Why UX Design is Important to the Finance Industry

November 13, 2015

Thanks to an influx of financial websites and apps, such as Venmo, Apple Pay, Mint and Paypal, friends can pay friends back for tickets, kids can sign for pizza delivery and add a tip using their phones and parents can receive budget alerts to help them cut their spending. Every aspect of financial management should now be stress-free and intuitive. A mix of opportunity, gaps in the market, flexibility and great user experience have contributed to the current Fintech revolution and ensuring that users have the right experience at the right place and at the right time is what is setting great financial services apart from the average. This article looks into why UX design is important to the finance industry and provides some basic concepts that contribute towards a good Fintech user experience.

Recently there has been an increase in financial companies providing digital banking services, all of which are offering the same features. This surge in activity means that features alone are not enough to engage and retain customers in this competitive marketplace. As a result, user experience and providing unique, personalised experiences are increasingly more important and help to strengthen the consumer-business relationship. Here are some basic concepts to follow to create a healthy user experience in the financial industry.

1)    Simplicity

This is usually at the top of most UX lists purely because it is a foundation to a successful UX strategy. You can have all the fancy services and experience for your customers but if they aren't simple to use, users won't give it a second chance. Starting with one service and providing a great UX is much more effective than trying to create several services with terrible UX. It is important to ensure that the most regularly used tasks are front and centre and easily accessible. Ease of navigation not only helps users to enjoy the entire digital experience, it also provides customers with a reason to be confident that the company responsible for their money is competent and trustworthy.

2)    Integration of Lifestyle and Payments

More and more we are seeing the integration of payments within people's lifestyles. You can pay a friend on Facebook, you can use your phone to purchase coffee and 'Buy' buttons are starting to pop up all over the place. Financial companies that master how to integrate their services with consumer lifestyles will be a success. Understand that your consumer likes to pay their bills on Saturday morning over coffee and provide them with the services to do that in that moment. Spot the shopaholic and send them incentives to save their money that means they get 20% vouchers for their favourite shops at the end of the month. Send investment opportunities as they fly in by text. Reach your consumer in the moment.

3)    Omnichannel

Omnichannel marketing is the buzzword of 2015 and something that the finance industry should be paying close attention to. Omnichannel basically means to offer a customer a multi channel approach that offers a seamless experience whether it is online, mobile, telephone or in store. Omnichannel separates itself from multi channel in that it means that each channel works together to provide a consistent experience across each platform. Each channel is aligned on its messaging, goals, objectives, and design. This helps financial companies in that it helps to build trust across channel for users as they find comfort in consistency. It also helps users to interact with the brand on different channels at the different times of their day, capturing their attention when and where they need it on each  channel.

4)    Experience Business

Finance institutions need to keep in mind that they are not only up against other banks but also with other experience businesses such as ecommerce. This means that banks need not only focus on what the competition is doing in terms of services and UX design, but also other industries. Is Amazon interacting in a unique way with their audience? How can this be applied to banking? Have they managed to remove a step in the payment process? What can you learn about UX design from this change? Staying on top of the new tech developments will help banks to offer a better user experience.

5)    New Services

Marketplaces continue to grow and expand to provide new services and with this there is new wave of trust and transparency between companies and consumers. It is clear that companies in this new sharing economy, such as Venmo, appeal to millennials and other generations alike and financial institutions need to provide new services that engage users in a similar way. Companies need to understand that it is no longer institutions that influence consumers but peers, friends and like-minded groups.

6)    Wearables

Wearables are beginning to take off in a big way. You can have a crystal ring that changes colours based on what your phone is doing, you can pay for lunch with your smartwatch and you can get readings from your sleep patterns every night of the week. Understanding the disruptive nature of this new technology should enable banks to use them to their advantage especially if it is combined with a smooth and simplistic UX.

What are your thoughts on UX in the finance industry?  If you are looking for a UX design agency, talk to us today.

Read more in our whitepaper - The Omnichannel Banking Experience - Why you need to go omnichannel and how to plan for success.

Written by
Alexander Rauser
Alexander Rauser


Alexander Rauser is the author of Boardroom Guide to Digital Accountability and Digital Strategy: A Guide to Digital Business Transformation, and creator of the DSX Program, a digital strategy and transformation program for Enterprises.

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