Behind the Scenes: Revolut Junior

Sonja Polimac

 · 03/27/2020  · 03/27/2020

With great power comes great responsibility: never truer than with your finances. As kids, financial education wasn’t part of the school curriculum. Understanding what it meant to be responsible for your money was something most of us learned much later in life - perhaps with some very hard lessons. Last week, Revolut launched its ‘Junior’ product to contribute one possible solution. Building a product for kids is a completely different undertaking to anything we’ve done at Revolut before, so we sat down with Revolut Junior Product Owner, Aurelien Guichard, to find out exactly what went into the process.

Oh, to be a child again. The sense of curiosity, wonder, and discovery as we learn how to navigate the world around us. When building Junior, every part of the product had to be tailored to anticipate how children 7-17 and their parents would experience and understand it. From legal documents, to visual branding, to building a new app, everything had to be ready to grow with the kid using it. Aurelien pulled resources from teams across Revolut to build something unique, creating innovative solutions for business questions we hadn’t faced as a company before.

“Learning about money is complicated, so the earlier you start, the better”

Be honest: how many of us read the Ts&Cs of a product we’re using? And if you indignantly said yes: do you understand all of it? (We recently updated ours to make them more user friendly.) Aurelien was adamant that any child using the app must understand the privacy issues that accompany any foray into digital and financial services.  “Children using Junior are data subjects, and any child has the same rights to privacy as an adult. We spent a lot of time educating child users about their rights. We explained what data of theirs we have, what we do with it, and what their rights are.” That language was checked and double checked by a raft of people at Revolut, from copywriters, to lawyers, to children of Revoluters testing the product. The team was also proactive about keeping parents informed of the information going to kids.

Safeguarding children also involves staying in line with the most up-to-date guidance. At the beginning of the year, the Information Commissioner’s Office in the UK published an Age-Appropriate Design Code to protect childrens’ privacy online. Aurelien tells us how the Junior team reviewed the product against those principles before release, finding the product was already closely aligned to them. “Given how recent their release was, I’m proud to say that we’re ahead of the game and one of the first products to implement them.”

Design suggestions from our junior beta testers.

Some of the challenges they faced resulted in an “Oh, yeah…” moment - for example realising that children don’t always have photo IDfor user identity verification, or Know Your Customer (KYC). The Junior and FinCrime teams worked together to design controls ensuring the most adapted user experience while still meeting regulatory requirements.

“Visuals,” he tells us, “were a key part of the initial appeal to children.” With user ages from 7 to 17, the design had to cater to a broad range of tastes. Aurelien worked with the Brand team to create the visual language that would be engaging enough without deterring younger or older children from the product. They also went straight to the source, and asking children for feedback on design proved to be a great decision, “We had preconceptions about what kids might like. We were wrong,” he laughs.

Despite the challenges, the satisfaction from creating a product that will have a long-term, and potentially life-changing impact on a child is the greatest win for Aurelien and his team. Revolut Junior allows kids to learn little by little with their parents through experience, giving them the tools to have good financial literacy from a young age. Some of these features that traditional banks don’t offer in the same way - like analytics and savings - are particularly useful.

From his previous work at Canon, Aurelien picked up a passion for photography that he exercised in shooting the campaign, which featured his son. It’s not often that a child can get excited about his dad working in finance, but Aurelien’s son signed up to be one of our first users and is excited about exploring how to manage his money with the help of Revolut Junior.

If the idea of solving unique technical challenges and exploring how to deliver a groundbreaking product get you excited, then Revolut has opportunities for you. We’re hiring at the moment - and you could be leading our next big launch. Check out our careers site to find our latest job postings!