The detail

Our long-term client, a tier 1 pan-African financial services provider, wanted to fast-track their proposition for a cross-border payments platform. Informed by a deep understanding of the bank’s long-term business goals, we identified Currencycloud as a potential partner to accelerate the launch of the platform. We then used our rapid design thinking and prototyping expertise to develop a cutting-edge proposition to present to the bank’s executive team.

Our client had been exploring digital cross-border propositions to respond to competitive pressure and customer demand across their main markets. In spite of internal efforts, the pace was slow, and efforts had stalled.


We ran a 5-week proposition development sprint. We evaluated the feasibility of partnering with Currencycloud, and produced a business case to support an executive decision to invest in the cross-border payments proposition. The sprint resulted in funding being released for build and launch of the MVP in early 2021. We have been asked to assist the bank in taking the solution to market.


Global innovation network; Sourcing; Strategy; Design thinking and rapid prototyping; business model design.

Financial services are changing. Our client understood that a digital cross-border payments platform was key to remaining competitive in the market. After internal efforts stalled, we partnered with the bank to accelerate the development of the platform.

Why Elixirr?

Having partnered with our client for over 6 years, we understood the business context, strategy, and internal challenges underpinning this project.

The bank needed a partner to help develop their cross-border payments proposition. We were the best firm to help them achieve this, as we have access to a network of dynamic startups, venture capital firms and accelerators through our global innovation ecosystem.

In addition, our rapid design approach enables our clients to develop solutions at pace. Frequent customer testing enables us to iteratively design propositions, ensuring the MVP is fit for purpose. This methodology accelerates time to market, saving valuable resources compared to developing products internally. Combined with our leading digital design and build expertise, we were the natural partner of choice.

The challenge

The client had been exploring new digital cross-border propositions for some time but was struggling to transition from the concept to a tangible product. In running the proposition development sprint, Elixirr had four key objectives:

  • Illustrate the value of customer-centric design and rapid prototyping to deliver a market-leading digital cross-border payments proposition.
  • Validate product-market fit at pace through an iterative test and learn process, before investing significant time, capital and resource effort.
  • Ensure successful buy-in from all the relevant areas of the business, encouraging collaboration amongst multi-functional teams to avoid execution roadblocks.
  • Develop a robust business case and delivery roadmap, to inform an Executive decision on whether to invest in building the proposition. 

The approach

Research and preparation 

After identifying Currencycloud as the right partner for the bank, we conducted stakeholder interviews, customer interviews, and market research to identify the key trends in the cross-border payments landscape. Armed with these insights, we developed three personas to use in the design process to ensure that the proposition addressed the core customer needs.


We held a 3-day design thinking workshop where we guided our client and Currencycloud through customer-centric design and rapid prototyping cycles to develop the target proposition. Overnight, our team mocked up 3 low-fidelity prototypes which the stakeholder group could test with customers to gain early feedback.

Test, test and test again

Over 2 weeks, we continuously tested and validated the low-fidelity prototypes, iterating them daily in line with customer feedback. This accelerated design process enabled our client to design, test and validate market demand in just 3 weeks – a process that would have usually taken at least 6 months. We then worked with the client’s UX design team to design a high-fidelity prototype of the proposition, enabling stakeholders to see what the proposition would look like as part of their product suite.

Business model design & feasibility assessment

Working with our client and Currencycloud, we built out a business case, delivery roadmap and capability assessment to inform an executive decision on whether the bank should invest in building the proposition.

The value

In just five weeks, we designed an entirely new value proposition – transforming an idea into a high-fidelity clickable prototype with a supporting business model design, business case and execution plan.

Our rapid approach gave our client reassurance that they were solving the right customer problems without significant upfront capital and time investment. The bank has also asked us to help embed this customer-led design and entrepreneurial culture across their product development functions.

Together, our client and Currencycloud are now significantly closer to achieving their ambitious growth plans. We’re currently working with their teams to take the cross-border proposition to market. Watch this space…

In their own words

"The partnership with Elixirr was key to the success of the sprint. Elixirr acted as an engagement partner who was able to provide the insight into the client’s strategy and priorities, to support strong positioning of our proposition to ensure a more successful outcome. Through identifying the key requirements and translating this into a tangible proposition with the supporting business case, Elixirr helped to accelerate and solidify Currencycloud’s engagement with the client and further demonstrate the value and innovation that we can deliver."

David Benton – Business Development Director, Partnerships, Currencycloud