SeamPay: Fintech With Color
How we built identity and website for London-based fintech product aimed at the Nigerian market incorporating Digital African Patterns into design
SeamPay is a digital bank for Nigeria. To make their website suit the product, we decided to focus on the market. A Nigerian website for a Nigerian bank. We had to thoughtfully dive into Nigerian culture and create something that acknowledges it, rather than a bland fintech website.
The Product: Digital Banking
SeamPay is one of many digital banks in Nigeria. They stand out by providing transfers without fees or any hidden charges, plenty of cashback offers, and personalized discounts. To make their website stand out as well, we focused on the place. We wanted to make a website grounded to a place, grounded in something real.
Concepts: Augmented Reality, Way of Money, Digital African Patterns
Augmented Reality. Our pet idea that we never get to use. Taking the places that are held dear by the audience, the places where people spend their lives, the places full of personal memories. And then adding our spin, making people look at familiar spots at a new angle.
Way of money. Concept based on the logo, showing the way people are connected to each other, bringing a sense of community.
Digital African Patterns. Inspired in-particular by akwete cloth: unique handwoven textile named after the town it's from, Akwete, in southeastern Nigeria. The patterns are beautiful and would make the bank stand out among the cookie-cutter designs.
But with this idea we had to make sure that this isn't a party foul: that we're not on the level of making a website for American high fashion couture and filling it with hamburgers and bald eagles, that we're not making a website for a Russian data algorithm with the design based off bears drinking vodka.
What we ended up doing is taking the second and the third concepts like strips of cloth and interweaving them.
Style: The Ties That Bind
We had several ideas for the style:
Black and white with colorful lines
Neon and collage
Bright illustrations behind the glass
And again we had decided to weave things together, mixing first and third styles.
Lines going around, lines adding motion, lines showing everyone connected. With motion kept on throughout with little flags like on a running track. From start to finish, everyone is connected.
And this is how we got akwete cloth into the mix. It’s there, but it’s not calling attention to itself. It’s a great detail that isn’t bothersome. It places the digital bank, adds a connection to a real place. By not putting a focus on it, we manage to keep it stylish and avoid turning it into kitsch.
In every detail we’re separating ourselves from any old bank: no stock photos, no illustration taking up the entire screen, not even white background, but a warmer and inviting offwhite. The masterstroke was scaling the illustrations of people down. Keeping everyone small for that sense of scale, a sense of community. Not just one character for everyone to try to relate, but a group of people to be a part of, welcoming, inviting.
The whole project took us two sprints: one for identity and one for the website. It’s no mean feat to approach matters of national pride with class: if you jump in with preconceived notions what you’ll do would be tacky at best and offensive at worst. By approaching a foreign culture with respect it deserves, we have managed to make a website that is stylish and might just make someone from Nigeria a little homesick.
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