Taking on unfair lending with Good Shepherd Microfinance and NAB


  • Today Strategic Design
  • Good Shepherd Microfinance
  • NAB


Every year, millions of Australians turn to short-term loans to help make ends meet. Unfortunately, when they most need a helping hand, they are exploited with unreasonable interest rates and hidden fees.

Good Shepherd Microfinance and NAB invited Today to help develop a first-of-its-kind: a fair loan for those experiencing financial stress.

We worked with GSM and NAB to launch a new product that offered people a better way forward: Speckle, a small loan with nothing to hide. Speckle is just as quick and easy as its competitors but supports customers to make better financial choices.

Key Features


Loan application flow

We designed a loan application experience which balanced several tensions. While competitive products offered an experience that was ‘quick and easy’, we needed to create one that matched convenience but took extra steps in the best interest of the customer.

Nothing to hide

We led the design and front-end development of a digital brand experience that put human outcomes over loan conversion. In practice, this meant not only making the product transparent and accessible, but offering other support that may better suit their needs, and initiating a conversation about healthier financial behaviour.


An ethical competitor in an exploitative market

Speckle represents a disruption to the short-term loan industry. It launched publicly in February 2018 and has already redirected a significant number of Australians away from predatory loans. Its success in the short term is simply providing a fair and transparent short-term loan. In the longer term its impact will be helping people become financially stable, so they can avoid these loans altogether.


There were a number of other features developed to ensure Speckle helps get customers to better financial outcomes, including:

– Fairer (which means lower) interest rates and fees
– Complete transparency of fees and costs
– An easy to use repayment calculator which shows the real cost of any loan
– Highly accessible design and language to ensure no one gets lost in the fine print
– Easy to find guidance for seeking financial counselling and warnings about borrowing

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