Some people think a credit card is evil, while others think of it as a financial tool. How might we design a credit card for kids? What are your thoughts?
After briefly examining the literature and what is available on the market, I wanted to understand more about the end-users using empathy. In order to look at the user's needs and problem from their perspectives, I prepared and conducted a small workshop with three primary school-aged children (6-8 years old) at a local community center. They were happy to participate and talk about their needs, and everyone enjoyed the workshop as a fun activity.
In the session, the participants were asked to write and draw what they would buy in one month. Then each participant shared what they want and why they specifically want it. The second round was focused on how they would get one of their wish items on the cube while throwing it.
One of key findings from the workshop was how kids plan and compromise when wanting to make a purchase. In many cases, they could not afford what they wanted, so they asked their parents for financial support. Even if they had enough money, their parents’ approval was still required. In order to make deals with their parents, all the kids came up with their own strategies like helping with house chores, eating more veggies, and getting good grades in school. They already knew that nothing is free in life, which is the equivalent of a credit card system.
From the research findings, I came up with a persona to empathize with them across design processes. Then, I reframed the design challenge from ‘a credit card design’ into a ‘good financial habit design’ for kids. I thought designing habits would be more beneficial to them rather than just giving a credit card to them. If children can learn responsible financial habits when they are young, they will be more financially responsible/make less mistakes in the future.
Ideation toward responsible financial tools led to different kinds of product and service ideas. One of them is a mobile app which can educate children about responsible use of a credit card while encouraging them to save more. By learning through the app, they can be more responsible and manage their desire to purchase items.
• Search, manage and prioritize wish list items
• Buy now, pay later with equivalent assigned task load (e.g. 1 Euro = 30 min. of taking pet out for a walk)
• More completed payment will increase credit level
• Quick switch between Lending(Credit) and Saving mode
This is just an initial prototype, and I would love to hear your thoughts for better financial tools for the children! Please feel free to share your feedback via firstname.lastname@example.org.