Buy Now Pay Later

Our project aimed to revolutionize PenFed's auto protection experience by introducing the Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) option. This initiative aligned with PenFed's strategic goals of boosting loan volume, increasing sales, and reducing call volume. We recognized a critical need for enhanced payment flexibility, especially for customers purchasing add-on vehicle warranty plans. The BNPL feature was tailored specifically for vehicles not financed by PenFed, addressing challenges such as drop-offs, high call volumes, and revenue reduction.

Business Goal:
  • Boost retention rate and revenue, and decrease call volume relating to Auto Loans by introducing alternative payment methods.

Business Challenge:
  • Due to limited payment options, customers are abandoning auto warranty purchases.

  • Hypothesis: The need for upfront payment is dissuading members, leading to the need for financing as an alternative.

Business Requirements:
  • Incorporate a Buy Now Pay Later financing option.

  • Enforce a 10% down payment for users selecting financing.

  • Depending on product pricing, offer 12, 24, or 36-month terms.

  • Maintain a minimum monthly payment of $50.00.

  • Carry out content recommendations and audits for APCO flow alignment.

My Role in the Project

As the UI/UX Lead Designer, I steered this project from initial research to implementation. Using tools like Figma, Jira, Confluence, and Photoshop, I spearheaded the redesign of PenFed's auto add-on insurance products to smoothly incorporate the BNPL feature.

  • Role: UI/UX Lead Designer

  • Tools: Figma, Jira, Confluence, Photoshop

Design Process πŸ›£οΈ

User Research and Analysis:

  • Conducted comprehensive market and competitive analysis.

  • Formulated research proposals, blending primary and secondary research methods.

Wireframe and Concept Design:

  • Developed wireframes and conceptual designs based on research insights.

  • Utilized rapid prototyping and Marvel to iterate and ensure compliance with WCAG standards.

Test and Deliver the Final Product:

  • Conducted testing phases to refine and validate the design.

  • Delivered the final product, ready for implementation.

We kicked things off with some serious digging into the market landscape. I wanted to know what our competitors were up to and where PenFed stood in the mix. By blending primary and secondary research methods, we uncovered some key insights - like the growing demand for alternative payment methods in the $700 to $3,000 budget range.

1.Research and Analysis πŸ”

Commenced with comprehensive market research and competitive analysis.

1.1 Analyze Site Flow:

To understand the current process, create a visual diagram that depicts how users obtain an Auto Warranty (APCO). With these insights, we then focus on the digital aspect. We collaborated with a trusted business partner to dig into Google Analytics and decipher user behavior. This investigation uncovered significant issues, such as a 12% drop-off rate at the "Plan Eligibility Screen" and a substantial 32% abandonment rate on the "Payment Confirmation Page."

Bright living room with modern inventory
Bright living room with modern inventory
1.2 Interviews

But numbers only told part of the story. To truly understand the user experience, we went straight to the source. We engaged in candid conversations with call center managers, eager to glean insights from their frontline interactions.

πŸ” Interview Findings: What did we uncover? Well, it turns out users were yearning for more than just protection plans; they:

  • want financing options with better interest rates.

  • feel there is a lack of educational content to help them make informed purchase decisions.

  • are not keen on making big upfront payments for future protection.

πŸ‘‡ To gain a deeper understanding of our users' needs and requirements, the next step is to conduct interviews. This will allow us to gather insights while considering trends and relevant data.

β€œThe price is too high for a one-time purchase, I wish we offered a financing option with an interest rate”

"The protection plan is important, but it's not something I need right now. Spending thousands on a product for future protection is not worth draining all the money in my account.”

1.3 Competitive Analysis

😰 Note: Challenge: Limited options for exploring "Buy Now Pay Later" financing without an existing loan or new loan. Therefore, we will examine direct Buy Now Pay Later lenders such as Affirm and AfterPay to become familiar with their interaction design, content, and user experience. We can then adopt these elements into our checkout flow.

So, I did some digging on the financial institutions in the market to see how they handle user experience and payment options. I looked at different banks, credit unions, and even online merchants who offer "Buy now, pay later" choices. The goal was to understand how they provide flexibility and financing options for amounts between $500 and $3,000.

✨ Key Findings: Overall, offering alternative payment methods in addition to paying in full is considered the standard trend. This provides flexibility for BNPL borrowers, who typically finance an average amount of $1,000 within a year. Since PenFed's Auto protection products range between $500 and $3,000, having the BNPL option is important.

