Delivering a vision of modern mobile banking design



$171m+ turnover

1,200+ employees






Senior UX/UI designers


Product strategist


Client manager

We kicked off our engagement with Bank of Kigali, Rwanda’s largest and longest established commercial bank, with a mobile banking product.

This stream of work centered on defining and assisting with the delivery of BK’s vision for a modern, digital first experience.

I want BK, this traditional bank in Rwanda, to have one of the best digital experiences in the world. We’re actually doing that, in large part because we chose to work with Lighthouse.

Obinna Ukwuani
CDO, Bank of Kigali

Mobile banking rapid discovery

First up, we needed to understand how the product would be used, since it goes without saying that people bank differently across different countries and cultures.

Understanding the complex context of banking in Africa, and Rwanda specifically, was a big but vital undertaking to make sure the right thing was designed.

Thankfully, the BK team were there on the ground to help us out.

We were able to harness the sector expertise of our collaborators at the Digital Factory – BK’s innovation department – to great effect.

We formed a cohesive team, working together on this project for the best possible outcome.

They got us up to speed on all we needed to know about Rwandan finance, and in order to move rapidly we analysed their existing research, before collaboratively pulling it together to form a workable plan for us all.

Blog post

Shaping the user experience of digital banking with local knowledge

We couldn’t make something meaningful without knowing plenty about how it’s going to be used.

Here's what we learned

Mobile banking

Rwandan mobile accounts vs desktop 📱


Mobile banking UX design

There are vastly more mobile banking users and transactions than desktop in Rwanda.

Over 2.2 million people have mobile banking accounts as opposed to just over 120 thousand desktop accounts.

For this reason, we focused our effects on an intensive UX design process based around a mobile journey.

The Digital Factory team needed some expert help to supercharge their progress and assist in bringing the bank’s vision for a modern mobile product to fruition.

It was time for a dedicated product design team to step in and amplify their efforts. 🦸

We needed to identify tasks which were currently undertaken physically as well as those which had poorly-realised digital solutions, in order to move towards an all-digital experience.

It was important to thoroughly document these flows, iterate and improve efficiencies before moving on to creating assets.

Allowing people to self-onboard is quite a revolution. It’s going to make banking something that is enjoyable and we’ll see a lot of growth in all segments.

Diane Karusisi
CEO, Bank of Kigali

Banking product strategy

There’s always a balance to be struck between the needs of a business and the needs of the user, and this was particularly true in the case of BK’s mobile product.

In creating end-to-end journeys our collaborative partnership was careful to strategically consider opportunities for the bank to introduce users to different financial products, and upsell where appropriate.

Great product design is a healthy mix of what the user needs and what the business needs to sell.

Financial product UI design

A mobile product with visual elements as polished and sleek as the top UK challenger banks was needed, positioning BK firmly alongside the most innovative big players.

To set the bank up for their entire digital transformation journey, we began by creating an extensible design system that could be applied across all of the bank’s digital touch points, then applying it to the mobile product.

Think of it as a turbo-charged brand kit, ensuring consistency for all BK’s external and internal facing applications. ⚡

The interfaces we’re creating are so beautiful and we can’t wait to get them into our customers’ hands.

Obinna Ukwani
CDO, Bank of Kigali

Mobile product vision

Moving quickly was the order of the day for BK.

In under three months, we produced a full prototype showing the most common flows in order to demonstrate the value the mobile product will bring.

Seeing the ambition of the bank realised in this way was a big moment for the BK board, who have driven BK’s digital transformation from the start.

C-Suite feedback was universally positive, with plenty of excitement generated by seeing the possibilities that lay ahead for real.

Similarly, internal teams across design, engineering and product were inspired by seeing the right path forward, with their workload to bring the product to life being planned with enthusiasm.

Having a partnership like this one where people understand how important design is in everything we do is really going to change our business.

Diane Karusisi
CEO, Bank of Kigali

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