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User Research in B2B Payment

In this case study, I would like to showcase how I contributed to the successful collaboration between SAP and Visa to create a new B2B payment solution for SAP customer. Leveraging the power of User Research and User Design.


As part of SAP's portfolio engagement, the Innovation Office has collaborated with VISA to create a new B2B payment solution for SAP customers. The aim was to address the challenge faced by many businesses in the Asia Pacific region, particularly smaller ones, who lacked the resources to digitize their B2B payment acceptance and were unable to accept commercial card payments. Our collaboration involved developing a B2B payment service running on SAP BTP (Business Technology Platform).

Members of SAP Team:


Head of ISV & OEM Business Director / Sales / Presales / Innovation Advisor / Designer / Architect / Cyber Security Advisor / Channel Sales Manager


I was the only designer from SAP side.

My Role & Responsibilities:

As the UX Researcher and UX Designer, my responsibilities included:

1. Participating in Design Thinking Sessions: Engaging in collaborative sessions to understand customer challenges and contribute to persona creation, business process mapping, and hypothesis formulation.

2. Designing User Research: Develop the user research framework, including defining key questions and designing the online survey using Qualtrics. Coordinating with the sales team for survey distribution.

3. Conducting Interviews: Leading in half of the interviews, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of their needs and requirements.

4. Creation of Research Report: Analyzing interview data and extracting key findings. Creating a visually appealing presentation deck to communicate research outcomes.

5. Participating in the Design Sprint: Contributing to a three-day Design Sprint in Singapore, working closely with customers to develop a detailed user journey

6. Wireframe Design and Handover: Designing wireframes aligned with customer requirements and expectations. Handing over the finalized wireframes to the Service Delivery Partner, Deloitte, after customer approval and signing the deal.

Step 1: Design Thinking

During the design thinking sessions, we utilized Murals to cover the following topics:

1. Defining Personas: We identified and defined various persona roles relevant to the challenge. Through a voting process, we prioritized the most important persona to focus on for effective problem-solving.

2. Persona Mapping: We conducted mapping exercises for key roles such as CFOs, small business owners, suppliers, issuers, procurement officers, and more. This exercise provided deeper insights into their needs, pain points, and motivations.

3. Hypothesis Generation: We generated hypotheses for different stakeholders, including buyers, suppliers, and various external factors. These hypotheses shed light on the challenges and opportunities surrounding the payment process.

4. Business Process Mapping: We visually represented the business processes for multiple scenarios, highlighting the step-by-step journey that buyers go through in the payment process. This mapping exercise, known as Empathy/Scenario Mapping, helped us understand the buyer's perspective and identify areas for improvement.

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Step 2: Building Questionnaire on Qualtrics

After the initial Design Thinking Session, our team got together and discussed about the different kind of user research methodology we can possible take, and we have selected to begin with a questionnaire and also user interview. We first created a questionnaire consisting of approximately 30 questions, divided into 4 sections. However, we faced challenges with low response rates and incomplete submissions. This can be attributed to the lengthy nature of the questionnaire, lack of perceived direct benefits for participants, and misalignment with the target audience. These challenges provided valuable insights for adjusting and refining our data collection approach.

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Step 3: User Interview Preparation

Besides the questionnaires, we have also decided to conduct user interviews, and this decision was based on several factors:

1. Exploring market opportunities: We were in the early stages of the project and wanted to understand the key challenges users face and the services they are willing to pay for. We can get a deeper response from the 1:1 interviews rather than from questionnaire

2. Access to resources: With the support of SAP's presales and sales teams, we had access to a network of SME CEOs and CFOs who could participate in our research.

3. Developing relationships: Conducting 1:1 interviews allowed us to establish a personal connection with users, and potentially turning them into our future customers.

We have decided to conduct the in-depth user interviews lasting 30-45 minutes each. These interviews were conducted online using Zoom.