Formulating Hypotheses and Action Plan

Building upon these findings, we formulated a hypothesis and devised an action plan to address identified issues:

  • Enhance decision-making processes by providing clearer information and guidance.

  • Streamline the enrollment process to improve the overall user experience.

  • Introduce alternative payment options, including the "Buy Now Pay Later" feature.

  • Refine the design and content of critical screens to minimize drop-off rates.

  • Conduct additional usability testing to pinpoint and rectify user frustrations.

  • Establish user feedback mechanisms to facilitate continuous improvement.


After analyzing the data, I synthesized the findings into manageable reference points. To contextualize future user encounters with enrolling into an Auto-protection plan, I created an Empathy Map. The gap was narrowed down through interviews, secondary research, and observational analysis.

Bright living room with modern inventory
Bright living room with modern inventory


Interaction Design: After researching and analyzing design patterns that fit the information architecture, business goals, and user needs, I designed conceptual solutions. I utilized rapid prototyping and Marvel to iterate through ideas and ensure compliance with WCAG standards.

πŸ’­ Design Consideration

In designing, user simplicity is paramount. We aim for easy plan comprehension, incremental payment options, and clarity in pricing and plan details. We also strive to streamline the process of editing or canceling purchases. From a business standpoint, we aim to align with industry trends by offering Buy Now Pay Later options, updating our flow, content, and UI design, and maintaining comprehensive product information. We share common goals with our users - a seamless user experience, easy enrollment in protection plans, and updated UI designs that cater to both user and business needs.

Concept 1 πŸ‘‡

So, after presenting our initial concept, we got some feedback that made us take a step back and reassess. Here's what we heard:

  1. Out-of-Scope Design Elements: Turns out, that some parts of the screen were off-limits for us to tweak. You know, those iframe elements? Yeah, they were a bit stubborn, resisting any redesign efforts we threw at them.

  2. Minimum Downpayment Requirement: Another curveball was the requirement for a 10% minimum downpayment if users wanted to go for the Buy Now Pay Later financing option. It felt like an extra hoop for users to jump through, potentially throwing them off their decision-making groove.

  3. Payment Setup Limitation: And get this, users weren't allowed to set up their payments during the flow. It was a strict business decision, but it put a dent in the user's freedom to choose.

So, faced with these constraints, we had to rethink our approach. We took note of the UX risks associated with these limitations and knew we had to find a way to work around them to keep the user experience smooth sailing.

Iterating the Design: Fine-Tuning for Success πŸ‘‡

With the feedback in mind, we rolled up our sleeves and got back to work on refining the design. Our mission was clear: address the challenges while ensuring the final product aligns seamlessly with both business objectives and user needs.

We took a meticulous approach, tweaking and adjusting the design to overcome the hurdles posed by the out-of-scope elements and rigid payment setup limitations. By carefully iterating on the design, we were able to navigate these obstacles and arrive at a final version that struck the perfect balance between business requirements and user expectations.

Product Success πŸ™ŒπŸ»

So, here's the exciting part! We have successfully redesigned the entire flow, creating a simple learning curve for users by recommending relevant content changes.

We implemented a new payment option called "Buy Now Pay Later" for PenFed's vehicle warranty plans, and it has made a big difference. This new feature has helped us address several major issues, such as customers leaving without completing a purchase, a high volume of phone calls, and a decline in revenue.

By introducing the "Buy Now Pay Later" option, we have provided users with more flexibility and resolved the issue of requiring upfront payment, which was causing them to abandon the process. We have observed a significant decrease in the number of users leaving without making a purchase and an increase in revenue. Users appreciate the ability to make smaller payments over time instead of a single large upfront payment for future protection.

Reflection, Learning, and Next Step

As we look back on this wild ride, we're taking away some valuable lessons that'll shape our future adventures. Here's the scoop:

  • Delivery and Thoughts: I identified potential risks and implemented mitigation strategies to ensure a smooth process. These strategies include setting up timely repayment setups, preventing negative impacts on credit scores and user satisfaction, and optimizing email communication to cater to the needs of our older legacy users who may not be tech-savvy.

  • UX Challenge: During the design process, I had to navigate changes in requirements and design limitations imposed by vendor-controlled screens that my team did not have control over. Additionally, limited data and resources for conducting user testing posed challenges. To address these issues, I had to think outside of the box and make educated assumptions to solve the business problems we were facing.

But we're not hitting the brakes just yet! Moving forward, we'll continue to monitor user feedback and drop-off rates, making necessary iterations to keep the flow smooth and seamless. Let's keep the momentum going!