Design thinking is such an important methodology when creating new products or services. A great design satisfies both our needs and desires and has products or services appeal to us both emotionally and functionally. Bank of America was able to use design thinking to look the problem that customers were having with saving their money.
Bank of America assembled a team with experts in finance, engineering, operations, and project managers. In 2004 Bank of America started engaging with customers and realized that people enjoyed the act of saving more so than the actual amount they save. For example the customer felt just as good as saving $50 dollars a month or $500. From this insight the team held 20 sessions and 80 product concepts to try to find a solution. The team created a prototype of a rounding up service and tested it online with 1600 people. With extremely positive reviews, Keep the Change was approved.
Keep the Change is a product that would allow customers to round-up with every purchase/transaction that they would make. People were used to purchasing with their debit cards and Keep the Change gave an invisible way for customers to increase their savings. As an added bonus, Bank of America matched the saving at 100% for the first three months up to a certain amount that also helped promote the product.
In less than a year the program attracted 2.5 million customers. Keep the Change helped open 700,000 new checking accounts. A million new savings accounts and enrolment totaled to more than 5 million people who together have saved more than $500 million.
Why was this service so successful? The BOA team used Design Thinking methodology and was successful in creating a product that appealed to the customer both emotionally and functionally. Since then, more than 12 million customers have signed up for the program and saved more than 2 billion dollars in total. 60% of all new customers enroll for “Keep the Change”. 99% of customers who signed up for the program stayed with it.
Hub, Abu Dhabi SME. “Leverage Design Thinking to Resonate with Customers – Bank of America’s ‘Keep the Change’ Experiment.” Leverage Design Thinking to Resonate with Customers – Bank of America’s “Keep the Change” Experiment, Abu Dhabi SME Hub, https://www.adsmehub.ae/en/learn/post-details/leverage-design-thinking-to-resonate-with-customers–bank-of-americas-keep-the-change-experiment.
Joni, Dr. Saj-nicole. “Why We All Need More Design Thinking.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 11 July 2012, https://www.forbes.com/2010/01/14/tim-brown-ideo-leadership-managing-design.html?sh=3bf321b1f8f3.
Namdarian, Shay. “6 Companies That Have Successfully Applied Design Thinking.” Medium, Medium, 16 Sept. 2019, https://shaynam85.medium.com/6-companies-that-have-successfully-applied-design-thinking-2d8bddf4e9e2.
Schmieden, Karen. “Bank of America Helps Customers Keep the Change: The Design Thinking Association.” Bank of America Helps Customers Keep the Change | The Design Thinking Association, https://www.design-thinking-association.org/explore-design-thinking-topics/external-links/bank-america-helps-customers-keep-change.