Retail payment process in Argentina

Case Study 2020

Starting from a technical challenge exercise, I thought about writing a case study that talks about the situation of retail stores in Argentina during the beginning of the quarantine in 2020.

This context was very peculiar since it generated a series of changes in businesses, transactions, but above all in people’s lives. A grandiose question but one that in turn allows us to begin to frame the problem was “how to improve the customer payment experience?”.

Then the next question was how many payment methods should a retailer have? My starting point and hypothesis was those payment methods that are user-centric!

esign thinking process

I used design thinking as a framework to get started with this project and to kick off the research I decided to do a Discovery phase.

The Five Stages of Design Thinking: Empathize, define, devise, prototype and test.
The Five Stages of Design Thinking: Empathize, define, devise, prototype and test.

Currently, how is a payment process in a retail?

In-store payment experience. Context of use today:
- Located in Buenos Aires.
- 5–10 employees each branch.
- Methods of payment in cash, debit and credit card.

Retail in Buenos Aires
Retail in Buenos Aires
Retail in Buenos Aires

Competitor analysis

We investigate the current situation in the retail markets in Argentina during the quarantine context.


We discovered digital payment methods during Argentina’s quarantine through local media.

The main statistics are:


Wallmart achievements:
- Launched Walmart pay in 2015.
- This feature allowed customers to pay by scanning a QR Code.
- Customers could link their credit or debit cards to their Walmart app.

User Personas

After having made the problem statement and having investigated the characteristics of retail businesses, we created 2 User Personas who will be useful to us to empathize when thinking about their payment experience in the city of Buenos Aires, to know their frustrations and expectations for have an improvement in their quality of life.

Two User Personas: A regular customer and a retail owner
Two User Personas: A regular customer and a retail owner
Two User Personas: A regular customer and a retail owner

Interviews with regular customers

We determined the scope of the project and decided to focus on the client’s perspective. We had moderate interviews with 5 of them to know the current situation, know their pain points and thus have the opportunity to establish improvements with our solution proposals.

The most interesting insights are:

Metrics from the interviews
Metrics from the interviews
Metrics from the interviews

Empathy map

Through this tool, it will allow better communication in the Product design team about the attitudes and behaviors of the users. Besides, we will get to know them in greater depth and detect if something is missing.

4 quadrants to know: what the user says, does, thinks and feels
4 quadrants to know: what the user says, does, thinks and feels
4 quadrants to know: what the user says, does, thinks and feels.

Now, what does the user really want to achieve?

Journey mapping

We are getting to know the user with different methods but they only have one goal, to be able to do one this task in their daily life. To write down all the actions that Cristian performs on a timeline, we added their thoughts and emotions to see clearly what their story is.

Journey mapping taking into account: User Person, scenario and expectations

So, why is Cristian frustrated?

Some of the main reasons is that he feels:
- He doesn’t have many payment options.
- Cash payment process is not safe in the context of quarantine.
- The store is not digitized enough.

“Cristian is ayoung person who needs to pay for his products in a safe, simple and digital way because he wants to feel more secure,be part of the world of digital buyers and learn new ways to buy online.”

Ideate possible solutions

In order to make some progress in understanding of customers needs, it was necessary to start generating hypotheses.

Affinity Diagram

It was necessary to categorize the different perspectives of this story, the more we have, we could have a better understanding of the problem.

We determine as an MVP, 3 categories:
- Organizational culture.
- Customer habits.
- Situations in other markets.

Prioritization matrix

We know that it is not possible to carry out all the ideas, that is why it is necessary to prioritize them. We determine an axis from Principal to advanced and another from Analog to Digital. The possible proposals for solutions here, would have to be:

- Balanced with business needs point of view (that is, taking into account times, budgets, etc.).
- And technical feasibility (is it possible to do it? Is it possible now?)

Defining scope and deadlines

Our MVP will include:
- A mobile app for Android.
- A complete digital payment solution to pay with debit and credit cards.
- Possibility to pay with QR code.
- Functionality to accumulate points and exchange them as a payment method.

Mobile app for in-store payment

Possible near-term solution.

Some of the benefits are:
- Saves the extra cost of credit cards and becomes a more digital business.
- It’s faster and safer than paying in cash, keeping social distancing.
- Stimulates consumption due to its ease and versatility.
- Term: 6 months.

LoFi sketches


Look and feel proposal

Context of situation

Next steps

Continue with heuristic analysis and usability testing.

Web e-commerce to buy and pay from home

Possible long-term solution.

Some of the benefits are:
- Reduces costs, builds loyalty with customers and attracts a wider audience.
- Security for the employee and the customer.
- Fully digital purchase and payment.
- Term: 12 months.

  • Next steps: continue with researching business and technology, heuristic analysis and usability testing.

→ UX/UI designer — University professor. Design innovative and accessible solutions that help improve people’s lives is what I enjoy the most.