Unsecured Lending - From Day Zero to Pilot

There are two functions that make up a bank. Hold/spend money and Lend money.

This was all about building out a friendly, innovative, competitive and non-shark lending product at Tyro. I worked closely with the lead PM for a few months before a team was formed. And after that I was part of a dedicated Lending tribe/squad consisting of 2 PMs, 2 UX, 2 credit risk and about 20 engineers.

Please treat the below as talking points instead of a full account of the product process.

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Documenting early assumptions...

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...and hypotheses from stakeholders


Customer interviews

Moderated interviews at the user's place of business targeting specific questions we had. The interviews consisted of questions around their previous behaviour, motivations and goals, as well as testing some very rough lending concepts with them.

After about seven, some patterns started to emerge. It definitely wasn't scientific but useful enough to steer the product in the right direction. 

This wasn't the only time we talked to customers. They would be interviewed at different stages including usability testing and pilot follow ups.


Co-facilitated with the PM, Delivery Lead and Engineering Lead to get the rest of the engineering team and wider bits of the company up to speed with the discovery efforts. Mostly this was an exercise in agreeing on why we were building it, what were we building, and what weren't we building.

Multiple cross-functional "Design Studios" for different tasks

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Validating early assumptions

Mostly testing early copy, comprehension and loan structure with the knowledge that the UI would change a lot later on. However the usability of this quick prototype proved quite high, so this eventually evolved into the final design.

Time jump...


The launched product

Tracking the pilot

I like to make elements of product development quite public so that the extended team can track what's happening as well as inform people in other product teams. 

During the pilot we found two further needs that would improve the experience by a mixture of analysing the quant data, working closely with customer support and sales, and further customer interviews.

1. Show live ETA of when loan will get repaid. Not because they want to know when they've free of the debt but so that they know when they'll have a new offer. 

2. Let them top-up the loan on their own