A banking experience for Citi Bank



Agency - Critical Mass

Client - Citi Bank

A Critical Mass Intern Project working directly with Citi Bank and Critical Mass global executive team. Our team was selected to pitch to the client in New York - We landed 1st place ;-D

Team Members:

Adeline HersAssociate Strategist Intern
Erica ChaoCreative Designer Intern
Ben ShelfordUX Intern

The Ask

The project brief was to create a mobile-only banking experience for millennials aged from 18-36.

Our Research

We have conducted desk research and our own research in the European market through face to face interviews with 12 Millennials to understand their journey and the problems they experience.

The Problem We Found

We have discovered that millennials are dissatisfied with their banks - they have new needs and frustrations with their traditional banks.

Service Mix and Match

They answer to these needs and frustrations by switching their banking functionality to new players. They use Revolut to travel, Monzo for their everyday life spending, Paypal to purchase on the internet, Splitwise to track spending.

They mix and match these services according to their needs but this system is not perfect: they still encounter some issues.

Issues Encountered 

1) They have security concerns, they don’t trust these challengers and disrupters with their money or data as much they’d do with traditional banks 

2) Juggling with all those accounts & apps is complicated - it's hard to keep track of where their money really is.

3) Transferring and exchanging money is still a hassle, especially for small sums.

4) Finally, they still sometimes experience bugs with some apps.

Four Mega Trends

We believe that there is an opportunity for Citi to innovate both font and back end. Citi can satisfy the needs of millennials in a unique way by creating a completely new product. To do that, we looked at four mega trends in millennials' lives to develop our new banking experience.

Introducing SEMBL

Introducing SEMBL - a new banking experience that will solves their problems and frustration when dealing with banks.

The Name

The name SEMBL comes from the word 'ASSEMBLE', it is about bring people, network and finances all together into one platform.

Brand Statement

Your money, your friends, your life. We'll help you keep it together.



And this is how we apply the branding into the app. SEMBL will be supported and powered by Citi. Through previous research, we believe that it is truly important to provide the trust that millennials are still searching for. We want this information to be provided once they open the app.


Here is a quick overview of the main screen, we corporated the colour palette into a strip of gradient locating on the top of the screen.


We built in a hierarchy to ensure that our audience will receive the information they were looking for in an instant.

Body Text

For the body text, we used lowercase to again, introduce a friendly atmosphere to stimulate communication between millennials.

Floating Action Button

At the bottom right corner is a set of icons created to work in conjunction with the rounded feel of the typeface.