SMBC Group is a top-tier global financial group, and one of its member companies, SMBC MANUBANK, engaged Method to help develop its new digital banking division in the U.S. market (Jenius Bank™). Jenius Bank aims to deliver a unique experience driven by direct customer input on everything from product offerings to design.

Method came on board during the bank’s incubation stage to assist in crafting the new company’s product and experience design strategy. We then stayed on, expanding our roster of talent to create a crucial bridge between vision and execution as they built their brand from the ground up.


Product Strategy
Customer Experience Strategy
Product Design
Program Management

“In our early days, Method provided a ready team of experts and that allowed us to start building the bank immediately as we hired full-time resources. Their advice, expertise, and added capacity were invaluable in accelerating our efforts. The partnership was seamless, and they quickly became an integral part of our team.”

- John Rosenfeld, President of Jenius Bank

From idea to implementation

The Challenge

As SMBC MANUBANK was building their new digital banking division, they needed an experienced partner to help them solve the right problems, with the right products and experiences, built the right way.

During the incubation phase, which is commonly hindered by organizational inertia, Method was brought in to accelerate the process and help create a compelling customer experience through ideation, discovery, product design, architecture, development, and branding.

Envisioning and planning the experience

Ideation and Validation

Method helped Jenius Bank define and design key experiences across the user journey. We collaborated with their Product teams on strategy and conceptual design, from identifying customer needs; to experience benchmarking and roadmapping; to prototyping and iteration; to concept design and testing; to engineering and collaboration.

Creating a culture of research for better results

Discovery Foundations

Method also partnered with Jenius Bank's Product and Customer Experience leaders to instill a culture of research and discovery, which will serve as the backbone for user-centered design. This phase included selecting research tools; creating a research repository, knowledge base, and internal newsletter to consolidate findings and share best practices; as well as developing a project management structure to streamline processes for efficiency.

Building a modern bank

Product and Website Development

To bring Jenius Bank's well-thought-out plans to life, Method assisted their Technology leaders in designing and building the bank’s proof of concept, production-ready software, and a website for their storefront.

Jenius Bank thoroughly tested software includes APIs and integrations with third-party tools, complemented with CI/CD automation and a cybersecurity framework.

For the storefront site, Method collaborated with the Jenuis Bank Marketing Team to create near-term and long-term sitemaps and user journeys to support multiple launch events. We also built a custom CMS that contains reusable elements and a custom design tool to make it easy for non-designers to create new pages while maintaining the Jenius Bank brand integrity.