Purkki, a virtual account for communities

Context: Service Design Methods course, Spring 2013
Team: Naveena Dhougoda, Otso Hannula, Marianne Myrberg, Riina Oikari & Eevert Saukkokoski
Case: Map digital service opportunities for large Finnish company looking to enter banking by providing virtual accounts
Role: Team member, narratives, business logic


Purkki (literally "jar") was a service design project made on commission for a large public company looking for new ways of providing virtual accounts - where a sum of money technically remains on a single bank account but can be allocated to any number of sub-accounts - as one or more services. Our key challenge was how to turn virtual accounts into a competitive service, not just trust that we would create a more appealing user experience than other payment services.

Over the course of a semester, our team applied a number of service design methods, including:

  • service design canvas for overall project management and tracking development
  • customer journey mapping for fitting the service with customer needs over lifetime 
  • persona building to focus on a relevant and desirable target audience
  • scenarios for constructing use cases
  • theme interviews to gain insight into user needs and verify assumptions
  • Google AdWords to estimate relative market sizes and identify niches

Customer journey, including customer pain in each step

We considered a number of different service concepts from increasing the security and access of online shopping (teenagers and infrequent internet users) to helping people give money and track its use (parents). Eventually we focused on shared expense accounts especially for communal housing but also for group traveling, movie clubs and others where money needs to be pooled and spent across the group, and most of transactions are moving money into and within the group.

We received good feedback from the case company representative and the course staff, and I learned a lot about designing digital services. Most important, the project taught me the importance of making hypotheses explicit as design decisions are made so that they can be verified in a systematic manner. It was also important that we were able to feed insight from one service design method to another and not design different aspects of the service in parallel.

Below you can find the core storyline we wrote together and I made into a cartoon to illustrate service discovery, setting up, key use cases and value proposition.