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Price Transparency


This feature launched May 2019 on allowing prospective Verizon customers to view how much financing they will be eligible for. 


Design lead


Customer/Sales rep interviews, Personas, User flows, Content strategy, User testing


133% lift in feature engagement, 0.4% increase in conversion and 16.6% decrease in drop off

Flex - tldr

Problem & opportunity

Buying a phone is similar to buying a house except you don't get to choose your down payment upfront, it's determined by your credit score. These financing conversations seem to be more natural when you can talk to someone about your options. But, when you try to translate it to an online experience, it led to nearly 50% of prospective customers that owe a down payment to abandon. The main problem: customers are frustrated with the process of financing phones online as they find out too late in the process, after running a hard credit check, how much their phone actually costs. Our team had the opportunity to create greater pricing transparency early on in the shopping journey by introducing a risk-free "soft credit check" feature.


To see how we could optimize the credit check process, we interviewed Verizon customers with low/poor credit and talked to 9 Verizon sales reps in varying socio-economic regions about how they handle credit conversations. Overall, we learned the credit check process can be a scary experience and can often leave customers feeling surprised and embarrassed when they owe a down payment. So, we asked ourselves: how may we create a space online to facilitate this sensitive conversation?

"Well that stinks, that makes me feel really bad... Having it [increase my cost after a credit check], it's a little makes me feel like oh, I'm not good enough.” - Verizon Wireless Customer


To create alignment around who might be affected by a credit check experience, we synthesized our research findings and general secondary research into 3 key personas. These helped us discover the overarching questions people may have with purchasing big ticket items, particularly when shopping online, including:

  • Can I confidently pay for this every month?

  • Will this affect my credit score?


Credit personas

User flows

Our research helped vet the idea of implementing a soft credit check feature, that does not affect credit scores. So, where in the shopping flow could this feature have the greatest impact for people? It was clear that making customers commit to buying before seeing an accurate price was not working. Our hypothesis: If we offer customers a soft credit check option before they commit to buying, then we can enable more informed decision making. This was validated in user testing the proposed state with 10 non-Verizon customers with a mix of mid-poor credit. We found that when the entry point to the soft credit check was placed on the Product Detail Page, where customers are making the decision to finance a phone, most understood that monthly pricing was contingent on credit approval.


High-level current (top) and proposed (bottom) shopping flows


  • ​The experience was designed in a modal/overlay to emphasize it's an optional step; available to our personas but not distracting for other customers. 

  • Once a soft credit check is complete, a visual cue was created (green check mark) that would carry through the entire shopping experience to reiterate pricing is now personalized.

  • "Soft credit check" was highlighted as it was generally understood that it won't affect credit scores and would be an incentive to try it out.

  • To double-down on being transparent, it was important to deliver credit check results in a way that was gentle yet clear by explaining the results first then providing options on how to move forward. 

Final Design

Future state

Looking ahead, in scenarios where a down payment is due, there's opportunity to recommend lower priced devices similar to the original device being purchased. We conducted testing to understanding which alternate devices customers gravitated if they were intending to purchase higher end Apple and Samsung devices. This provided perspective on the features (brand, color, storage) most important to customers, if they were to step down.

Future state.png
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