Capital One: Tether

Product, UI/UX, Research
10 months
Sai Perchard, Kelly Gagnon, Shannan Hsiao

I completed a 10 month contract on an innovation team at Capital One, building a digital application to help parents introduce their children to finance through a set of tailor-made tools, letting them have oversight and control without being intrusive. The early stages of the project focussed on research, and establishing a deep understanding of the problem. From here, we explored multiple directions, tested low fidelity versions with users, and concluded by building a prototype in React Native, which we used to run a live pilot. 

Included below is a sampling of ideas and work that I created throughout the duration of the project.



We conducted exploratory interviews with families in the Bay Area to understand their relationship to money and the role it played within the family unit. Next, we analyzed the existing product offering (Capital One's Kid Savings and Teen Checking accounts), and undertook a competitive audit, with a focus on education and behavior-change. This provided internal and external context for the landscape in which we were working.

We found that parents knew they needed to teach their kids about money and help them develop good financial habits, but didn't know how, or even where to start.

We also saw that kids were making mistakes with larger amounts of money later in life because they didn’t have a good financial education when they were younger.

The goal of the project was to create a digital product that would help solve these problems. First, by teaching kids good financial habits: making conscious trade-offs, delayed gratification, understanding where they were spending their money, and establishing savings habits; and second, by helping parents fulfill their role as financial educator.


Exploration #1

Grounded in our research and experiments, I worked on several directions through the project. Each direction was tested with users, and the feedback was used to inform the next iteration.

Early explorations, wireframes for which are set out above, were based on the Spend/Save/Give framework, sometimes referred to as the ‘3 Jars’ or ‘Envelope’ system. Children receive money from an allowance and the verified completion of chores. They must then engage in the decision making process as to how their funds are allocated between accounts for spending, saving, and giving.


Exploration #2

Marshmallow (after the Stanford study on delayed gratification by the same name) explored a simple app that could track progress toward a savings goal. Parents could set a percentage match to any savings contributions, thereby allowing them to incentivize saving towards particular items by setting a high match percentage. A simple concept, the tool would help instill saving as a habit at an early age.


Exploration #3

The most feature-rich exploration, this direction included an attached debit card, transaction categorization,  analytics, money transfer, goals, and savings. Each area provided different educational opportunities, helping teach kids to spend and save wisely.



The project culminated in a pilot, in which 10 families participated. We developed an iOS prototype using React Native, and integrated with prepaid debit cards to get as close to the production experience as possible.