How we designed a seamless Autopay experience for credit card holders.

Westpac and more specifically the Consumer Finance LOB was looking at revisiting and improving the service experience regarding the Autopay feature and Primary and Additional Card Holders. I was part of the team working on the Autopay feature.

This project came from the need to understand the current customer servicing needs and expectations, how long the process takes, the units and systems involved as well as identify potential gaps.


I was part of a team of 20 UX designers that were divided in 2. My team focused on the Autopay feature. My role included: UX research, UX design and UI design


3-week Sprint


Westpac customers who want to use the Autopay feature to conveniently pay off their credit card debts on time are frustrated and unable to do so; due to a range of functional errors, poor communication, and a lack of discoverable self-service options.


-Design enhanced service experiences for prioritized journeys to meet the customers’ objectives that meet their needs and exceed their expectations
-Detailed competitor analysis
-High-fidelity clickable prototype and concept boards for other features /experiences


The project was interesting, but who uses a credit card in Australia? Why do people use credit cards? What issues do they encounter? These were broad questions, and a week of research helped us uncover them.


From the desktop research  we found that there are 13.3m of Australian credit cards nationally, but that 64% people have incurred a late fee due to missing a credit card repayment and that 40% Number of Australians in credit card debt.

This was a good start but not enough. We published a survey that showed that only 36.6% used an automated payment for a credit card but that 15% have been overdue on a credit card, of which 57% saw the bill but forgot and 43% didn't see the bill.


The 1:1 interviews showed that there was confusion about the difference between Autopay, recurring payments and direct debit and more than half still prefer to do manual payments for greater control over their finances.

We accessed some chatbot and customer data from Westpac regarding the Autopay features. The main issues Autopay customers encountered were:

- Autopay not processing despite there being sufficient funds
- No information on the status of Autopay upon setting up, managing and cancelling-Complaints revolving around there being no notifications when changes are made


As required by Westpac, we conducted a thorough competitor analysis to understand how other Australian banks and Buy Now Pay Later companies offer their services.

so what could we do?

After a heuristic evaluation and usability testing, we realised that a few features could be improved.

Heuristic Evaluation

- Even though it is better if the system can be used without documentation, it may be necessary to provide help and documentation. Information should be easy to search, focused on the user's task, and list concrete simple steps to be carried out
- Having the FAQ within the app and make the chatbot easier to access could improve the customers experience.
- “Need help?” option on the homepage to direct users and decreasing stress from users having trouble.

Usability Testing

- 6/9 people said it was unclear when Autopay would be active
- 6/9 didn't know when the Autopay changes will take effect
- 6/9 were unclear when the cancellation would take effect



To understand better the whole experience, we went through the experience ourselves and mapped out a service safari.

Personas & their journeys



We organised an ideation workshop with several Westpac employees from different departments so they could all contribute to solving the issues as well as being able to  approve or disapprove the ideas that wouldn’t be technically feasible during the MVP part of the workshop.

How might we make the Autopay set up and management experience more seamless and streamlined for Sergio and Lara to avoid unexpected surprises?


- Attach repayment options and suggestions to the ’New Card’ activation flow with a remind me later option.
- Enhance clarity regarding when Autopay is and isn’t effective.
- Increase in-app notifications at various stages throughout the ‘Set-Up Autopay’ process.
- Reminder before payment due date if Autopay is not effective for this cycle.
- Increased visibility regarding issues that need immediate action so Sergio can quickly handle any problems that may occur.

The challenge at this point during the project was to talk with the other team, so our part could match theirs.


To understand what solutions work on other banks app we conducted testing through Maze to see where it is more intuitive for people to click to find help.

The misclick rate was quite high (51.3&) and 66.7% of the testers left the expected path.
ANZ seemed a bit unclear when looking for the help section.
CommBank offers several pathways to find help - the user is almost guaranteed to eventually find the chatbot or the FAQ.

User Flow

We mapped the current user flow of the westpac app and implemented the new features.


low-fidelity prototype

After recreating Westpac's design system, we started working on a prototype that would include the new features previously discussed.


We conducted several rounds of user testing. The results were quite encouraging:

- 71% stated that they would find a reminder of upcoming payments helpful
- 42% would not trust an SMS with a link from their bank
- 50% were confused by the definition of Autopay/Smart Plan/Recurring payments
- 64% rated the setup of Autopay as easy or very easy


Customers receive an SMS informing them that their new credit card needs to be activated. It doesn't provide a link, but invites the customer to go on the app. From there, they can easily find the card needing the activation, as well as in-app notifications reminding them to do so. Once the card is activated they are offered to set up Autopay. Setting it up is clearer, with the choice of a start date, as well as the ability to set up the reminder of their choice - they can choose the type of reminder and the frequency.

After activating their card, customers are invited to follow the flow above, to not only set up Autopay but also to understand the differences between Autopay, Smart Plan and other repayment options.

Customers seemed confused whether an action had taken place. We thought of improving the communication with more text messages, emails, notifications and in-app messages. This could happen after an in-app change, after a branch visit or after phone banking. The proposed actions needing more communication are:

- Upon credit card application approval
- Upon repayment plan activation
- Upon credit card statement sent and when credit card repayment is due in7 days/3 days/on the day
- Immediately after repayment has failed


As a first corporate project, it was great to have access to such valuable data from Westpac, as well as more insights from their employees. It taught me a lot about working in a team of 20 UX Designers, as we had to make sure the communication between every one was clear so we could all be on the same page.