RBC Amplify Internship

Designing to enrich the Wealth Transfer experience for clients and their heirs 

Roles    //    UX Designer/Researcher & Project Manager
Tools    //    Zoom, Keynote, Miro & Figma

Timeline: 12 Week Fin-Tech Case Competition
What is Amplify?

Amplify is not your typical summer internship. Over this past summer I was fortunate enough to be apart of this innovative program. The program consists of 18 teams of 4 interns across Royal Bank of Canada and City National Bank. Each Amplify team is given a bold business challenge, working throughout the summer to develop a solution for the enterprise and pitching it continuously. Teams are comprised of a Business Analyst, Developer, Data Scientist and UX/UI Designer (me), with each having project sponsors and stakeholders to help guide them to a successful pitch at Amp Expo. 
Wealth Transfer

Our remote team, based out of the City National Bank Los Angeles office spent our first week getting to know each other trough a week-long design thinking workshop hosted by RBC. The next week we were heads down in a space none of us had ever heard about, Wealth Transfer. In the next 25 years, an estimated $68 trillion dollars will be passed down to a millennial generation with an 11% financial literacy rate.
This project was commissioned to develop a digital experience that had the potential to enhance the wealth transfer process, while aiming to position City National Bank (CNB) as a valuable advisor for the next generation of wealth.

Original Problem Statement
"How can we position ourselves as advisors for the process of helping our clients prepare for and manage this wealth transfer?"

Ideation Process

Our teams process for ideation below started with exploring the current wealth transfer process at CNB and how to best frame the solution to align with current business needs and existing technologies.

Next was examining the space to identify possible internal and customer facing pain points and opportunities through user research methods.

Leveraging our research and data insights, we looked to execute on creating a prototype and developing a mid-fidelity solution in the final weeks for Amp Expo, and hand off to our stakeholders.

Throughout the summer, our team leads and project sponsors supported us through weekly meetings which included design critiques, and pitch reviews. They challenged and pushed us in the best way possible.
Research & Framing

User Insights

Our team conducted interviews with over 60+ internal stakeholders to help understand CNB's overall business priorities, Private Banking's value proposition, and the strategies used to attract, expand, and preserve client relationships. With these insights highlighted below and an empathetic mindset, we set off to build a client-centric product that is both validated and delightful.
"How do you teach millennials to be a good beneficiary for a small estate before they inherit a large estate?"

"Clients don’t know what services they want. Because they don’t know what they need and who they need to talk to."

"Wealth transfer is an act of stewardship and education, and our clients aren’t equipped to do that. They don’t have the skill set."

"Education to beneficiaries (is) given in one of two ways. Either educate beneficiaries in the beginning while establishing trust…or after the benefactors pass away. The first thing you do with new beneficiaries is educate. Also, on-going advice."

 "Money comes with a lot of emotions and that can’t be a straightforward digital interaction. There needs to be a human contact present at some point."

Competitor Analysis 

My goal for competitor research was to compare CNB's wealth transfer, and overall digital space against their direct banking competitors, as well as indirect competitors in the mobile finance and virtual appointment scheduling sector. I also wanted to consider best practices in personalized experiences, such as the dating app Hinge and WebMD.
direct competitor analysis

Direct Competitors 

Indirect competitor analysis

Indirect Competitors

Personalized Experiences

Industry Standard Personalized Experiences

Pyramid Process 

The visual on the right shows my process for thinking about what the hierarchy should be when designing for wealth transfer. At the base, it is critical to identify the parties involved and how they are planning for the future. While at the top is how to plan for extreme situations, such as a death in the family. 
Persona Development