During the interview preparation phase, we developed a script that outlined the purpose of the interview and provided an explanation of the solution we aimed to build. Within this script, we clarified how participants' data and insights would be utilized. We created a general list of questions that applied to all participants, as well as specific questions tailored to job-specific roles such as Issuer, Purchaser, PO, AP, and CFO.

Some examples of our interview questions include:

1.What does your organization do, and how does your role fit within it?

2.Can you describe what a typical weekday looks like for you?

3.What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of your job?

4.From your perspective, what would make your job or specific tasks easier?

5.Could you share your experience dealing with issuers and obtaining a line of credit?

6.Is your company currently utilizing corporate credit cards for any specific purposes? If so, could you please provide more details?

7.Would your company be willing to pay a fee to extend its payables? If so, what would be an acceptable fee range?

During the interview process, we established a structured approach where one person would lead the interview and ask the questions, while another person would record the session and capture the major responses in real-time. I took on the role of the interviewer for 10 interviews and served as the note-taker for the remaining 10. We used Excel to record the notes, enabling us to perform analysis later on.

Screenshot from our notes

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Step 4: Study Summary Report

For the analysis phase of the user interview engagement, I took the lead and employed a thematic analysis approach. The following steps were followed:

1.Familiarization: I familiarized myself with the data collected during the interviews.

2.Initial coding: I generated initial codes to capture key concepts and ideas within the data.

3.Search patterns and themes: I identified patterns and themes emerging from the coded data.

4.Refinement: I refined the identified themes, ensuring they accurately represented the data.

5.Study summary: I synthesized the findings and created a study summary report.


The study summary report included various sections. We began by presenting the overall insights gained from the interviews, followed by a breakdown of insights based on company size and geography. We then generated a problem statement based on the identified challenges. Additionally, we conducted an analysis of competitors, delving into their current solutions, associated costs, and reasons for their attractiveness.

Towards the end of my report, I drew attention to any gaps in our understanding and highlighted areas that required further exploration. This comprehensive analysis provided valuable insights to guide the project's direction and decision-making process.

Example pages from my Study Summary Report


Step 5: Design Sprint

After the initial user research, I have flew to Singapore and attended the Design Sprint with customer face to face. This is what our schedule looks like.

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During the Design Sprint workshops, we engaged in discussions and exercises to assess the feasibility, desirability, viability, and scalability of the identified problem statements. Through collaborative decision-making, we selected two problem statements to focus on for our initial MVP.

We also identified our target users, specifically small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), who had specific needs and requirements that we aimed to address through our solution.


Step 6: Finalizing Service Blueprint and Wireframe

During the Design Sprint and subsequent collaboration with the customer teams, we developed a detailed service blueprint for the solution. This service blueprint consists of three main parts: buyer onboarding, supplier onboarding, and buyer initial payment.

The service blueprint outlines the end-to-end process and interactions involved in each of these parts, including touchpoints, actions, and the roles of various stakeholders. It provides a visual representation of the user journey and helps us understand the overall flow of the service.

First version of our Service Blueprint


Second version of our Service Blueprint


Finalized version of of our Service Blueprint

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Based on the finalized service blueprint, I was able to create wireframes that visually depict the interface and interactions of the solution. These wireframes serve as a blueprint for the user interface design and provide a visual representation of how the solution will look and function.

By aligning the wireframes with the service blueprint, we ensure that the user experience is intuitive, seamless, and aligned with the desired service flow outlined in the blueprint.

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Result & Delivery

After finalizing the wireframes, I facilitated the handover process by delivering the design assets and specifications to both Visa and the Service Integrator, Deloitte. This process required clear communication and collaboration to ensure a seamless transition from design to development.

Throughout the handover process, I maintained open lines of communication with the Visa and Deloitte teams, addressing any questions or clarifications they had regarding the design. This collaborative approach ensured that everyone involved was aligned and working towards the same goal.

On June 28th, 2023, SAP officially announced the collaboration with Visa on B2B payments for businesses of all sizes, starting with the Asia-Pacific market. It was a significant milestone in the project, and I was thrilled to have contributed to its success. The journey was long, but seeing the project come to fruition was incredibly rewarding.

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