The evolution of money, from tangible forms like gold coins to digital currencies, has been significantly influenced by technological advancements. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital payments globally, resulting in a surge of new digital payment accounts and transactions. The project's focus, centered around "The Future of Payments," aims to envision and design a preferred future through scenarios and interactive artifacts for 2028. Rather than predicting the future, the project seeks to explore potential outcomes and shape a preferred reality.
Primary research, conducted through surveys, delved into people's financial behaviors, needs, and challenges. Secondary research analyzed existing products, industry trends, and data, which helped identify the problem area: addressing financial literacy and enabling informed financial decision-making.
Employing various methodologies from the futures thinking framework, the project used speculative design to craft narratives exploring diverse possibilities. World-building was used to provoke thought about the potential impact of designs on alternative worlds. The project adopted user-centered design principles, resulting in tangible artifacts like sketches, wireframes, and prototypes, translating ideas into future-oriented solutions. The AI-powered financial assistant emerged as a solution, using data analysis and machine learning to provide personalized guidance for financial management, empowering users to make informed decisions and achieve their goals.
Throughout the project, social, cultural, and ethical aspects were considered to ensure the solutions were inclusive and aligned with diverse values. This endeavor highlights the significance of addressing financial literacy, embracing design methodologies, integrating AI technology, and maintaining ethical considerations. It envisions a future where individuals are empowered in their financial well-being, contributing to a more inclusive society keeping in mind a preferred solution for the near future; 5 years down the line.