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Conor Mc Donald Heffernan, Giulio Ferrato, Haoming Chen, 

Jeeyoung Sim, Soo-Bin Song, Nattanun Sainont

A B2B2C that offers YBR marries EY’s financial expertise with Rainbird’s AI-driven platform to offer traditional banks a means of supporting their potentially vulnerable customers.


Yellow Brick Road is targeting young people aged 24-35 years old -Millennials- who have at least one traditional bank account as they are identified as the most potentially vulnerable people caused by the low level of financial literacy and poor financial decision making. There are some supporting facts show that these young people are technologically literate and use the least cash.


The research is carried out around potential vulnerability in our target group, based on interviews and qualitative research reports. Regarding four considerable insights, it suggests that millennials have a cloudy perception of the future. It’s difficult for millennials to paint a realistic picture of the future. The ability to plan often comes from experiencing events that are hard to imagine beforehand – such as a traumatic health decline or income shock. When it comes to unforeseen events, this could be even harder for young people that have never experienced it. In the worst-case scenario, the millennials in general seem to be financial optimists by having an innate sense that things will get better. Moreover, many think that financial responsibility and living fruitfully are incompatible. They view spending money as a necessity to participate in society. So, social opportunity (eg. events) has a really large influence on people’s financial planning.


In many ways even the ability to keep track of finances is emotionally rather than practically driven. The attitudes and motivations of people to engage with their finances on an emotional level are just as important as the skills and knowledge. Furthermore, we found out those struggling financially tend to have the least financial knowledge. So, there is a very strong link between financial confidence and levels of savings. Using almost any financial product (eg. banking apps, loans, money management tools) effectively requires a level of skill and applied knowledge as a prerequisite.


This brings us to our problem statement.


Data & privacy concerns are paramount where Ai is concerned. As it is obvious that data is a powerful factor that could drive business these days so business development might be highly dependent on it but the limitation on the utilization of user’s data constrains innovation in major banks. Traditional banks are under threat by challenger banks. The research suggests that only 28% of millennials trust their bank, they are never hesitant to move to the new bank when they find it dissatisfied. Though the recent implementation of Open banking could revolutionize how customers interact with their banking services in the UK, so far it has been under utilized.


Even though there are some limitations, the underlying opportunities still could be found. Challenger banks offer rigorous financial management capabilities, but this does not provide clear direction for those who are not well versed in finance. They require a base amount of financial knowledge as a prerequisite to use effectively. The opportunity here is to create a service that will allow traditional banks to compete with challenger banks more advanced tech capabilities by focussing on truly catering to the need of the many tech-enabled, financially illiterate potentially vulnerable millennials flocking to them. So our service is positioned where we see the opportunities.

Yellow Brick Road comes in.


Based on our understanding of our target group & their relationship with personal finance, we created our service which has the aim of building financial literacy around these following design principles. Integrated with people’s lives - not expecting them to pause and budget or download another app for instance. Tailored to individual behavior - based on the understanding that everyone’s relationship with finance is different. Teaches through experience - rather than pushing people who never have to learn financial literacy by reading about concepts. Provides tangible guidance - delivering concrete advice in layman’s term

 Focused on positive outcomes - not framing things in the past or emphasizing missteps.


A B2B2C that offers YBR marries EY’s financial expertise with Rainbird’s AI-driven platform to offer traditional banks a means of supporting their potentially vulnerable customers. It is designed to build financial literacy in 21-35 years old to establish sustainable financial resilience. Our service focuses on the ability to identify VC’s and PVC’s so the service can mobilize to support the bank’s existing activities. Establishes awareness in PVC’s of their financial behavior type and financial literacy and resilience levels. Provides PVC’s with financial direction based on expert advice and proved similar people’s real actions.


Yellow Brick Road service is offered to the existing bank’s customers within their banking app - the branding & messaging targets our core audience - 21-35-year-old PVC’s. However since it’s offered to everyone, this means it will not solely draw in the target audience. The funnel here displays service user acquisition management strategy, starting with the financial identity quiz is built to spark interest and giving users a sense of their attitude towards money and understanding of the value it brings. User then opt-in and agree to have their data analyzed in their interest and to receive regular contact from this service under terms & conditions agreement. At that point their vulnerability can be automatically analyzed through our AI-driven platform where we can classify the customers according to each personal circumstance. Finally vulnerable customers are directed out to frontline staff, and the majority of resilient customers will likely lose interest before they move on to where the core value of the service is - YBR Direct.


Here is the value our service brings. For the customers, they not only get the protection from the bank but also a chance to create greater buffers for themselves. This also benefits the bank as it gives them a competitive edge over the challenger banks that are famous for their ‘money management’ tools. Also, the bank would incrementally build the trust with the customers; and be better equipped and expertise’ sourced.

As mentioned from the service funnel, our services largely divides into two parts: YBR identify & YBR Direct. During YBR identify, it focuses on gathering data and allows customers to build awareness of their current situation. Then, YBR Direct will give tangible directions based on their personal circumstance. We will explain more details and features of each process.


Financial identity quiz is a way of attracting our target customers: financially struggling millennials. The visuals of this quiz are designed off-brand to increase trust and draw users. Its purpose is to give users a sense of their attitude towards money within their personalities. We tested this prototype by going to financial independence facebook groups: our feedback was generally that people did not see themselves in the personalities. However, they were interested enough in the concept to engage with it, with a surprising amount of people going through it.


Then once customers opt-in for more services, the bank data such as income, savings, spending and debts will be analyzed by our RainBird AI to measure their levels of financial resilience and financial literacy with the other quantitative information we gathered from the financial personality quiz. The users will be shown their resilience score - a combination of the two indexes - instead of directly showing their vulnerability or literacy score for ethical and motivational reasons. Based on their analyzed information, the guidance will be tailored for the users.


The first stage of financial literacy is going to be delivered by financial experts giving insights to young people. We know that young people who are getting into the financial management is often confused by all the tools on the market. We are not trying to give them another financial management tool. Instead, we are trying to provide them with a better picture of the environment so that they can get a better understanding of what they should get out of it. The hand-tailored EY straightforward suggestions are focused on plain language for young people to really understand where they are in the financial market which is conveyed in terms of comparison with general statistics. At this stage, the weekly report or weekly personal diary does not give that much insight but merely gives them an introduction to the world of managing finance.


The second stage of the service is going to be a highly personalized feeds based on the pattern of other real users in the same character group who have improved their financial literacy. In our research we found that users do not really like to be told what to do. That is why instead of constantly nudging their behavior like all the other financial apps on the market, we are more focusing on giving them the right context so that they can build their own judgment that is best suited for themselves. The context will be shown as the path went down by other people in similar situations as visualized tangible and proved suggestions. As a result of this, it stands as powerful evidence to convince users that the situation can be improved. At this point, we truly believe that this method will encourage them to start making their own right financial decisions.


The service will mainly be delivered by EY’s Engineering team and Financial specialists. The engineering team will have to build the service structure. The RB’s AI knowledge map will need constant maintenance too. Also, the Feeds delivered to customers will need EY’s professional analyse. In the future, Open banking will be able to help us get a better view of the user’s financial situation. The accuracy of the personalized reports will be improved by it significantly if the team can implement Open banking.

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