User Experience Design Tips for Digital Banking Applications
Sector: Digital Product
Author: Nisarg Mehta
Date Published: 07/17/2023
Visiting a bank branch for money deposits and checkbook issues is a thing of the past.
What was once crucial for a bank to attract and retain customers, such as a well-maintained office, friendly tellers, and short queues, has now lost some of its relevance.
Instead, the focus has shifted towards the convenience of depositing checks through mobile phones, fast-loading websites, and user-friendly interfaces.
In fact, many banks like Revolut, Currensea, MoneyLion, and more solely operate via a digital ecosystem.
As per a report by the ABA, 87% of financial institutions with assets ranging from $50 million to $15 billion have created and launched their own mobile banking applications.
As customers increasingly embrace digital technology, banks must adopt new standards and practices in the digital realm to effectively engage their virtual clientele.
This is where it gets critical to design a perfect UX for customer touchpoints. And one such touchpoint is the Banking Apps.
To enhance the user experience, it is crucial to include key features for fintech applications. These features encompass seamless onboarding, secure authentication, payment integration, budgeting and expense tracking, personalized recommendations, and more.
Let’s understand how you can offer the best digital banking experience for your customers via apps.
9 Actionable UX Design Tips for Digital Banking Applications
To create a successful banking user experience (UX) design, it is essential to start with user research conducted by a dedicated design team.
By understanding the needs and preferences of customers, the team can ensure a well-tailored design.
Additionally, ongoing testing and iteration of products and services based on customer feedback are crucial for maintaining a high-quality UX in the banking industry.
Now, let’s start with our actionable tips:
1. Communicate Regulations Clearly
Financial services are subject to extensive regulations due to their handling of people’s critical resources. These regulations can impose limitations on product capabilities and user experience convenience.
For instance, security measures like two-factor authentication (2FA), while essential for safeguarding individuals, can occasionally disrupt the seamless user experience of a banking app.
Hence, it is crucial to effectively communicate the significance of such security regulations to users.
Although it may appear as an unfair disadvantage, transparent communication can help users comprehend the importance of these necessary security measures and foster additional trust.
Ultimately, these measures are in place to ensure the safety of everyone involved. However, it is unfortunate that users may not always appreciate the interruptions caused by such events, leading to churn.
Nevertheless, this presents a valuable opportunity to educate users about scams, enabling them to recognize and avoid potential threats. Striking the right balance between convenience and security should be the objective of any product in the financial sector.
2. Make it Easy to Onboard
Creating a positive first impression is crucial, and the onboarding process plays a vital role in establishing a relationship with users. Therefore, ensuring the onboarding experience is streamlined and user-friendly is important.
From simplified sign-up forms to personalized welcome messages and tutorials, every aspect of the onboarding process should be carefully designed with the user’s needs in mind. It is essential to prioritize accessibility, catering to individuals with disabilities such as visual impairment or limited dexterity.
Traditional methods of authentication, like passwords and one-time codes, can be replaced with more advanced technologies such as biometric authentication and digital signatures. These technologies not only enhance security but also contribute to faster onboarding, as banking users often have little patience when it comes to checking or executing financial transactions.
For instance, Revolut leverages AI-powered facial recognition technology to verify users’ identities, creating a seamless onboarding experience.
3. Personalize for Users
In the current fiercely competitive landscape of banking, delivering a personalized user experience can have a significant impact on enhancing engagement and fostering customer loyalty.
Through the utilization of data analytics and insights, UX designers can craft tailored experiences for users, taking into account factors such as transaction history and location. Banks can accomplish this by implementing personalized messaging, customized dashboards, and targeted offers and promotions.
A prime example of this is the N26 platform, which features an automatic categorization functionality for users’ spending based on their transaction history. This empowers users to easily track their spending patterns and effectively plan their future expenses.
4. Keep it Simple
Typically, banking apps are complex to use. Hence, it is advisable to focus on creating a minimalistic design. This starts with identifying user scenarios and use cases, such as designing an intuitive user journey for seamless switching between multiple accounts.
In addition, a mobile-first design approach should be followed to ensure that essential information is always easily accessible to the user.
