10X | Virgin Money 

Virgin Money

Building a 'Wave Three" bank

10x is a technology platform founded by Antony Jenkins (former CEO of Barclays) to transform banking and make people’s lives easier.


10x’s first client was Virgin Money who were creating a mobile first digital retail bank and selected 10x as their technology and product partner. The ambition was bold - launch a new bank from scratch in 18 months. Door was engaged by 10x’s Chief Digital Officer to help accelerate the delivery of the Day One product.


To achieve the ambitious timelines Door mobilised an interdisciplinary team of 14 experts spanning user research, brand, product, service and experience design and technical development who co-located at 10x’s HQ along with Virgin Money’s team.

One of the challenges for any new UK retail banking entrant is how to compete at launch given the rapid innovation in the space. Numerous challenger banks such as Monzo are already disrupting retail banking and in turn the incumbents have been raising their game. There was also the pressure to create a bank that had the wow factor people expect from Virgin.

We framed the opportunity as creating a Wave Three bank that delivered previously unimagined financial utility and experiences, made possible by 10x’s technology. By leveraging the experience within the Door team and user research we were able to identify the key opportunity spaces to unlock something different.

A core part of our approach was building functional prototypes which included biometric recognition and credit checking. This enabled everyone on the team to explore experiences such as onboarding in end-to-end detail and bring stakeholders together to rapidly agree things from platform integration to legal requirements.

Baking Virgin’s brand DNA into the product was both a necessity and opportunity. Through a series of ideation sessions with Virgin Money’s Creative Director, CMO and other stakeholders we were able to create the organising idea for the digital bank and a set of experience principles building on Virgin’s brand but that were unique to Money.

Our product development approach was to think wider than user needs and experience. For example your commercial strategy and market realities can directly affect the product you make. Plus the way you develop your products says a lot about you: it is a form of contemporary branding, something to consider as part of your strategy. We worked with the Virgin Money team to stimulate and facilitate discussions which created a strong link between the product and commercial strategy.


Our close collaboration enabled rapid progress of the development of the Day One product taking account of key strategic influencers. We defined how Virgin could be a next generation bank and built functional prototypes to bring the product to life. Crucially, 10x was able to secure ongoing commitment from Virgin Money prior to their acquisition by Clydesdale Bank in 2018.

Key Activities:

  • Research 

  • Product strategy

  • Product development

  • Experience and Service Design 

  • Brand expression

  • Prototyping

“Working with Lee and the team from Door was an informative and inspirational journey. Door has an approach which blends management consulting, brand definition and team building that leads to true digital product design. The approach is unique due to the focus on ‘making things’ and in a world where PowerPoint is still king. Seeing immersive prototyping is refreshing. The cross industry design thinking which Lee has infused into the Door proposition was a key reason why we engaged his leadership and the highly skilled team at Door. Understanding consumer behaviour in this digital age is a precarious path but Door has the team to get to the core of your business problem and the market need, which leads to real innovation.”

Brad Goodall

Former Chief Digital Officer and Co-Founder of 10x Future Technologies.