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Case Study | Mobile App 


Sesame by Sezzle is a tutor in your pocket, supporting you on your pathway to financial empowerment. Complete the entire course module-by-module or consult individual topics to answer specific questions you might have. Level-up from Beginner, to Intermediate, to Advanced, and become an expert on personal finance. The proposed solution would be found within Sezzle’s mobile app and would always be free to use, without any financial commitment.

This project was completed in partnership with Sezzle, as part of Cornell Tech's Product Studio, where I got to partner with product managers and engineers to solve real business needs, supervised by Josh Hartmann and Karan Girotra. 


August to December 2021 (15 weeks)


Alexander Mayo, Allison Yick, Nadia Samman, Yash Gupta, Yuntian Ye


Product Designer, UX Researcher

How might we financially empower people living paycheck-to-paycheck?

Advancing financial literacy for underbanked communities through education and services provided by modern and progressive institutions.

  • Is the product sellable?

  • Validating our product will lower Customer Acquisition Costs and improve Loan to Value ratio to BNPL customers 

  • Utility Gain from Modules/Content - BNPLs & Users

  • User Adoption

Key Risks

  • Legacy Bank Response

Sesame helps to advance the mission of financially empowering underbanked communities through educational content, while also allowing Sezzle to reach a wider audience and improve unit economics.

The original seed of Sesame stemmed from the analysis of our interviews at the beginning of the semester. Through our interactions with individuals living paycheck-to-paycheck, we realized that a lack of formal financial literacy education has negatively impacted various groups of people. 

In conjunction with a lack of financial education, we recognized that many people in our target market had a fear of being exploited by large financial institutions. Or they felt as if these traditional institutions were not tailored to service their particular financial needs. 

This is the story of how Sesame was born. Partnering with Sezzle, gave us the opportunity to have a larger reach to our target population. This reach allowed for us to alter our product in a way that better serves our target audience through personalized features, efficient methods of financial education, while removing many of the barriers that our target audience typically faces when trying to obtain financial services. 


Following the educational pilot experiment, after the content is settled, we also need to know how to present the content by testing the user experience and interaction with different sets of configurations.

We plan to use a series of A/B testing in the process of developing a pilot application. We will have a primary version of the application to send out to the general audience, in addition to a few modified versions. We will test whether the changes between versions are significant enough to increase users’ incentives and performance.

Experiment Learnings 

Evidence that validates or invalidates this opportunity. At this stage of the course, your evidence should go well beyond hearsay, such as user interviews, and at least some critical elements of the venture should be validated with behavioral data that you have collected via the experiments.  Focus on the primary behavioral data collected in the last weeks. You can briefly mention other kinds of evidence if it is necessary to explain why you are collecting data on these aspects and not on other aspects.

Next Steps

  • More testing

  • Build out modules

  • More testing

  • Launch Beta version

  • Measure KPIs over time

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