Bank and the Czech New Adults


ethnographic research

product service innovation                                                          







That banks are prone to disruption has been said many times already. As generations Y and Z of digital natives have come out of age, both legally and financially, they bring very different expectations and requirements than their parents. Banks are therefore facing a huge challenge of accommodating these new clients and adapting to their behaviour, values and lifestyles. Those slow to react may find a ride down the Niagara Falls an instructive experience.


ČSOB, a member of the KBC Group and one of the largest banks in the Czech Republic, has already embraced  transformation as a great opportunity. We were happy to cooperate with them on a research and development project with the aim to figure out how becoming adult affects young people’s affair with money and how banking fits in their lives when they start earning and living on their own.

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To understand the needs of the emerging generations, we devised a thorough, methodologically sound ethnographic research that gave us insights into the lives of young people of various backgrounds in multiple locations around the Czech Republic. 

Our choice of methodology was based on the necessity to go beyond the rationalised responses characteristic of surveys and understand the critical, but often hidden forces that motivate or inhibit a whole spectre of practices directly or indirectly related to money. 

We then used the findings to mark opportunity areas for refinement and development of products and services. Through a series of multi-disciplinary sessions with stakeholders and respondents, we gradually came up with concepts and features that fit the identified requirements. Finally, we applied the system design approach to envision the entire lifecycle of the products by stages and outline the service blueprint as the basis for integrated implementation that included all divisions, from design to valuations to IT to marketing communication. 




As a result, apart from numerous ideas for small but important improvements, we were able to present six concepts of entirely new products and services, one of which is already being implemented and will be launched in the near future. 

In the space of only two months, our cooperation with ČSOB yielded results that usually take much longer time. This was possible not only because we applied refined research and design technics, but also because we provided the bank with a development platform that enabled managers from different departments to step out of their silos and work together faster and more effectively.