Every year, millions of Australians turn to short-term loans to help make ends meet. Unfortunately, when they most need a helping hand, they end up getting gouged with unreasonable interest rates and hidden fees. This leads to spiralling debt and financial instability, leaving people stuck in a cycle of worsening debt.
We spoke to a diverse range of people in their homes and workplaces as they experienced the daily circumstances that push them into short-term loans. We learned that people often didn’t self-identify as being “financially excluded”, and felt a real shame from using short-term loans. This stigma can push them to secretive behaviour that makes financial matters worse.
In the long term, success is providing a fair short-term loan, but also helping people become more financially secure so they can avoid these loans altogether.
Based on this insight, we worked with GSM and NAB to envision a new product that offered people a better way forward: Speckle, a small loan with nothing to hide. Speckle needed to be just as quick and easy as its competitors, but leave people feeling comfortable with the choice they’d made.
We led the design and front-end development of a digital brand experience that put human outcomes over loan conversion. In practice, this meant not only making the product transparent and accessible, but offering other support that may better suit their needs, and initiating a conversation about healthier financial behaviour.