We are working with Zopa to help them transform from a peer-to-peer lending platform into a modern bank designed around customer needs.
Insight, strategy, branding, product innovation and capability building.
Zopa invented peer-to-peer lending in 2005. But as this innovation drew strong competitors into their market, they quickly realised they wouldn’t survive if they continued to be a niche product for early-adopters.
Whilst the Zopa business has a strong culture, they hadn’t yet translated this into a distinctive and clear positioning that would catapult them from the fringes of fintech into a mainstream, consumer-led financial services brand.
Their new CEO and changemaker Jaidev Janardana joined the business in 2014 and set about finding ways to unlock growth by understanding who Zopa really can serve and what they can be best in the world at.
We helped Jaidev and his senior team think through possible futures for their business by bringing to life three different scenarios, each with a different customer segment, draft proposition, visual identity, key product and service features and potential go-to-market approach.
We then used qualitative customer research, commercial modelling and stakeholder interviews to understand which of these possible futures was the most attractive for the business.
As a result of this process, the business decided to apply for a banking licence, as it would be necessary to deliver the kind of products and service that could meet their customer's needs and their business ambitions.
To move the business towards this new future we created the outline concept and core elements for a new brand identity. We then built out this identity ‘live’, testing it on the core product during a two-week design sprint with Zopa’s product and design team working alongside us in our office.
To validate the future suitability of the brand, and give Zopa a vision for the type of business they could be, we used existing customer insight work and competitor and comparator analysis to inspire several new product concepts. These concepts were developed into low fidelity prototypes which could be used as the basis for qualitative user testing. After further iteration one concept emerging strongly as the best way to bring to life their vision of ‘a world where money is simpler, fairer and more flexible’.
Zopa’s design team rolled out the collaboratively-designed branding system to all their key touchpoints in around 6 weeks, and have continued to evolve the system in response to customer feedback and performance data.
We switched focus to the core banking product, developing key features from the principles set out in our initial product work. However, building a bank is a necessarily lengthy process, and whilst a few features have already shipped within their current product, and key new products are already being tested in private beta, this latest work will be under wraps for some time.
Zopa’s revenues have increased 61% under Jaidev’s leadership, but it will be a while before all of our work is live and starts to drive results.
If you need to transform your business to unlock new growth or to navigate a rapidly changing regulatory and competitive context, then we can help. Get in touch