Challenger Bank — Hydrogen

Challenger banks are ideal in our digital world. People need to know how much money they have and where it’s been going. The problem is that most banking has remained archaic, and the transition to digitizing the experience hasn’t been graceful.

Banking has always been a complicated, dry, and unnecessarily difficult experience for people. We all need banks, though. The goal of Challenger Bank design is to make sure that banking experience is easy to understand and navigate while utilizing and showcasing the power of Hydrogen’s APIs.


Visual Designer




Siraj Bentria — Design Lead

Naomi Tenenini — Product Designer

What are other banks doing?

Taking a look at the landscape of challenger banks today, what features they had in common, and what features set them apart helped design Hydrogen Challenger Bank.

Too spread out

Competitors had minimalistic designs, inviting and casual copy, and offered a lot of promotions and features.

They fell short on focusing in on the core banking experience and ended up spreading themselves too thin with features and promotional offers.

While it is good to have promotional offers and a lot of features, this can distract and create more confusion than clarity when it comes to online banking.

Banking at its core

Fundamental features include: keep track of transactions, send and receive money, issue debit cards, and integrate other bank accounts.

Hydrogen challenger bank app had to be focused, easy to set up, and easy to use.

Easy to follow. The onboarding should feel seamless, easy, and not make the user think. Each step should be clear and informative.

Efficient, convenient, and straightforward. Once you have signed up, your day-to-day banking experience should tell you what you need to know upfront and keep you up to date on all of your transactions.

Feels familiar. Following standard UI patterns and keeping those consistent throughout the app is essential. You shouldn’t be lost or confused as to where to go or what to do.

Full access, no tricks. You need to be able to access your money however you need it whenever you need it. You need to have complete control and understanding of where your finances are.

Mapping it out

Before anything is designed, flow needs to make sense. With the full app architecture laid out, wireframing can start.

Make it quick & make it work

The wireframe shouldn't be pretty. This way, the focus is on the function.

Pieces of the onboarding flow were reused through the other parts of the app later on to keep a sense of consistency and also remove the need for redundant development work.

Banking with confidence

Money is emotional. When you put it in a bank, you want to be able to trust that it’s safe there. You also need to feel secure and in control of it at all times.

The final design focused on making sure the user felt as little stress as possible (Money is already stressful enough!).

Reskin and adjust for brands

Our goal was to create white-label FinTech solutions that are visually configurable. Therefore, we designed the apps to look good when the primary color is replaced with the color of any brand.

And the metrics are...

There was a lot of interest from clients in the capabilities of the banking APIs once Hydrogen announced that we would be launching a Challenger Bank White Label. Multiple clients showed a high interest in utilizing the white label and could wrap their heads around what core banking features Hydrogen offered.

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Branding — Eximchain