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Web3 Powered Remittances

Mobile App (Oportun Hack-A-Thon) - 2021

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Oportun is a fin-tech company that offers accessible and inclusive financial solutions through the power of AI, primarily focusing on underserved and low-income communities. Their design philosophy aims to reduce barriers to financial inclusion by creating aesthetically pleasing, user-centric experiences that empower individuals to access affordable loans, build credit, and improve their financial well-being.

My Role

I played a pivotal role in the design process. Collaborating closely with cross-functional teams, my responsibilities included envisioning and crafting user-centric solutions, developing wireframes, and creating compelling visual designs. I used my design expertise to solve real-world challenges, transforming innovative ideas into tangible, user-friendly solutions. By actively contributing to the hack-a-thon, I helped drive our mission to provide inclusive financial services and make a positive impact on underserved communities. This entry won 2nd place.

What were we trying to solve?

A large portion of Oportun's user-base rely on remittance payments. This is a crucial financial lifeline for millions of individuals in the U.S. who send money to their loved ones abroad. With staggering statistics, such as $76 billion sent annually to friends and family in other countries by U.S. consumers, and $41 million sent in the last 12 months, it is evident that remittances are a fundamental part of many lives.

We planned to address the common challenges faced by users in this process. Most often, these payments are sent at regular intervals to cover essential, predictable expenses like rent and living costs.

Our goal was to create a seamless, user-friendly digital platform that simplifies the remittance process, reduces associated costs, and ensures that the money reaches its intended destination reliably and efficiently. We aimed to enhance the financial well-being of both senders and recipients by optimizing the remittance experience.

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Understanding our users

To gain deeper insights into the challenges associated with current remittance payment methods, I developed a rigorous screening process to identify research participants.


I specifically targeted individuals who had experience sending money abroad to their friends and family on a regular basis, mirroring the typical behavior of remittance payments. We included 30 participants in our study which I conducted using

This approach revealed two crucial insights that became the cornerstone of our solution.

"I always get a nervous when it takes longer and sometimes I don’t get a notification... The time it takes is most stressful."
Peer-to-Peer payments are slow and costly as well, for those consumers sending money in need.
"The most frustrating thing [with Western Union] is that I have to go to a store to do it and carry cash with me."
The greatest frustrations with traditional methods like Western Union and wire transfers is the time it takes and the overall inconvenience of the transaction.

Modern alternatives such as PayPal alleviate many of these pain points due to its speed and relative convenience, but these benefits come at the cost of fees between 5% and 11%, and recipients don’t always have PayPal accounts.  

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How will we solve for these pain-points?

In crafting our innovative remittance payment solution, we embarked on a user-centered product design journey that truly addressed the needs of our customers. Leveraging the power of The Stellar Network, an open-source platform for currencies and payments, we set out to create a seamless and cost-effective system for sending and receiving funds internationally.

Our design process revolved around simplicity and efficiency. Users initiate payments in US dollars, specifying the amount and recipient details, including their name and bank account information. Behind the scenes, the Stellar Network, with the help of anchors, bridges the gap between traditional and digital currencies, ensuring stability during the transfer.

At the heart of our design, Finclusive serves as our US anchor, and Biccos as our Mexican anchor. Funds move effortlessly between these anchors, facilitated by the virtual currency Lumens, generated by the Stellar Network. This intermediary step guarantees a smooth conversion from fiat to digital currency and, ultimately, to Mexican pesos, which recipients can seamlessly transfer to their bank accounts.

Our product design story revolves around enabling our users to effortlessly and affordably send remittances, bridging the gap between borders and currencies with a user-friendly, reliable, and secure experience.


What I learned

User-Centric Design Philosophy
The project reinforced the importance of a user-centric approach to product design. By conducting thorough research and identifying the pain points of the target users, we were able to create a solution that genuinely addressed their needs

Understanding User Pain Points
Recognizing and empathizing with the frustrations and challenges faced by users is essential. In this case, we learned that time delays and inconveniences were the primary pain points in the remittance process. Understanding these challenges allowed us to tailor our solution to directly mitigate these issues.

Collaboration with Cross-Functional Teams
Effective collaboration with cross-functional teams is essential in tackling complex problems. Working closely with individuals from different backgrounds and expertise areas allowed us to bring diverse perspectives to the table, resulting in a more comprehensive and well-rounded solution. This collaborative approach should be applied to future projects to harness collective creativity and expertise.

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