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PayPal Wallet

Our solution had high stakes because whatever we designed would greatly affect the bottom line ...


As a subject matter expert on payment methods from the design team, I was brought to a stakeholder design jam held over several days. It was run like a Google Sprint where problems were defined and ideas generated. Working with team including product, design and content, I proposed a left-hand navigation solution, which my team decided to adopt. Other teams proposed carousels, vertical lists & tiles. I created a concept prototype to communicate the ideas.

Problem Statements

  • Customers needed a way see & easily add more payment options in context, so they could avoid context switching and have more options.

  • Customers needed a way to control their payment preference, so they could avoid costly payment mistakes.

  • As a business, PayPal wanted to project credibility and instill confidence, so they could grow their customer base.

  • PayPal needed to maintain its complex business model (like promoting non-fee based payment methods) in order to keep making money.

Here's the original page:

Concept Solutions 

  • Users can see all their bank account info without having to switch context by going back and forth between screens.

  • Significantly more payment methods are supported.

  • Using bank logos increases trust and credibility.

  • Grouping promotes PayPal products and aids comprehension.

  • It's easy to set a payment preference in one click.

  • There is room for new features and functionality.

Iterate & Test

After getting buy-in on the left-hand navigation approach above, we ran several rounds of user testing on an Axure prototype I built. We iterated to the design below incorporating PayPal's new design system. I collaborated with other designers, product owners, visual designers, a content writer, the research team and my manager during this step. 

Here's a quote from Suja, a design colleague who now works at Google. (Way to go Suja!):

"I worked with Heather on redesigning the PayPal Wallet. Heather was a perfect partner to have on the redesign. She has amazing design instincts and skills that were validated in our usability tests. She kept our team on track by always raising the important questions and helped steer us to the right solutions."


Improving the Add Bank Experience

In addition to improving the Wallet experience, PayPal needed a way to make it easier for customers to pay with their bank account in the UK. When customers pay using their bank account, the company avoids paying millions of dollars in credit card fees.


As the UX designer for the improved Add Bank Flow and working with a content designer and my manager, we made these improvements - some for the UK as well:

  • Steps were reduced.

  • Back and forth functionality was improved, so users could return to the flow and move around in it easily.

  • Messaging clarity was improved.

  • Value propositions were added.


  • The improved UK Add Bank experience alone added $3.6M/year in Customer Lifetime Value and $1.8M/year in margin.

  • The thoroughly tested Wallet redesign worked so effectively, that PayPal still uses that basic concept today.

  • Conversion rates & time on task for PayPal checkout were improved, since customers could set & forget their preferred payment method in the Wallet page. With 197 million users at the time, each improvement in checkout added millions to the bottom line.

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