Co-Founders
Matthew Flannery
Daniel Jung
Random Bares

Website
https://branch.co

Year Founded
2011

Markets
Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda

 

ACQUISITION


Confidentiality

The app asks users for permission to access and analyze data stored in their phones, like how much money they spend each month on a mobile plan, or who they call most often. From this data, Branch.co learns and predicts who is likely to be a good borrower. But it also tells users it it will not sell such information to third parties or share it unless for certain purposes like reporting to banking authorities.

It’s clear to users where they can go to find out more information on how their data will be used.

 
 


Competence

Branch works simply. Customers download the Branch App., then provide their personal details to sign up. She then invites friends to join so they form a network of trusted friends within Branch. The network increases one’ ability to access quick, fast loans. Loans are send to the recipient's M-PESA within 24 hours after approval. Once a borrower pays back the principle plus the fees, they can start to borrow and repay becoming eligible for larger, cheaper loans into the future.

“ ‘When people in these countries hear about Branch, their first thought is, this has to be scam, it's too good to be true,’ says Rolandson. The chat interface allows Branch users, skeptical of a service the likes of which we take for granted, to talk to a human and assure themselves it is real. Flannery says that they often get incredulous new users asking them to ‘prove’ Branch is real. Chatting to a human helps them do that. ‘Chat's the real secret to our success,’ says Flannery.” (4 UI Design Lessons For Underserved Markets)

  1. Users can clearly tell that transaction has been completed successfully, along with third party confirmation numbers.

  2. Users have the ability to chat directly with real humans.

 
 


Appearance

"For our user base, Branch is probably the third app they've ever used, the first two being Whatsapp and Facebook, which usually come pre-installed on their phones," Flannery says. (FastCodeDesign.com)

That’s why Branch took a step-by-step, one-action-per-screen approach to the majority of the product’s UI.

  1. Simple design: straightforward shapes and colors, varying text size: appropriate for the likely target user
 
 

RETENTION


Control

Instead of having to call or email to receive transaction information, users have the control by being able to access their history themselves. What’s more, the transaction history is not hidden or hard to find – users can access it directly from the main menu.

  1. Customer can easily access past loan history from the main menu
  2. Most important details shown upfront, with the option to see details.


Transparency

The Branch App prioritizes referrals on the home page. Users know right away that if they tell their friends and family about the product, they will be rewarded

  1. Incentives for referrals are clear.
 
branch 2.png
 

REFERRAL


Transparency

The Branch App prioritizes referrals on the home page. Users know right away that if they tell their friends and family about the product, they will be rewarded

  1. Incentives for referrals are clear.
 

REVENUE


Transparency

Branch’s design seems to answer the fundamental questions a user would have about loan terms rights away. Instead of making the user go looking for information on interest, the product clearly displays the information in multiple forms. When users don’t have to work hard to find basic information, this generates trust.

  1. Interest payable clearly and prominently articulated in 3 different ways: interest rate, interest amount, total payment

  2. Transparent due dates with exact amount owed and when.