Financial education can be fun: BankMeApp a success for parents and teenagers alike

Teaching their kids how to manage finances responsibly is not always an easy task for parents. Banking Group Crédit Agricole Italia – well aware of this issue – decided to tackle it with a new mobile app, supporting teenagers and parents in the daily management of their finances. GFT was responsible for the development of the app. The project, unique to Italy was quite a success with the “BankMeApp” receiving the 2017 ABI Award.

The goal of the app was to bring value to parents and teenagers alike, giving parents a tool to effectively deal with financial education, day-to-day money management and to arouse interest in the subject from the perspective of young adults. The concept paid off for all parties involved: Banking Group Crédit Agricole Italia managed to raise both customer satisfaction and customer engagement as a result.

Through an interface designed for improved usability for young users, the app enables visibility of available funds and a clear transaction history. It also allows teenagers to monitor revenues and expenses directly on their smartphone or request additional funds from their parents through a secure chat function. They can even set up a piggy-bank and share specific saving goals with relatives. Additionally, the app also supports peer-to-peer payments, allowing teenagers to send money to friends through Jiffy’s circuit.

From the parents’ perspective, the benefits are clear and simple: the app provides an effective tool for financial education as well as day-to-day money management.

Starting with the customer’s perspective – how it all began

Knowing very well that teens – or digital natives – are over connected, Crédit Agricole set itself the target of creating a product that would catch their attention anyway. Really starting from scratch, they organized an internal contest, asking employees to send in their ideas – over 20,000 from all around the globe took part. Thirty finalist were selected and presented their ideas at the event “Bank4Teens”. Finally, one winner was chosen: the BankMeApp.

Shortly after, Banking Group Crédit Agricole Italia was entrusted with the implementation of this new app. With our strong expertise in mobile payment services and as long standing partner to Banking Group Crédit Agricole Italia, they decided to take GFT along on the road to innovation.

From the very beginning, it was clear to all of us that knowing and responding to the specific needs of the end-user was as crucial as ever. We carefully analysed requirements and worked on interfaces and a user experience that would really capture young people’s attention, including engaging graphics and “playful” usability. We developed different prototypes, presented and discussed them with banking Group Crédit Agricole Italia and agreed on one solution.

The development and implementation phases

Then the “hands-on work” began. We were involved with around 1,000 man-days during the development and implementation phases, supporting the customer in the implementation of a range of services, ensuring the functional coverage of the application in compliance with multichannel architecture. The whole time, we paid particular attention to the solution’s invulnerability, providing different security levels on both app side and mobile server.

Finally, a technologically advanced solution was achieved through the use of:

  • Hybrid mobile technologies to simplify application maintenance
  • Cloud platforms for chat management
  • A dedicated component (mobile server) for business process coordination and for the decoupling of the app from the bank’s core system
  • Jiffy payment systems

Value to both teenagers and parents in their daily life

The app was released in the spring of 2017, following a phase of piloting and feedback. Shortly after its release, the Italian Association of Banks (ABI) selected BankeMeApp as winner of the “2017 ABI Award – Innovation for Retail Customers: the bank for the family and young people”. We’re really proud and happy for Banking Group Crédit Agricole Italia to have succeeded with this idea.

More information about the project and our BankMeApp success story can be found here.

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