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Visa Europe Contactless Donation

Representatives from Visa were introduced to the concepts of design thinking, co-creation and inclusive design in the development of new products and services, hallmarks of the College’s expertise in design thinking research and developing innovative solutions based on a user-centred approach.

The project was part of a ‘100-Day Proof of Concept’ programme sponsored by Visa’s Digital Business Unit, a strategy used by Visa to develop and test new ideas for products or services, and test their commercial viability.

The process began with a two-hour training session at Visa led by RCA staff and students, to provide Visa delegates with the tools for a ‘Design Jam’. The workshop introduced valuable tools and techniques for the development of products and services; an understanding of the importance of the societal, environmental and business context for design; and how to apply techniques to experience design alongside systems and service innovation in the context of tackling challenges of sustainability, systemic issues and social enterprise.

Equipped with this training – including new skills in using basic visualisation and rapid prototyping techniques – Visa delegates were invited to the RCA for a ‘Design Jam’ led by Dr Rob Phillips, Senior Tutor in Design Products, with guidance from students and staff from the Schools of Design and Communication, and supported by the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design.

With further context provided by talks from project partners Save the Children and the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), the teams worked together to create a prototype design for a contactless payment device for charitable giving.

Visa have since gone on to design a small number of contactless-enabled giving tins that have been tested at various venues around London to gather direct consumer feedback, and the giving tins will go through further incubation and market testing. This was the first Proof of Concept programme to successfully complete the 100-day sprint, and enabled Royal College of Art experts to contribute design ideas as part of a community of innovators, start-ups and entrepreneurs.