Responsible consumers and behavior are only possible if the consumer is actually aware of their financial situation. But in a world where we tend to google our problems away and we are becoming more and more individualistic banking is in need of a new platform to develop customer trust. Therefore, we created TREEality – your banking forest.
Instead of telling consumers about their finance we show them. The genuine, simple purpose is to allow consumers to both see their money trail and feel confident about their budgets, savings, and overall finance.
Through an Augmented Reality (AR) forest, we make banking a part of the consumers’ everyday and physical world. In this hybrid reality, consumer engagement is liberated from the confines of a screen or going to a consultant and instead, banking becomes a first-person experience.
What is the challenge that you are addressing?
The separation of environment, society, and economy often leads to narrow techno‐scientific solutions, while we need to look at the socio‐economic solutions to create sustainable communities that benefit from its human potential. We found the following two problems regarding sustainability:
- Irresponsible money use: Money is no longer physical. It has become abstract transactions and cards – this has led to people no longer being aware of their resource consumption. We are thinking less about where they spend their money and how much .
- Lack of trust and personal consulting: Insecurities related to managing money and making decisions about budgeting is something we all can relate to. Overviewing your financial position takes time and to be fair, banking is not considered fun by most, yet.
Target user / Customer
The main target audience (TA) is people who use apps as an integrated part in their daily life. We have a special focus for customers who usually show little interest in banking or have trouble understanding their financial position using conventional apps. The idea is to use technological savvy with a level of playfulness to engage with twenty-first-century customers.
Your solution and how the concept is feasible
The app is the combination of two already known AR paradigms: the geo-layer and the Magic Mirror . The Magic mirror transforms the floor or table in front of you to your personal banking forest. Each tree species symbolizes a bank account, a savings account, a loan or a mortgage. When you zoom in on a group of trees, details about the account appear. The result is a unique economic overview of customers individual finances that everyone can understand.
The other part of the app is a real-time map where, if you make a transaction, a tree will sprout at the geographical location on the map and also in the geo-layer. That means if you are standing in front of a shop you will with your camera be able to see the amount (as a tree) that you have used at the location.
On the other hand, if you are standing in front of a shop, or with the map, you can take the tree that you see there and plant it in your forest. This will make it possible to see and control important consumption trees as they will appear in your personal forest. It is your place for altering and making an overview and the map is the reality of your consumption.
The app gives to the user the choice of choosing the tree species, downloading themes, planting and moving trees around in their forest. Affording consumers with the opportunity to choose and manipulate their forest will ensure user-bank engagement. Letting customers discover information on their own is also a way of increasing trust. AR is a unique virtual channel to win customers’ trust. The only thing in the forest that you cannot move is the overall balance tree this tree will show the user at the end of the chosen period what the overall balance of his/her forest is.
The technology and data collection already exist (PSD2 ensures that we can get similar looking data across the EU) , but the combination and the way of visualizing are new.
Playfulness – is a part of the app right now necessary to draw our TA in, but a future development could be to make a spin-off where all the trees are blocks, in that way widening the TA. But giving people a forest will create a higher level of emotional connection and ownership .
Four unique value propositions
- Visualization of personal finances using augmented reality, as we create an easily relatable physical imagery.
- Create security about your financial situation and the likelihood of meeting your financial goals.
- Creates the platform for a sustainable individual by creating conscious consumption and commuting.
- Gives budgeting a hint of playfulness creating a space for an untargeted TA.
Through the business model canvas, we analysed our concept and formed our business plan describing how it should affect the user and how the company will produce and pay for it.
- The target users are people who already have apps integrated into their lives and want to get an easy way to overview their financial situation.
- The most impactful users are the people who would use this app, but has not before used banking apps because of the complexity or lack of fun.
- The users should feel more secure and in control of their finances after using our app.
- The app should be free for the users. Making the app free makes it more likely that a person who doesn’t normally use budget apps would at least try it.
- The app should be available in both Apple App store and Google Play store.
