Thomas Cook is the oldest and one of the best-known names in leisure travel, operating in 17 source markets and with c. 20 million customers. Thomas Cook’s financial services offering is a key contributor to the business’ profit line, but has faced growing competition in the holiday money market in recent years from mobile banking start-ups such as Revolut and Monzo. Thomas Cook Money (TCM) was launched in November 2017 with the aim to centralise all of Thomas Cook’s financial services product lines, optimise their digital offering, and create more innovative solutions for customers.
TCM required a strategic partner with a strong understanding of financial services and digital innovation trends and product design processes to build their business. Elixirr partnered with TCM to set up the key enablers required to launch the business, which was completed in just 9 months. Elixirr and TCM subsequently established a 5-year partnership to implement the business’ strategic priorities. Elixirr are investing a significant portion of our fees throughout the 5-year partnership in return for a profit share at the end of the engagement. This has resulted in a true equity partnership with TCM which is committed to helping the business succeed.
Working closely with the client, we defined the long-term vision for the business, identifying new growth opportunities and customer propositions. Elixirr established an innovation function within TCM and took their executive team to Silicon Valley to explore the art of the possible and inspire new ways of working. In parallel to this, we helped TCM create their own start-up network which included their investment in Fund IV of Seedcamp.
Alongside this, Elixirr worked closely with the client team at TCM to design an organisational structure and operating model that supported an agile approach to product development. Crucial to this was inspiring new ways of working and embedding design thinking and rapid prototyping methods within TCM. A Money Labs function was established and supported by Elixirr to lead a series of design sprints on new customer propositions. Leveraging our in-house creative team, we worked with TCM stakeholders to build mobile experience prototypes and tested these designs with customers.
This approach has led to the launch of two brand new products for TCM: LYK, a prepaid multi-currency card and app and recent winner at the Emerging Payments Awards; and ROAM, a customisable travel insurance product and digital journey. Both of these products were designed utilising the experience of all areas of the business and launched within a year. Elixirr continues to work with TCM to iterate the strategy. The priorities for the next year will focus on improving sales in the retail business and consolidating TCM’s products into a single sign-on account and customer journey, creating one TCM brand with multiple financial services offerings, including credit. Together, we are exploring new ways to innovate in an increasingly competitive market, taking the business from strength to strength.