Experiments on the Future of Money

Money is pervasive and integral to so many of our experiences. Recent changes in the financial landscape – from mobile payments to peer-to-peer lending and the rise of local and crypto currencies – mean that now is the time to take a critical perspective on the future of money and the interactions that we will have with it.

Method ran an exploratory research project on the future of money using an insights-led approach to speculative design. The project used trend analysis and ethnographic research to inspire future scenarios. We sought to bring the future into the present and create social experiments in which possible futures could be lived and experienced to stimulate critical discussion.

We asked ourselves three primary questions:

Privacy: If finances were public, would you change?

Personality: If money were smart, would it have personality?

The Body: If behavior is hormonal, should financial services monitor the body?

2 Design Awards

FastCo Innovation by Design Awards

UX Awards

We wanted to take a step back from those everyday problems and really think about some of the major trends that we felt were going to affect these experiences in the future. Financial services are designed for entirely rational beings. It assumes that we always make the right, informed decisions.

Philip O'Dwyer, Executive Creative Director, Method

Insights

Privacy

Our experiments suggested that even our most mundane financial transactions can provide private information that we don’t realize is saying something about us.

Personality

We found that while mood and spending are closely related, care must be taken in the collection of this data as there are severe credibility issues in a bank overreaching.

The Body

Our findings indicated that there is much room to interact with our money in a more personal way, even going so far as giving our money AI to act and spend itself on our behalf.

This project gave us a far deeper appreciation of how our relationships with money are changing.

Designing speculatively like this has allowed us to learn more about where the financial industry is going than if we had just responded to a client’s brief directly.

Paul Cloutier, Principal, Method