Vikram Singh is currently the Head of Product at mPokket. Vikram leads mPokket’s product team and has been developing the product strategy and roadmap to align with the Company’s strategic goals. Vikram has 12 years of experience at leading organisations such as Myntra, Axtria and Samsung. Before joining mPokket, Vikram was working with Myntra as an Associate Director, where he built and launched popular products such as Myntra Credit and Personalised Checkout.
During the past decade, digital has been transforming users’ banking experience. The pandemic simply accelerated the transition process from half-a-dozen years to a few weeks. Most traditional banks have realised the importance of digital and the threat from fintech firms in luring customers.
While traditional banks continue to fare well, challenging fintech innovations like neobank, digital wallets etc. have been chipping away at the brick and mortar dominance with the increasing workforce participation of millenials and gen-z. Small wonder then that fintech players are steadily attracting more customers, given the convenient, enjoyable and seamless operations they offer through their customer-centric design.
As a result, UX (user experience) design is the buzzword in the banking and lending segments. But the solution isn’t as simplistic as creating a mobile banking app for customer convenience. If the app is difficult to understand and use and Customer Care can’t help immediately, the unpleasant user experience could make matters worse.
Therefore, digital technology and UX design must ensure that unbearable user experiences with legacy systems are transformed into unforgettable ones that delight users while resolving their problems. It is here that mobile-first fintech firms and apps are creating new yardsticks for managing personal finances while offering a great UX.
Yet, since the online market is awash with myriad digital solutions, the differentiating factors decide which fintech apps win over more customers than their new-age peers or traditional banks. As per statistics, an estimated 46% of customers bank exclusively on digital channels to service their financial needs.
Since mobile payments, digital wallets, digital-first banks and other alternatives allow customers to enjoy seamless financial transactions, customer loyalty is driven primarily by the user experience. In turn, this is based on design expertise within organisations that provide a flawless user interface.
Some of the best practices and features that drive enjoyable UX include:
Mobile-first engaging UX: This is the biggest feature that attracts more customers to fintech firms. In the US, mobile-first players account for the most downloaded financial apps. While some banks have embraced customer journeys, it is often constructed around a banking product rather than catering to the users needs. Today, customers prefer seamless and swift integrated solutions. This means they are no longer keen on visiting bank branches to avail of banking services. That is why excellent UX is essential to boost the acquisition and retention rates of users.
Robust security: An equally key parameter is security. Customer verification and security underpin the banking process. As per RSA, 48% of fraud value comes from newly-opened accounts – or those less than a day old. To limit security threats while offering a smooth sign-up process, digital entities must move towards increasingly complex authentication solutions integrating innovative customer-centric approaches that ensure excellent user experiences which, in turn, foster higher engagement levels.
Seamless on-boarding: Maintaining a proper balance between accurate KYC validation and seamless on-boarding is crucial. This ensures that customers complete the entire on-boarding process while enhancing the chances of users gaining a positive first impression that benefits the brand.
Thanks to high-tech digital-KYC services, a new online bank account can be opened within minutes – entirely in-app. With immediate passwords and pins plus features such as voice and facial recognition, fingerprint verification with the machine learning systems, customer identities can be validated within minutes. Thereafter, almost instantaneously, customers can start their novel mobile banking journey.
Personalised banking through Big Data: The next strategy fintech companies employ is to increase customer loyalty or stickiness by focussing on facilitating more personalised user experiences via data insights. For instance, customers can be provided with bespoke offerings and alerts curated through their spending patterns. Or they can offer financial guidance with solutions addressing specific needs – even those the customers may not be aware of. Such hyper-personalisation is centred on a user-first approach backed by Big Data that leaves a positive impact resulting in both brand loyalty and customer retention.
Accessing new financial services: UX helps introduce first-time users to more sophisticated services such as stock trading and forex markets. This can help in opening millions of new brokerage accounts. Many investment apps have been built for catering to users’ specialised requirements. This allows almost all new and experienced users to build their portfolios without undue hassles. Apps that are easy to navigate and have clear dashboards make it easier to enjoy overviews and seamless trading, which are imperative for good user experiences.
Besides the above, fintechs provide additional benefits that legacy banks do not. Among others, these include flexibility, interconnectivity, and unique value propositions. Where flexibility is concerned, fintech apps adapt quickly to new or upcoming rules whereas legacy banks are often slow to react. In interconnectivity, fintechs rely on a holistic ecosystem while conventional banks create separate products.
Last but not the least, the unique value proposition is one of the biggest differentiators between banks and fintech firms. Traditional banks operate with a one-size-fits-all model. Conversely, fintech entities provide personalised value, catering to their diverse customers’ evolving needs by curating innovative, unique and delightful digital banking experiences.
If banks wish to thrive in the post-pandemic new normal, UX design remains the way to go.