Rural India has limited access to online services for banking, utility payments, mobile recharges and e-commerce. Our client was India’s largest urban micro-finance organization with over 3 million active customers. They wanted to design a mobile wallet for the under banked rural customer that provided them with the benefits and services available to the modern urban consumer today.
Manoj Mohan, Vinayak Bhandare, Mayur Ralekar
RURAL INDIA HAS LIMITED:
- mobile dexterity
- grasp of technology
- economic capacity
- internet connectivity
- usage of smartphones
In response to these insights, the paradigm of a consumer app was dropped. Instead an assisted mobile experience was conceptualized. This was a more promising solution for rural India, where mobile apps and online services are still unfamiliar terrain.
Ravi Kumar, JanaMitra Agent
A member of the community could join the network of Agents working for our client who are a micro finance organization. An Agent would be trained to use the JanaMitra App and perform an array of finance and utility services for the customer. We were now designing and assissted mobile experience.
We chose not to go with a lively and animated interface like we had done previously while designing mobile wallets for the urban consumer. We kept it simple, coherent and intuitive so that all functions would be apparent. Another challenge we faced was that the app was going to be translated into six different Indian languages. In response to this challenge we prioritized iconography over text and created a cohesive set of icons and visuals.
Keeping in mind throughout the design process that our user base was not adept with common mobile interactions, we did not make any assumptions. Our priority was to make everything self-explanatory by design. We kept in mind at all times that each flow involved a physical interaction between the customer and the Agent. For example, the Agent shows our customer Radha a summary of her recharge, so that she can confirm the details and ask the Agent to proceed.
Simple intuitive flows for the non-savvy app user
Radha can now easily and quickly pay her utility bills and recharge her phone by going to an agent. She can either pay with cash or through her wallet
No more cheques, drafts and waiting in line at the bank. She can transfer and deposit money to any bank account or wallet by going to an Agent.
In villages without ATM access like Radha’s, she can now go to an Agent to withdraw cash from her account. The amount is transferred from her account to the Agent’s account and he hands over the amount in cash to her.
The JanaMitra Agent app aims to empower the rural Indian population by providing them with the benefits and services available to the modern urban consumer today.
This project was a pivot in my career and I became more interested in socially focused design, which eventually led me to a pursue a master's degree in Interaction Design at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco.