UX Advantage 2015: Infusing MasterCard with UX

Karen Pascoe, SR VP Group Head User Experience, MasterCard

– hardest role ever; most support ever; lead UX on emerging payment products; MasterPass (secure commerce), outreach to startup developer community (APIs and SDKs), personal payments (mobile money; tied to identity)
– brought in by CEO who was sold on what she was going to do already; many people excited she came in; sponsorship is huge; first strategic UX hire; previously rarely thought about the end-user of the card as the customer
– driving change in a larger org requires a lot of skill; evangelical, domain expert, visionary leader, arm-twisting, butt-kicking; most important is to form partnerships with people
– executive sponsorship has made alignment incredibly easy in some cases; e.g. going agile in development; managers are used to waterfall delivery of elaborate feature sets; harder, longer term work to get customer-centric techniques into the management processes; need to build more technology understanding in execs
– 3 quarters into agile transition now; getting leadership comfortable with test and learn, experiment
– what’s different about mastercard: leadership and culture; really slow in digital; needed to move big; needed to be at NYC HQ; thoughtful decision making
– customer experience: need journey mapping, but teams don’t know how; need to measure, but don’t have the tools yet; investing in 2016
– difference between user experience and customer experience: traditionally, customer experience is placed in operations, reactive, optimize on unit cost; user experience is about a good experience end-to-end; these are coming together now
– hiring process changes: good thing she knows a lot of people; competing against the best agencies and the hottest startups; lots of speaking and outreach; like to hire experienced people out of an agency; excellent people skills, consultative skills; enterprise has better work-life balance; long term career development
– 12 people right now, growing to about 20; small and great is better than large mediocre team or mediocre processes; not a fan of chargeback; manage a budget, includes growth next year; align resources on most important, strategic priority; help find other resources for projects outside that core
– outside agencies: for first 6 months, she was only one, and needed to engage; used vendors for the work; shifting to more internal work now with capacity; going all lean UX and agile, not all vendors are comfortable with that; want to do co-creation at the studio; stay local; many vendors are still focused on deliverables; arrangement still evolving
– did design-centered agile transformation at JPMC, then PayPal, and now MasterCard; existing agile at MC are currently low maturity; key to teach the teams on the ground how to be good at it; cross-functional retrospective bi-weekly; working really well; collaboration is getting far better; developers way better at shifting around priorities
– what led the CEO to get so invested in UX; recognition that digital is critical to future
– design primarily for merchant, card providers, consumers, etc: need to design for the whole ecosystem; recognize that may be providing a service to provider, but the provider is creating the experience for the consumer
– how do you recruit to a financial services company: exciting futuristic stuff such as biometrics that they’re working on; ecommerce is more interesting than mobile banking
– moving toward “digital by default”; card is just your credentials; MC can understand how physical and digital world are coming together in this space; how can digital be a safe and seamless as physical
– doing both evaluative and generative research; balance right now is evaluative, but need to do more generative; using kan-ban for open-ended stories; no sprinting until it’s ready
– doing guerilla usability now; putting a usability lab on floor in Manhattan that customers are brought through; also get the execs through; developers will work right in the lab
– how to measure the success of this initiative: not really looked at as just user experience; customer-centricity, customer-responsive, user experience, digital used loosely and interchangeably; major investment in vertically integrated colocated teams

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