Pacific payments part 2: designing for trust

Trust is not something that can be gained in a single moment, it’s something that must be built and sustained throughout the entire experience. This is part 2 of our exploration into this important issue.

A series of horizontal circles. Some of the circles have 3 half circles appearing from the centre which are sending out a signal.

In part 1 we looked at the causes of high costs and challenges in addressing the issue. Now we will look at potential solutions and how they can be designed for trust.

Digital and financial confidence

Understanding the experience of families in the Pacific with little exposure to digital and financial services is difficult for many of us who now very rarely handle physical money and run our financial lives on the internet. The team at Springload have run a couple of workshops using The Digital Confidence Design Tools to learn about best practices for creating products for first time internet users. We learnt that adopting online banking or mobile money systems will mean some families need to learn new ways to manage their money and that for someone accustomed to a cash-based economy, not being able to physically see or feel the money may cause apprehension.

Designing for trust

Given the emotional and practical importance of Pacific remittance payments, any new digital transaction services must be secure, reliable and designed for trust for both the workers here and the families in the Pacific. However, giving the same experience of credibility as visiting a bank branch is a tall order for a little window on your smartphone. Trust is not something that can be gained in a single moment, it’s something that must be built and sustained throughout the entire experience. Every detail of the design must feel human, cohesive, and secure. Given the reliance on advice from family and friends when choosing a payment provider, trust gained with one person can be trust gained with many.

Fintech approaches

Online platforms

Many new online platforms use a peer-to-peer model. This allows payments to be received in a different currency from the sent one without the money actually crossing borders. Transferwise is an example of such a provider but it does not operate in many pacific countries.

Mobile money

Mobile money is a service provided by network operators that consist of an electronic wallet linked to a mobile phone number. Users are able to transfer money, pay bills and deposit and withdraw cash by using their mobile phones without even needing a bank account. These services are not common across the pacific but have traditionally been the most affordable.

What can be done?

We are ‘technology agnostic’ and believe there are many possible solutions such as online platforms, mobile money, or even blockchain. If you are interested in helping us create innovative solutions for remittance payers, please get in touch.

We are only just beginning this work now as part of our new Springlabs initiative, because we see an opportunity to create an easier and fairer solution for Pacific people sending their money to their families.