The Power of Smartphone Interfaces for Mobile Money

CGAP holds that smartphones are likely to become the main interface for mobile money use. A well-designed interface will drive growth, profitability and a much improved user experience.

Unlike clunky and clumsy hierarchical menu-driven interfaces (e.g., SIM toolkit or USSD), smartphone interfaces open a whole range of creative options: touchscreens, graphics, real-time messaging, images, sound and animation. CGAP and its partners at Wave Money, Microsoft Research, GRID Impact, Karandaaz Pakistan, Small Surfaces, and others have been experimenting in low-income settings with smartphone interface designs.

This blog series shares learnings from several perspectives. CGAP and partners have also built an initial compilation of smartphone interface design principles. This set of principles begins to build a common repository of approaches that can make Smartphone interfaces useful, transparent and accessible to the poor.

Graphic: Smartphone user testing screen
17 January 2017
Smartphone use in Pakistan has grown steadily, but low-income, less educated, and female customers lag in smartphone adoption and ownership. GRID Impact's user research lends insights into how to better serve and design for these population segments.
Man demonstrates a mobile phone screen in a ministore
28 November 2016 believes new smartphone technology and human-centered interaction design of mobile-money apps can go a long way to solve problems and open up new doors, especially for low-income people. Here are key lessons from their recent financial health work in design-led prototyping.
Human-centered design meeting for Wave Money Myanmar
18 October 2016
Myanmar has experienced remarkable growth in smartphone penetration compared to other frontier markets. A partnership between Wave Money, CGAP and Small Surfaces is leveraging human-centered design to build a digital finance app, seeking to capitalize on this opportunity to reach the unbanked.
21 principles for smartphone mobile money UI/UX
06 October 2016
An initial set of 21 principles for the design of smartphone interfaces and mobile money has been released. This powerful new area of research can harness the power of smartphones to better serve the poor.