BillSplitting: The Latest Feature For Banking Apps

Suncorp’s Billsplitter has won a 2016 Canstar Innovation Award. Canstar caught up with Simon Clarke, Suncorp Manager, Digital Banking and Physical Interactions, to find out more about the development process and consumer application.

Whether it’s travelling, living together or having a meal, sharing experiences with our friends is fun. Making sure that everyone pays their fair share, though, is sometimes not so fun. Suncorp has endeavoured to overcome this financial angst with its BillSplitter app.

 

Whilst there are some bill sharing apps out there, they are standalone and don’t allow users to integrate account details in order to automate the bill sharing process. BillSplitter is unique in that it is the first fully integrated and automated bill sharing feature in a banking app. BillSplitter handles everything from share bill creation to sending IOUs to sending reminders to fully reconciling payments as they hit the user’s nominated account – an Australian first.
Canstar was impressed enough to award BillSplitter a 2016 Innovation Award. We caught up with Suncorp’s Manager, Digital Banking and Physical Interactions, Simon Clarke, to find out more about the development phase of the project – and how the app is being utilised.

Q: This is a terrific new app! What prompted you to develop BillSplitter?

A: BillSplitter first spawned out of a Suncorp IT innovation day whereby teams form to build prototypes within 24 hours. A business analyst in one of the teams currently lives in a share-house with mates and directly related to the challenge of getting room-mates and friends to pay back their share of common bills. He presented this idea to our app team who thought it was fantastic. We immediately took the idea on and threw it into ideation which is effectively where we brainstorm new experiences and explore how we can add more ideas onto the original concept.

Q: What type of input did you seek from customers in developing the app?

A: We follow a true lean UX product development model so we had multiple touch-points along the way where customer feedback was infused. We firstly took the idea and surveyed it internally and externally as well as ran a focus group validate the initial idea to understand if it solves a customer problem and serves a need in the market as well as providing some differentiation.Once the prototype was underway, it was grilled through extensive lab usability testing with six participants from the target millennial market. This allowed us to test all the interactions and flows of the prototype to ensure customers understand the concept and that our design is simple as well as intuitive.To obtain optimal customer feedback, the prototype was released as a public minimal viable product (MVP) to the entire Suncorp app base for 4 weeks. We had inbuilt feedback loops and via the 3000 odd customers who tried the feature, we received 250 pieces of feedback regarding what they thought, what we could improve and what other features they’d like to see. From there, we could refine the user experience, desired sub-features and ensure our product was delivered exactly the way customers were expecting it to be.

Q: A six week turnaround in development is impressive. What’s involved in achieving that so quickly?  

A: We’ve done a lot of work with our banking app to allow us to turnaround features very quickly whether everyday banking or from our innovation sessions. This is a combination of having an end to end, tight knit app team inclusive of a product owner who can make fast decisions and engage customers for feedback, dedicated UX designers and developers as well as some polished automation testing and security review processes to ensure what we built meets our stringent app security standards.

Q: From your customer base, what are some of the most common bills that the app is used for?

A: Food was certainly a common theme in what BillSplitter was used for as well as presents and travel related bills.The top five bills we saw shared were:

  • Breakfast
  • Rent
  • Car
  • Coffee
  • Electricity

We saw 5,295 bills generated in 2015 with a total value of $1.4 million which I certainly hope made it easier for our customers to manage their bills.Canstar congratulates Suncorp on its Innovation Award. You can read more about the Innovation Award win here and find out more about BillSplitter here.

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