For example, after logging in via the mobile app, customers typically want to check their critical financial details, like balances and transactions.
To achieve this, thoughtful information architecture, visual hierarchy, effective use of whitespace, and optimization for smaller screens and touch interactions are crucial considerations. Additionally, optimizing for speed is essential to provide a smooth user experience.
By keeping the design simple and user-friendly, frustrations can be minimized, leading to increased customer satisfaction.
Monzo serves as an excellent example of a neo-bank that excels in offering a straightforward and intuitive UI design with a strong emphasis on ease of use.
5. Embedded Customer Support
In today’s fast-paced digital world, where customers expect immediate assistance and seamless experiences, offering multiple channels for contacting the support team is critical.
Here are several channels that banks can provide to ensure efficient customer support:
- Phone Support: Offering a dedicated phone line for customer support allows users to speak directly with a representative. This channel is particularly useful for complex inquiries or urgent matters where a real-time conversation is necessary.
- Email Support: Providing an email address allows customers to send detailed inquiries, requests, or complaints. Email support offers the advantage of allowing users to articulate their issues clearly and provide any relevant attachments or documentation.
- Live Chat: Integrating a live chat feature in the mobile app enables customers to engage in real-time text-based conversations with support agents. Live chat is often preferred by users who seek quick answers or assistance while using the app.
- In-App Messaging: Implementing an in-app messaging system enables users to send messages directly within the mobile app. This feature enhances convenience and ensures a seamless customer experience, as users can reach out for assistance without leaving the app.
Furthermore, ensuring that customer support is available 24/7 is crucial. Customers may encounter issues or have inquiries at any time, and the ability to reach out to a support team around the clock instills confidence and demonstrates a commitment to customer satisfaction.
Prompt responsiveness is equally important. Customers expect timely resolutions to their queries or problems. Banks should strive to provide quick and accurate responses to inquiries, ensuring that customers feel valued and attended to promptly.
6. Offer Self Service
Implementing self-service options within banking apps is essential for improving customer satisfaction and convenience.
These options provide customers with the flexibility to perform various banking tasks independently, anytime, and anywhere.
Self-service features save time and costs for both customers and banks by reducing reliance on traditional customer service channels.
To effectively implement self-service, banks should provide comprehensive knowledge bases and FAQs, leverage automation technologies like chatbots, and gather user feedback for continuous improvements.
By offering robust self-service capabilities, banking apps empower customers, streamline banking processes, and enhance overall customer satisfaction.
7. Provide Real-time Feedback
Banks in this digital era rely on real-time feedback to establish trust and confidence among their users.
By offering immediate feedback on transactions, balances, and other activities, users can feel empowered and in control of their finances without the need to visit a physical bank or wait for end-of-day updates.
Leveraging the nudge theory, AI-powered context-based suggestions in banking, driven by analytics and big data, can deliver exceptional customer experiences.
8. Keep it Consistent
Design consistency is crucial for banking apps as it creates a seamless user experience, builds brand identity, and fosters trust.
UX designers can ensure consistency by:
- Creating style guides
- Using UI component libraries
- Establishing grid systems and layout guidelines
- Defining color and typography standards
- Conducting design reviews and usability testing
- Documenting design decisions
- Continuously iterating and improving
Consistent design elements contribute to better usability, brand recognition, and customer trust, resulting in an enhanced user experience in banking apps.
9. Streamline Payment Workflows
With the advent of instant messaging apps and other rapidly advancing technologies, users have high expectations for quick and seamless payment experiences.
UI/UX designers hold a pivotal role in optimizing payment processing times by simplifying the payment process and minimizing the necessary steps.
Furthermore, integrating with third-party payment providers and leveraging state-of-the-art payment technologies can further enhance the speed of payment processing.
Banks that can process payments faster than instant messaging platforms have a significant advantage, as it increases customer satisfaction and fosters long-term loyalty.
The COVID-19 pandemic has witnessed a tremendous surge in the adoption of digital banking, prompting organizations to reimagine their design and overall user experience.
In this evolving digital finance landscape, it is crucial to incorporate the principles we’ve discussed to enable customers to effortlessly and confidently manage their finances.