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Lentra: Personal Loan Application
Lentra helps financial institutions catering to a wide spectrum of financial services within various loan products launch tech-enabled digital products and services.
Lentra partnered with YUJ to design a personal loan application that helps them provide quick small ticket personal loans. This app would then be deployed within the digital ecosystem of various NBFC's and banks.
Soumil Panwar (UX Designer, UX Researcher) and Aditya Lele (Product Manager)
We followed the double diamond model to propose a strategic recomendation to the client partner.
Dove into secondary research to build context around money lending and break down goals into actionable research strategy
Interviewed users to find insights, pain points and motivations of the users to formulate opportunity statements
Explored solutions to solve for key leverage points emerging within the user journey to develop a cohesive experience
Developed low to high fidility prototypes incorporating feasibility inputs from developers at Lentra
IMMERSION: ALIGNING BUSINESS GOALS AND SECONDARY RESEARCH
From Digitally Assisted to Self Serve Personal Loans
personal loan applications in various banking corporations involve heavy to and fro documentation with sales agents. These sales agents become the face of the corporation for the services offered and become a key to customer relations and trust building.
Banking services are built on trust and relationship-building between customers and sales agents directly. Market trends are promoting financial corporations to reduce their dependence on sales agents by developing end-to-end loan services using self-serve digital applications to be directly used by customers.
Types of Loan Applicants
Customers are categorized into three based on their history with the bank. These categories are critical for banks to provide faster loans by choose different paths for their verification and eligibility checks.
New To Credit (NTC)
New To Bank (NTB)
Existing To Bank (ETB)
First-time loan applicants with no existing credit history. These are customers who are often applying for their first loan.
Loan applicant with existing credit history but customers of some other banking corporation. These are the favorite customers of banks because they are highly eligible for loans.
Customers of the same bank with an active banking history. The banks have all the necessary information and these customers receive loans the fastest.
Competerors: Non-Banking Financial Corporations (NBFCs)
I looked at various personal loan providers to understand their value proposition and approaches to money lending.
Companies act as brokers to Non Banking Financial Corporations (NBFCs) through their own digital platforms
Over 60% of these companies have fully autonomous digital loan application to disbursement process
Personal loans are often renamed as a commodity loan or a credit of some sorts to reduce stigma towards a 'loan'
A customer has to go through the following steps before receiving money in their banks.
Offer + Negotiation
Documentation of KYC details, credit history, proof of income, income tax returns and bank details are required to put out a request for a personal loan
The documents go though various checks to calculate loan eligibility. Basis this eligibility, a customer is given a loan offer.
The terms of the loan are finalized, information is given to the customer about repayment and an agreement is signed.
Loan is then dispersed in the given bank account of the customer based on the agreement and repayment terms.
SYNTHESIS: TARGET USER AND DESIGN DIRECTION
Personas: Insights and Research Synthesis
We interviewed 12 personal loan customers of different kinds of loan providers to understand their experiences with the system. We filtered people using research screeners and took them through their individual loan journeys.
Rashmi Desai, 28 years
My loan application got rejected because my agent did not enter my income correctly. He forgot to ask for my salary slip and I had to redo the never-ending paperwork.
Ineffective data collection from customers leads to a lot of to and fro with sales agents and banks.
The same information is gathered using multiple documents
Human error in application leads to application rejections and loss of time for all stakeholders
The complexity of information overload leads to a lot of confusion for the loan applicant
Parth Gandhi, 33 years
1 year after taking a personal loan, I discovered that I have to pay a big fine as 'foreclosure charges' to close my own loan faster. I would read the terms and conditions well the next time
New users lack an effective discovery phase in their loan journey leading to conflicts in decision making.
Lack of transparency leaves grey areas that customers often ignore
Trauma from poor loan repayment experiences from the past make customers aware of the fine print within terms of their loan
Customers find hidden surprises in the form of fines and hidden costs during money disbursement and repayment
Sales agents are still preferred because of the possibility of negotiation and comparison
Research led me to develop these pillars as a USP for the overall product.
Loan and terms of payment comparison
Early closure charges, etc be represented clearly
Information capturing using the camera
Tooltips for error prevention
Building interest in users to explore fine print
Easy loan offers given to people who vandalize the app for brand building
Make information consumption simple
Simplify loan terms
I explored multiple ideas to break open the problem space and find solutions. These explorations were paper sketches of screens which were then discussed with my manager and condensed to actionable concepts. These concepts were then detailed into a lof fidelity wireframe to gather feedback about usability and feasibility with the client.
The user can start the application by filling their virtual loan card with their name number and email ID and uploading their PAN card. This information would skip a large number of steps when the user decides to finally apply for the loan.
Since trust is built with the presence of a sales agent, what if the loan application process is very similar to having to text a friend. Users could simply answer questions that 'Mr. Tiger' (A personified AI bot) asks them and simply have a conversation for the application.
Personal Loan Application
Incorporating client feedback for the concepts above, we chose a particular direction and proceeded forward.
This application was designed as a web app that can be accessed from various loan comparison platforms or parent websites/ mobile apps of banks for users to use without having to download a separate application.
Application Progress Indicator
Simple status representation of the 5 steps for the loan application.
Makes the information intuitive and easy to follow
Leads to chunking of data based on the location of its access
Represents a definitive end to the application process
Personal loans can be made more accessible by adding a
co-applicant to the application.
Improves overall creditworthiness
Additional documents need to be uploaded
Enabling the mobile cameras to capture essential ID cards. The user just needs to capture an image of certain documents.
Reduces human error in filling forms
Simplifies form filling for basic information
Loan Expectation Representor
Simply set loan expectation by choosing an amount out of an estimated pre-approved maxima and duration.
Based on credit score, a pre-approved maximum will be displayed to the user
Document Upload Across Devices
Certain documents such as bank statements are usually available in their computer. Users could simply send an upload link in the email or upload it from their phone.
Offer Comparison and Negotiation
Users could compare different loan offers and simply
re-negotiate the terms before accepting the offer
Securing a Loan with Insurance
Simple integration of an insurance provider can help apply for insurance in 1 step. The documents can be shared with the insurance company directly without any hassle
Users might not complete the application at once. This checklist will show the status of uploaded documents and request for a
re-upload if needed
A loan summary is given to the user to consume the final loan offer with ease and be aware of fine print terms
Please open the full-screen prototype and interact with the screens similar to Figma.
The wireframes received good feedback and were approved by the client. The designs were handed over to the development team at Lentra.
I immersed myself in the working of a fast-moving startup and learned about their culture
I discovered the potential for innovation in the finance industry as most of the systems are obsolete and not digitized
It is efficient to talk design to non-designer clients through the final solution, design sprints bring out solutions faster and are perfect for such projects. These sprints helped in refining design through faster feedback loops.
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