Public Good Award

Nicola Pfister Nest: A financial wellbeing app

Finalist
Student Public Good 2021 Credits
  • Student
    Nicola Pfister
  • Lecturers
    Tatiana Tavares, Marcos Mortensen Steagall
Description:

Personal finance has historically always between an area of difficulty for people with 35% of Kiwis feeling stressed about money. A person's financial well-being is influenced by their social and economic environment, their financial knowledge and experience, and their attitudes and behaviour.

According to the CFFC, the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown last year renewed interest in personal finance, mostly due to the change in many people’s economic environment. There was also the acknowledgment that people wanted to be more prepared financially for the next economic downturn.

At times of uncertainty, it can be challenging to navigate the complex financial systems when one is plagued with guilt for not having managed one's money in the past. As a consequence, some financial services benefit from people in invulnerable positions by monetising bad decisions or benefiting from a lack of transparency. There is a need for financial tools that put people at the center, that humanizes the world of money and finance.

The goal of Nest is to motivate and encourage people to improve their relationships with their money by creating good financial habits to achieve their financial goals and ultimately promote financial wellbeing. A challenge was understanding Kiwi’s attitudes towards money and distilling those insights into an application that meets user needs and adheres to beautiful design principles.

This project used a human-centred design approach to understand financial well-being. Experts and prominent voices in the personal finance industry were interviewed —Sarah Kelsey, Aaron Gilbert, Frances Cook, and Aimme Mai— to provide their perspectives on real-world constraints; while the target audience was surveyed to better understand their relationship with their money and build personas.

Financial wellbeing is defined by 4 main elements: having control over everyday finances, having the capacity to absorb a financial shock, being on track to meet one’s financial goals; and having the freedom to make choices that allow you to enjoy life. In other words, financial wellbeing focuses on the past, present, and future of a person's financial situation. These aspects were brought into the design of the application.

Nest app allows users to:
- View, track and provide insights on spending.
- Set up budgeting for different categories.
- Set up goals and collaborate with friends on the same goals for the future.
- Learn about personal finance in the knowledge hub.
The key aspects of the design were:
- Simplicity of design to counteract the complexity of managing money and using finance tools.
- Engaging a young target audience to instill positive financial habits earlier on in life.
- Introducing savings goals in the application to orientate users towards the future, to motivate and encourage them.

Nest provides a snapshot into the user’s financial journey as well as assisting them on the path to financial wellbeing.