Ever wondered what would happen if you were to relinquish financial control to a trusted friend?

Intrust is a service for facilitating a new relationship with your money, and the friend you trust to spend it for you. By handing control over to a friend, you are no longer inhibited by the cognitive act of spending but kept in suspense on what experiences they will create and share with you, even as you’ve already committed to spending it upfront.

Your friend uses an Intrust visa card to prepay for the things they come across and think of you, to create a more serendipitous bestowal of experience.

The context for Intrust arose from the uncomfortable relationship some have with spending money. In an experiment, we asked several people to display their bank statements and explain the stories and relations they had with their spendings. After an instinctive initial fear of sharing their financial information, it was easy for them to justify their spending and remember how money enabled good experiences – especially when friends were involved in the activity.

To clarify the service concept and detail the user journey, we presented prototypes of varying fidelity – from sketched paper protoypes to high fidelity onscreen mock-ups – to 6 different users, discussing who they would trust and how much money they would ‘intrust’.

To discover the sweet spot between comfort and risk for both sides, a test user gave up his entire weekly budget to a friend to spend, allowing us to better understand the process of decision making and engagement levels. Day to day spending became a burden for the friend, while having to consider the more fundamental purchases rather than challenging his routine and creating attentive experiences replaced the element of fun and risk with a feeling of responsibility.

The service itself becomes completely subjective to the relationship between the two involved, questioning not only your financial habits, but also prompting thoughts about trust and friendship.