The two main users of our solution are a transferee (recipient) and a transferor (donor). Using our insights gained from interviews I developed Jack, a millennial transferee looking to start his own business. He is worried about making poor financial choices with the large inheritance he is going to receive. He has a low financial literacy level and currently has no advisor. Jack wants a digital platform for all his banking and advising needs. An ideal advisor for Jack is always managing his wealth and help him minimize tax losses.
Christine, a 48 year old EVP looking to maintain her same standard of living in retirement. Christine closely manages her finances and keeps track of the current market status. She is digitally savvy and wants her products to be secure, integrated and easy to use. Her advisor needs to be proactive with her finances and get to know her on a personal level.
Problem Statement Journey

Our team made multiple revisions to our original problem statement given to us by CNB. We developed a final revision that emphasizes the importance of a strong client relationship with the bank, and providing a personalized aspect often missing in banking services. 
User Flows

Using both personas, I created user flow diagrams taking into consideration the user goal and separated actions and emotions by the high-level tasks at hand. A transferor at a high level wants to be able to discover recommended products and services with their financial goals in mind. All while having the ability to have a personalized guest account for their heirs to view financial education materials.
Transferees want to be involved in the process early on and overcome learning gaps in complex finance areas.
Product Roadmap

Next, I created a client and prospective client journey roadmap, which map out all interactions in the product. This included product screens, yes/no decision trees, and future state vs. MVP features.
Solution Overview 
Wealthree: Beyond Banking was derived from our solutions aim to humanize the wealth transfer process. Encompassing wealth, family and education our team believes this is the future of banking experiences.
Wealthree is a machine learning-powered desktop solution that is a content-based hybrid recommendation engine. Clients who use this tool will not only have personalized recommendations and feeds, but also be provided with support and guidance from CNB throughout the process. Additionally, it will supplement the personalized support and white-glove service already being provided by Private Bankers and Wealth Planners. The front-end and back-end will be deployed on a Windows server internally provisioned by CNB.
At its core, Wealthree is a family relationship builder. One of the biggest challenges CNB is facing is losing the transferee population. With Wealthree, the transferees will be involved in this important life event early on, in a non-invasive manner. The goal is to earn their trust in banking with CNB on regular basis.

Logo & Branding
Wealthree was designed in Figma. The key features included the final mid-fidelity prototype include:
Guest Account Creation - Current CNB clients and prospective clients are able to input information for a one-time guest account creation with single sign-on capabilities afterwards.
Product Recommendation Engine - Wealthree asks users a series of questions around financial history and future goals to recommend products and services  around wealth transfer and beyond. Our team worked with internal executive to develop a series of questions, answers, and resulting products for our demo prototype.
Customized Education Feed-  Allows the user to research and select financial category "tiles" based on user need.
Future Capabilities
Along with the current features, we have some really exciting ideas for the future. For instance, creating a portal to connect Relationship Managers with prospective clients, integrating client information with salesforce, providing a textual search option for educational material, and allowing users to share interesting content they come across on the app with other users.
Amplify Expo
The final week of the internship ended with a week-long virtual expo where our team had the opportunity to show off our product and see how it stacked up. We presented our 6 minute pitch deck linked here in front of a 200 person virtual audience and answered technical and data related questions in front of a panel of executives across CNB and RBC. Our product did not make the cut for the top 3 final round, but it was well-received for its emphasis on personalization and human elements in the finance space. Our team ended our last day by providing a handoff package to our internal CNB sponsor and stakeholder team for refinements and implementation across the bank. 
Key Takeaways

Wealth transfer is an emotional experience for clients and their heirs, be human and have empathy when problem solving.

Wealth transfer is an act of stewardship and education, and our clients aren’t equipped to do that.
Much of the process is in-person and that may never change, and that's okay! 
Don't always assume a digital product is the answer.
In Finance, security and data governance is critical, mistakes can't happen.
Designing in FinTech is challenging with many factors to think about beyond how it looks.

Overall, my Amplify experience was incredible and I was challenged more than I ever have in my design career. My team and I were given so much support and networking over the summer. Thanks for checking out my work and if you have any questions about Wealthree feel free to reach out. 

Thanks for checking out my work! Take a look at my other projects below. 👇
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