Bank within a Messenger

Bank within a Messenger

📄 Context

Alfa Bank is the largest private bank in Russia, with 6.3 million active digital clients. VK is the most popular social network in Russia, with 100 million monthly active users. VK has announced the possibility of creating web apps within its social network. As of now, there are no similar collaborations available in the Russian market.

☑️ Task

The challenge for me and my design team was to create a new experience of using banking features within Messenger.

Business goals

  1. Acquire 1 million new active bank clients from VK users by 2026.
  2. Motivate current bank users to turn on notifications within VK Messenger instead of SMS, as it’s a cheaper option.
Sending money via VK Messenger

⭐️ Key activities and my role

— Stakeholders management

I interacted extensively with key top managers and stakeholders to discuss the task and its success criteria. Additionally, I regularly showcased work-in-progress designs to ensure transparency throughout the process.

— Kickoff meeting

We coordinated our cross-functional collaboration with the project team to ensure that everyone involved understood the task equally, agreed on the next steps, and set deadlines. I believe that regular communication is crucial for such important projects.

— Collaboration with UX research team

I assisted UX researchers in generating hypotheses for user research interviews. During these interviews, we gained some interesting insights:

  1. Users don’t trust messengers for financial purposes.
  2. VK audience use the social network mainly for entertainment.

— Design Team Leadership

I tried collaborating a more creative designer (to create a lot of different concepts) with a systematic one (to analyse and make detailed prototypes) and briefed them. The main goal for me was to onboard designers to this project and make the task for them less abstract.

— Design process

I organized a creative workshop for designers to brainstorm ideas and generate features. And as always, I used the Double Diamond model for the design thinking process. Also, we held regular meetings to synchronize, provide feedback, and test prototypes.


— Collaboration with Software Engineering team

The most important part of every project is to collaborate closely with software engineers. In that case, it was more challenging than ever because we had two different teams: VK platform software engineers and Alfa Bank software engineers. Because each of them had different technologies and constraints, we had to cut some features in the MVP. However, we planned to include those features at a later time. In the picture below, you can see the first technical prototype:


— Collaboration with UX writers and Graphic design team

My vision was to create an emotionally super-friendly interface, so I closely collaborated with the graphic design team to create a lovely mascot and icons, and with UX writers to craft great interface text. Also, graphic designers created nice stickers that all messengers should have.


— Design Quality

As a design leader, my goal is to maintain a high standard of design quality across all projects. This involves ensuring that the design meets the defined bank's standards, aligns with our product vision, and follows user-centered design principles.

And of course, it’s always challenging to balance design quality, technical constraints, and deadlines 🙂

✅ Results

  1. +275,000 new active users per month.
  2. In 2023, ****** customers used VK notifications, resulting in a savings of €******.
  3. Development took 3 months.

🙏 Special thanks

UI/UX designers: Anna Yuzvik, Ekaterina Gomarova Graphic designers: Elizaveta Efimova, Artem Saveliev UX researcher: Alena Svergunenko UX writers: Ekaterina Khoshabova, Valeria Zhidkih Managers: Yaroslav Shimanov, Peter Katsur, Vladimir Yastrebkov