Why design matters in financial services

Financial services have been around for hundreds of years, but they haven’t really changed all that much. The banking industry, both in terms of design or function, has remained relatively static. Hey, it’s understandable when your roots run deep in tradition.

That’s the thing. We’re not a bank—by design. And it’s not just a play on words that we decided sounds nice; we’re actually consciously using design and psychology to make it fun to be financially responsible. (Because let’s be real, “financial responsibility” sounds anything BUT fun.) While we do offer some things you can get at a bank, we’re definitely not your granddad’s bank.

Basically, yeah, designing holistic experiences that are beautiful, functional, and inspiring is a huge part of what we do, but what we’re really after is the best way to get Canadians financially fit. It just so happens that design’s a pretty effective way of doing it.

The design of financial fitness

Designing the brand

We designed the brand mark using geometric lines and shapes to create something that’s simple, yet has character and impact. It’s shaped to communicate our fresh and dynamic approach in contrast to the traditional financial space.

For the typeface family, Mogo uses Proxima Nova for its balance between geometric and Swiss type styles. It’s also designed for effective readability on screen, which is important for our digital interface.

Designing the content

The Mogo blog gets new posts a few times per week, and the email newsletter is sent out weekly with the latest financial news and advice, presented in an easily digestible format. With visuals and imagery that are carefully designed to present content in an entertaining way, they’re our way of providing tangible value in the form of fun financial literacy content.

Designing Level Up

With the unique Level Up program, when you get a MogoMoney loan, you can unlock lower rates with on-time payments! Inspired by Snapchat, we’ve designed a loan statement that doesn’t look anything like one: it shows you fun messaging and emojis when you build up a streak of good payments and motivates you to get out of debt faster.

Keeping track of finances is no longer a chore; it’s now a fun experience that gets people to look forward to seeing where they’re at. Just one of the ways we gamify the financial experience to get you on the path to financial health. ;)

Before joining Mogo’s product design team, Rob McCracken was Executive Producer at DeNa, one of the largest mobile and social gaming companies in Japan. Here’s Rob explaining how gaming works to get you financially fit:

We’re creating multiple positive feedback loops, which allow us to effect positive change by rewarding the user for financially healthy decisions. We’re giving the user the real benefit of saving money—it’s a game with real-world value.
- Rob, director of user experience

Designing the lounge

Not only is the new MogoLounge the home of financial education and a lab for experimenting and testing new user-experience ideas, it’s also a hub of art and fashion. Thanks to Toronto-based design firm Evoke Solutions, it’s dressed up and edgy cool with wood, glass, and metal used throughout. No, it’s definitely not a bank.

I go in intending to hate the space. Banks make me nervous and I'm skeptical about anything that screams "millennial." The staff, however, are lovely and the space is open to those who just want to hang out and discuss Beyonce's Lemonade, all while using Mogo's free WiFi, of course.
- BlogTO

Designing your credit score

Over half of Canadians have never checked their credit score*. Which is crazy, considering it’s a key part of Adulting and you should have a good idea of your financial fitness if you want to do things like rent (or buy) a place. This is just one of the times we took the opportunity to visualize data in a cool way; not only do we show you your score in an animated dial (that will change as your score improves) along with tips to improve it when you sign up, we’ll show you how you’re doing compared to the rest of Canada—and hopefully motivate you to get that score up.

Designing the app

The Mogo app (which is launching later this year) has dashboards that show you things like your credit score, tips to improve it, and the MogoCard spending. Oh and you’ll be able to see if you can get pre-approved for a MogoMoney personal loan in there too. With a smooth and engaging user experience, your bank app could learn a thing or two.

We created the whole user experience to be an enriching one for our members. Things like filling out a form field shouldn’t feel like a chore—it could be an insightful experience if designed well. Every detail contributes to making the app experience fun, engaging, and totally unbanklike.
- Gary, creative director

Designing the MogoCard

Created in collaboration with renowned artists and designers like Chairman Ting and Mike Joyce, the MogoCards (Platinum Prepaid Visa® Cards) are the new cool cards to have in your wallet. Oh plus they’re free, with no monthly fee or risk of overdraft and NSF fees. And let’s be real, flashing that old-school black card just means you have to borrow to ball out.

The MogoCard design collection is carefully curated; we work closely with the artists to make the sure the resulting designs express the unique styles and stories of each individual creator. If we don’t love it, we won’t ship it. The more you use your MogoCard, the more in financial control you get… unlike credit cards, which are designed to incentivize overspending.

Your MogoCard comes with our Aftershock sticker to put on your other credit cards as a reminder to only use borrowed funds for emergencies only!

When the new MogoCard program—including an upgraded account experience—launches in the second half of 2016, MogoMembers will have the added bonus of being able to track their spending and transaction history on a slick dashboard in the Mogo mobile app (also scheduled to drop this summer). Full control at your fingertips, literally.

The whole package

Many people find themselves in poor financial health because they’re drawn to brands and experiences that make them want to spend money they don’t have. Yes, Mogo is designed to appeal to people who gravitate toward cool and aspirational brands. We want to connect with our audience on an emotional level, which means communicating in a way that’s relatable to them. i.e. not like a bank.

But when you engage with us, you get smarter about money (and in better control of your finances)—something that until now has never been that appealing because no one created an experience that makes it fun. That’s why design matters.

Sign up for a free account now and see the awesome Mogo experience for yourself!

Got one already? Tell your friends about it and hook them up!


*business.financialpost.com/personal-finance/more-than-half-of-canadians-have-never-checked-their-credit-score-bmo-report-says

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