Speculative Service Design for Insallment Payments
Recently we worked on a really interesting project for a major global payments processor. The company wanted to develop a technical solution to provide its customers in Europe and the US with the ability to pay on card at a terminal using instalments.
The idea had been developed by their technical teams, and an initial technical document had been drawn up, outlining how the service could be built on the existing systems. We were brought in to verify that the service would provide the service expected by customers, initially in the UK, as well as to explore the various business models which can be used to support such a service.
After reading the dense technical literature which had been written to outline the technical service we set about creating narrative stories which would help us interpret the proposed service, utilising four personas that we had developed through interviews with users in previous work for the same payment provider. We built potential real-world experiences these individuals might encounter and how they would expect the service to support them.
By articulating these experiences as "ideal" step-by-step narratives we created a journey which could be used to map the behind-the-scenes activities supporting the journey.
The journeys were taken to a workshop where the organisations SMEs and technical teams attempted to provide the behind-the-scenes action from the current service proposal, and where the ideal path wasn't supported the systems to do so were sketched out in the session.
This session was the most valuable part of the project for the client. We identified there was no way to do some seemingly simple actions, such as process a refund, and developed those services using their existing infrastructure right there in the room.
The captured breakpoints were rolled together to create a large scale service map, showing how the service should flow, and where issues arose in the proposed service.
Following on from the creation of the master service map we produced four further streams of work, which focussed on developing elements of the service map to enable the service to be brought to fruition. The work, proposals and work streams were presented to the Organisations Board.