Financial Behavior Persona



UX Researcher


11-24 July 2019


  • User Interview
  • Card Sorting


  • Pen and paper
  • Post-it
  • Voice recorder




X is a bank that specializes in empowering and providing services for low-income segments in Indonesia. One of its main goals is to bring banking services to regions that lacked branches. Its product is building agent networks that helping customers to open accounts and make deposits or withdrawals and drive the use of their services. 


X’s current service is a cellphone-number savings account that uses USSD code. Thus, agents only need to type certain USSD code to access all the features and do the transaction. In order to expand their target market, X planned to provide another channel of a mobile banking application for their users.


To help users access easily their services through another channel by providing a mobile banking application.

User Research


To better understand the users and to ensure that the new mobile banking application in accordance to the user needs and expectations, two methods were used in this research, namely user interview and card sorting. The objectives of user interviews were to find out their experience, pain points, and desires of banking in general as well as their mobile phone usage. While the card sorting activity was used to find out which features are more important for the new mobile banking.

Each participant had a user interview followed by card sorting.


Since the company had done market research and has different segment users for all its products, we decided to take the current segment and the upper segment as the targeted users. Thus, the participants were recruited based on the selected characteristics on those segments.

We decided to recruit participants based on the following criteria: aged 19-50 years old, a smartphone user, certain level household income and expense, live in urban and suburbs area, work as a blue collar/white collar/informal worker and actively use social media.

In total, 10 participants participated in this research. They were recruited and asked to come to the office for the sessions.


During each session, participants were greeted and welcomed. Then, we explained the purpose of the research as well as the procedure. First, participants were asked about their banking experience and behavior as well as smartphone usage. Afterwards, they write down all the banking features they currently use and the features they need or will use in the future. Next, they sort them out from the most important feature to the least important one.

Features currently a respondent use

Then, we added all the current X bank’s features and asked the participants to re-sort them out. Lastly, the participants were asked to fill in data for the compensation to participate in this research. They were also asked to fill in an informed consent before the interview.

Some of available features in X bank

Data Analysis

All the notes gathered during each sessions were compiled and we went through all the recordings. We wrote down all the important data for each participant on the post-it and categorized them based on certain topics. We re-arranged and discussed each topic and until we get certain patterns. 

Sinthesizing all the collected data


Some of the important insights from the user interview as follow:

  • All of the respondents are still heavily use cash for their daily transaction.
  • Some of respondents use mobile banking but only the basic features, such as to check their account balance, transfer money and top up (prepaid mobile credit, electricity and e-wallet). The transfer money feature is also used for online shopping payment. The rest is still using ATM as their go-to-bank-transaction.
  • Half of the respondents set aside their salaries for saving when they received their salaries, while the rest are saving only if they have a remaining amount each month.
  • Respondents are familiar with the importance of financial planning, although the way they prepare for the future are varied.
  • All respondents have a short-term and a long-term financial goals, but most of them do not have a clear plan to achieve them yet.

From the card-sorting, we found that the current banking services they used are money transfer, withdraw money, check balance, deposit the money and debit card. While in the future, they hope to use or still use services/features such as online loan, money transfer, online shopping, tap payments, reporting, and opening new account online.


Based on the patterns and insight during the user research, we came up with two variables, namely financial behavior in general and saving behavior. In basic financial behavior, for example, some participants use only basic banking features such as for checking their balance and withdraw money. Most of them also do not use e-wallet except one participant, although she use the e-wallet only for transportation and she top up the credit using cash via the driver.  Whilst in advanced behavior, all the respondents are already using e-wallet and use more advanced banking features such as to top up and pay bills.

User matrix based on their financial and savings behavior

Based on the patterns and insight during the user research, we generated a persona for each quadrant.

Persona 1

Persona 2

Persona 3

Persona 4


  1. Use influencers to recommend and to promote the new mobile banking application. Since we found that respondents relied on word-of-mouth of others, either from their direct environment or influencers they follow on their social media.
  2. Add onboarding to provide information about the bank and the new app. We found that some respondent will explore first and look for more information about the app they found before finally they decided to commit to it.
  3. Provide step-by-step tutorials to educate users about currently available and the new features. The purpose is to help the users who only use basic features to use more the advanced features.
  4. Add personal loan feature to help users to achieve their dreams easily by instalments. Since some respondents have difficulty in savings.
  5. Add auto debit feature to help users save money. Since this will allow users to make a habit of savings automatically each month.

The Takeaways

Although education and location did not have distinct difference in the participants financial and saving behavior, all the participants were recruited in the suburban nearby Jakarta. While the X bank market are all across Indonesia, thus, it would be interesting to research people from other provinces in Indonesia.