This weeks themes were to develop a project plan, and since we are a bit ahead of other groups regarding the product development, we also gathered information and insight regarding the concept and use of PSD2 to implement our ideas. In summary, we:
- Pitched our idea on Mondays session
- Contacted professionals regarding the use of PSD2
- Met on Friday to discuss about our concept in the light of the emails and develop a project plan
- Interviewed some potential target groups/users to gain insight about their knowledge and needs
- Created an opportunity tournament
Pitch, Monday 2.10
The week started with a short presentation, “pitch”, about our problems and concept to an audience consisting of other SCI project groups. For us this pitch was extremely relevant, since we are an open topic group and others had no information about our topic. Thus, this was our first opportunity to introduce to topic to others and gather feedback from an larger audience outside our group (excluding course personnel). In order to understand our chosen topic, a greater review of the current market state is relevant. Therefore we chose to focus on describing the market and it’s problems (and opportunities) rather than presenting all the ideas and options we had. Even though other one of our presenters changed at the last minute, the pitch was comprehensive and relaxed. In other terms, it went really well, and we got some great feedback and questions that will be considered in the future.
Getting insights on other projects was beneficial as well. Many of the other problems and especially the solutions the groups had came up with were interesting. It’s also good to know what the other groups are doing, since they are our reference group and will help us define where we should be with the project and what to do next.
Project Plan Workshop 1 & Human centered development – Friday 6.10
On Friday we focused on the Project Plan, since we had had some schedule issues and no other meetings during the previous week. We started by redefining our concept according to the emails from the professionals in this current field, which we had received during the week (more about the emails below). During the week we had worked on the Project Plan – structure so that it meets the course requirements and is most beneficial for us in the future. At the start, we went through the structure together, gathered ideas and finally specified certain areas for every group member to work on. We agreed to gather content during the weekend, and write the final plan on next Monday.
At the same time we had a group member listening to the lecture about human centered development, and wrap up the most important content and lessons. These included:
- Fail fast, fail a lot. Hitting a Hole-In-One with the product is really tough. But when you do fail – the retrospect is crucial. Gather data on what went wrong and what should be done differently in the future.
- Clearly identify the problem you wanna tackle and what is the underlying reason you want to work on this problem. Are you planning to help the customers, create a Startup that will be sold or form a deeper understanding on customer behavior.
- Connect with the audience, their needs are the thing that should define your product. The questions need to be carefully considered in order to gain the best insight on the reasons, desires and needs of the customer. The customer itself isn’t always aware of the reasons behind their actions (e.g. [Hiring a Milkshake]).
- WHAT customers do – WHY they do it
Gathering materials and information (Contacting Fiva, first customer interviews)
In addition to the meetings described above, we also started to gather more information to back up our concept and develop it further. These steps are more related to the next part of the course, iterative product development, but we found it relevant for us to address these issues already at this point of the course.
Since our idea evolves from the new PSD2 -directive it will be highly regulated. We wanted to contact the legal stakeholders and hear their feedback as early as possible so that we could ensure that we have understood the new possibilities that PSD2 enables and that our idea is also legally feasible. We contacted multiple experts from the Financial Supervisory Authority of Finland (Finanssivalvonta [Fiva]) and also the managing partner of Dottir, one Finnish law firm. As a result, we got a lot of valuable information and input that helped us to steer our concept. We got also good contacts that we can use in the future if we need professional input regarding to the legislation and regulation that will affect our project.
Meeting the customers
Inspired by the lecture given by Risto Sarvas, we decided to head over to the city and interview potential customers. We wanted to find out what drives the decisions to take a loan or invest, and what would it take for people to loan money to a stranger.
The responses were not quite what we were expecting – None of the interviewed persons had taken a small ( <2,000€ ) loan, only 28% of the interviewed people knew what P2P-loans are, and less than half of the people were investing their savings in any way.
The initial feeling of a set-back was quickly overthrown by the realization of the new opportunities that opened up. These we are planning to research on the coming week.
As presented in the Uncertainty Horizon Map, we had seven (7) options what we started concepting with. As a recall, we held a brainstorming session (during and) after the opening lecture with most of the group. In the tournament, first we eliminated the ones that has no market potential, and the potential users are mostly located in Otaniemi area. These would have been interesting projects, but we felt that none of those would have solved any bigger, easily scalable problem.
So in the step two, there was left the ones related to the PSD2 directive. The battle between service for receipts, the personal accounting and small loans services combined was rather even. Still we felt that there was the biggest potential in small loans services both for lenders and borrowers. After this step we realized that these (borrowing and lending) are actually the two sides of the same service. This is how the tournament went, and how we ended up with the one we are working on now.
The big plan with the small loan services is to provide easy-access service for borrowing money with no guarantees. The reason for this possibility while keeping the interest moderate is that we are able to get the information of the bank account of the customer. From that info we are capable of analyzing the risk factor, and decide automatically whether or not the user is potential customer, and which interest rate would be used for their loans. All of this is possible due to PSD2 directive.