Design Thinking for Banking Innovation | Antreem
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Design Thinking for Banking Innovation

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Valentina Belli

Innovating in the present to grow in the future

Nowadays, it is essential to know how to transform oneself so as not to remain anchored to solutions and models that can quickly become obsolete and outdated.
This applies to all sectors, but mostly to the banking sector, which is making significant changes to respond promptly to new customer needs.

An increasingly digital clientele that expects the bank to provide easy-to-use services with simple and intuitive designs that encourage greater operability and intensity.
In fact, the range of digital services offered by banks is very rich, from web portals to mobile applications.

ABI estimates that Italian banks offer, on average, 2.6 apps to their customers: some in response to basic banking functions, others to meet new, more specific and dedicated requests such as trading services, BFM (Business Financial Management), PFM (Personal Financial Management) and financial advice.

To cope with these new demands, it is important that banks choose competent partners who can accompany them in this digital landscape. Using Design Thinking can be strategic in capturing the potential of innovation and generating new business opportunities.

The Design Thinking Approach 

It is our mission to support banks in creating new digital services and revising them.
The aim is to make them more competitive on the market, but also to provide them with the right tools to successfully respond to the increasingly essential digital transformation.

The first step in doing this is to analyse the service as a whole. Using the principles of Design Thinking, we are able to reconstruct the user journey and identify the touchpoints that characterise the experience. By analysing this system of interactions, it is possible to achieve valuable results for both the bank and their customers.

It is from these principles that our Workflow: Discover was born. Design. Deliver.
It is a process that follows the customer from the definition of the service through to implementation and deliberately involves many people. We believe that in order to design an innovative digital service, it is always necessary to involve at least one figure of Service Designer and Software Architect from the beginning. This allows the technology stack to be mapped from the outset and a consistent design to be created, ensuring a 100% implementable solution.

“We must design for the way people behave, not for how we would wish them to behave”. ― Donald A. Norman, Living with Complexity

The workflow that supports banks

The transversal nature of our flow and our skills allows us to be involved in all sectors of the banking ecosystem: from IT to Business and consequently in all offices, from credit to finance, from HR to R&D. In the following we will tell you how, together with a large banking group, we applied our flow to create portals capable of enabling new products to people outside the bank.

Discover: as mentioned a few lines above, the first phase concerns the analysis of the service. All stakeholders are involved in the working tables to collect the objectives and needs of the project, from which the BR, or business requirements, are extrapolated. Immediately afterwards, our architects and designers draw up the technical and functional analysis of the front-end part, which is preparatory to the subsequent design and delivery phases.

Design: in this phase, designers develop the user experience and the application interfaces through the creation of wireframes, mockups and navigation maps. In the field of User Interface Design, we contributed to the review of the Design System and in particular to the creation of the UI KIT: a tool whose purpose is to standardise the graphic style and the use of the same components in different applications. Its adoption provides significant advantages: speeding up the creation of interfaces, while maintaining the high quality of the delivery products, and streamlining the UI/UX phase, not only for us but also for all the suppliers to whom it is made available.
Finally, the FDS (Functional Design Specification) is produced to support the technical analysis in the development phase. A document describing how the proposed system will work, how people will interact with it and what to expect when different operational scenarios occur.

Deliver: once the documents and screens have been created, implementation by the development team begins. The code is written and tested to ensure up to 95% coverage. This allows the initial requirements to be met in detail. In addition, our experience with Japanese banks has taught us to work with zero defects and thanks to our dedicated QA team, we ensure a high quality result.

Project Managers are always present on projects. They are not only responsible for managing the team and the schedule, but also for coordinating relations with other suppliers, which can be multiple and heterogeneous in such large projects.


As has been seen, there are many actors involved in the implementation of a digital business service. This shows us that today we can no longer speak of simple digital applications, but of real experiences. The user plays a crucial role and if listened to correctly can tell us a lot about our product: from critical issues to new opportunities. The individual and his or her needs thus become the vital element around which the design of the entire service is built.

Valentina Belli
Written by
Valentina Belli

Valentina is PM and Account, she manages banking projects and takes care of customer relations. She has a degree in architecture and a passion for interior design and construction.