- The biggest expenses will be at the beginning with the development and getting the app out into the market. After that, it will mostly be keeping it up to date and paying the small fee’s (highest is 99$/year) to keep it in the app stores.
- It is our wish to have the expenses covered by the bank. By putting the brand name on this app, it would make more users aware of the bank and by this create trust and attract new customers, also with the motivation to save up money, the clients would have even more money in the bank as well.
With our solution, we are trying to make banking and financial services in general, more accessible to everyone. We believe that If you are in control of your spending, then you are more confident in your financial situation and that gives you the “mental space” to pursue other things like living sustainably and increase sharing of energy, means, and resources. We are confident that by giving the community financial security, we help it grow and develop.
Knowledge of where you live and where you shop would also, over time, have a positive impact on when you commute, where you go shopping and what you buy among others.
Hereby, we are directly targeting goal 8 decent work and economic growth and goal 11 sustainable cities and communities. We think that it could also have a positive impact on goal 1 poverty and 12 responsible consumption and production as it would help people with low incomes budget their money and control spending. Moreover, it would help with goal 3 good health and well being as it would make banking more understandable what would reduce stress about financial matters.
In conclusion, we would impact the the following Sustainable development goals from the UN:
Goal #1: Poverty
- Help people with low incomes budget their money and at the same time giving them a powerful political tool to argue their socio-economic situation.
Goal #3: Good health and well being
- Raise awareness about personal financial situation what would lead to better management of personal finances and better quality of lives.
- Banking would be more understandable what would reduce stress about financial matters.
Goal #8: Decent work and economic growth
- Strengthen the capacity of domestic financial institutions to encourage and expand access to banking, insurance, and financial services for all.
Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
- By giving the community financial security we help it to grow and develop.
- Giving back the overview and control of peoples micromovements will give people a bigger place in their heart for investing in the growth and development of the community.
- By giving people a trustable budgeting management tool, they can show to their consulter they can get better help when for example buying real-estate. The tool can then afterward be used for making sure people are (an environment for human interaction, communication and cultural development with improvements in the quality of life, creates a condition for social sustainability.
Goal #12: Responsible consumption and production
- Ensure responsible consumption through the budgeting part of the application.
Information and comparison to buy or rent a house: If you were thinking about buying or renting a house, you would be able to know all the detail information (price, surface) of nearby available houses in the real 3D map and you would be able to compare between the details of different houses.
Shared trees: The possibility to have a shared account in your forest, like the app “WeShare” applied to “TREEality”. For example, a family account with your couple or with your children.
How would a purchase affect your forest: You would be able to know how a purchase can affect your forest without the need of buying it.
Link for more information
- Why visualization: Do Consumers Pay More Using Debit Cards than Cash, Copenhagen Business School https://research-api.cbs.dk/ws/portalfiles/portal/45532821/jonas_hedman_do_consumers_pay_more_using_debit_cards_than_cash_postprint.pdf?fbclid=IwAR2mainlqmFTrEo_R37CSyJxz7X1ZwzKZ9-Zlg1d2EvxyndznP7kZTSG80g
- Why AR: Designing Immersive Experiences That Maximize Consumer Engagementhttps://andrewnsmith.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/augmented-reality-designing-immersive-experiences-that-maximize-consumer-engagement.pdf
- How data: Payment services (PSD 2) – Directive (EU) https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/payment-services-psd-2-directive-eu-2015-2366_en
- Why trees: Landscapes of the lifespan: Exploring accounts of own gardens and gardening https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0272494407000369
We are a diverse and young team consisting of three guys from Spain and two girls from Denmark. With our educations ranging from chemical-, industrial- and design-engineering we are able to see solutions from different angles. We are motivated about this project partly due to the new experience that it creates and partly because we want to be a part of helping the world and our futures.
- Helene Marker: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ristil Skovgaard: email@example.com
- Albert Prous: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Joan Maeztu: email@example.com
- Albert Pérez: firstname.lastname@example.org
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