Fintech is the segment undergoing massive transformation and digitization these days and we at Parallel Labs are passionate about contributing to making finance simpler. Citrus Payments is a leading payment gateway and consumer wallet in the country and has recently been acquired by Naspers group in a $130 million all cash deal.

Citrus wanted to lead the consumer payments space by creating a mobile app which becomes a one stop payments solution for the young india, primarily in the age group of 18-30. The vision of the product was to create an app which makes P2P payments, splitting bills and pooling money really simple. Along with these requirements, we also explored a concept of virtual gifting to add a wow factor to the application and help people express emotions through micro-gifts.

We worked with Citrus product and technology team to define the product, create wireframes and the interface designs for the application. Here is a narration of how we approached the project, what we created including interactions, rejected options etc.

When every team member is a persona

The app was meant for indian urban youth and unlike other projects, every member on our team was a user who reflected a different background, spending habits and lifestyle. There were some who were complete digital buffs, buy their coffees online and spend a lot on 4G data. Whereas, there were college interns who spend pocket money cautiously and keep track of every penny lent to their friends.

Simplified flow for a Complex Architecture

It was a challenge to simplify a complex architecture with four key modules into a simple flow. The app allows users to Send/Receive Money, Split Bills, Pool Money, Send Virtual Gifts and is still as simple as a chatting app.

Citrus screen

Making it as simple as Whatsapp

We wanted the app to become a part of daily lives of our users. From paying to the cab driver/grocer to splitting bills with friends or pooling money for a birthday party, we wanted the app to be their daily companion and be as simple and humane as possible.

After studying the trends in payments apps across the world like Venmo, Square, Snapcash etc and extensive brainstorming along with Citrus team, we came to the conclusion that the approach to the project should be with chat at the core of User Experience.

We started designing the workflow and wireframes keeping this in mind and are proud to have cracked a workflow which was very simple and n0-brainer in-spite of so many features.

One of the early explorations we really loved

Citrus didn’t had branding guidelines yet apart from the orange colour of the logo which allowed us full freedom to experiment and create a visual design which is really modern and resonates with the urban youth of the country.

These are some early mockups of the visual design approach that we really loved but which didn’t make it to the final app.

citrus screencitrus screencitrus screen

Animated Walkthroughs

There are many payment apps which do one job like splitting bills or instant money transfer but Citrus intended to be one app which solves most of the payment use cases of urban youth while being really simple and fun to use.

Hence, communicating what the app does in a fun approach was really important and we chose to do it via animated walkthroughs, explaining the concept.

Bill Splitting made really simple and no-brainer

Although apps like Splitwise are widely used, we never liked it from a User Experience perspective and felt bill splitting could be made even more simpler while covering all use cases like splitting equally or unequally and with strangers, friends or in groups. Here is how the splitting workflow works in our designs: Citrus screen

Pool Money with fixed and variable contributions

Pooling money is always a pain whether it’s for buying a gift for a friend’s birthday or collecting funds for a charity. When done offline, it is awkward to trace people who have not contributed yet, managing finances etc. Hence, we took it as one use case which not only solves a key problem for the audience but also has the potential to bring a lot of new users to the platform without any extra effort by the person creating a pool.

Pool workflow was also challenging as there were multiple scenarios like people wanting to collect money for a specific goal or open contribution, making contributions private or public etc. and we managed to cover all these scenarios in a very simple way as shown below.Citrus screen

Pay/Request in a chat

Paying or requesting money was the core of the app and can be done in two ways. It can be initiated via the floating action button or using the custom text panel which allows chat or pay/request/split options.Citrus screen

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