to other control layouts Mental Model ‣ All main functions accessible from here ‣ Interface only affords these functions

Balance CHeck

User base is able to recognise numbers, but confused by text

Minimalism ‣ Avoids confusion for the user ‣ Only one possible mental model Consistency ‣ Mobile symbol used as ‘account’ everywhere Navigation ‣ Both soft keys return to main menu

Top UP

User base is able to recognise numbers, but confused by text

Guidance ‣ Card symbol for recharge card ‣ Number of X’s helps user identify number Easy to read ‣ Auto-indentation on entering the number

Top UP Confirmation

Confirmation ‣ Amount shown for user confidence Building Consistency ‣ All confirmation screens are vertical ‣ All feedback screens are horizontal Language ‣ May be right to left in some regions

Credit Transfer

Balance Displayed ‣ Anticipating user need Contact Lookup ‣ Simple icon for contact list Consistency ‣ Emboldened fields are active ‣ Mobile phone as a symbol for ‘account’

Avoids the use of non-numeric / syntactic text input structures

Credit Transfer Feedback

Symbolism ‣ Literal representation of transfer Feedback Consistency ‣ Horizontal animation ‣ Typical check mark to indicate success

Bill payment

Symbolism ‣ Introducing new concept of bills Affordance ‣ As similar to a contact list as possible ‣ Illiterate users recognise by numbers ‣ Limit amount of words Consistency ‣ List items highlighted by inversion

Minimised the use of scrolling

Bill payment Feedback

Consistency ‣ Consistent with all other feedback screens

System Failure

Vibration Haptic feedback for invalid input

Try again Returns to previous screen

Data Validation

Vibration Haptic feedback for invalid input Invalid Data Colour inversion Cursor returns


Simple. Accessible. Universal. Citations Medhi et al. 2009, Microsoft Research Donner 2008, Microsoft Research Huenerfauth 2002 Mas et al. 2009

For Developing Countries - GitHub

Adhere to perceived affordance of a mobile phone to avoid alienating the user. Target users are unfamiliar to banking terminology. Balance Check. Shows current balance in m-banking account. Top Up. Scratch card or merchant credit transfer. Credit Transfer. Transfer funds between M- banking accounts. Bill Payment.

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