Today’s digital consumers have higher expectations of their financial institution than ever before. To be successful, banks and credit unions need new and innovative approaches to attract and retain customers through highly relevant and personalized experiences across multiple channels. Our number one priority must be to switch from product-centered to customer-centered thinking.
Most organizations need to look outside of the traditional finance industry for guidance. That means hiring designers, user-experience (UX) professionals, fintech developers and innovators who have an understanding of customers’ needs and expectations beyond banking.
This strategy, mixed with a flexible in-house innovation culture, will provide a formula for success in 2017 and beyond.
Banking’s UX Design Trends for 2017
1. Every Bank Will Need a UX Strategy
It’s not enough to create usable interfaces to ensure user-centered approaches in your banking service delivery. Banks and credit unions need to understand what kind of experience they want to ensure at every touch point of digital interaction with their users. Every member of the banking team has to perform this strategy and provide user-centric approaches to promote an excellent user experience.
2. Financial Psychology Will Be In Demand
A lot of banks already believe in the power of user testing and user research. Unfortunately, it’s not enough. A/B testing and customer feedback from interviews are only a part of the equation. UX specialists must learn human psychology in order to conduct the proper research, ask the right questions, and make the correct interpretation of collected data.
Testing button colors and placements could increase conversion for a while, but it will not result in a great user experience. Only by understanding users’ problems, needs, emotions, financial cognition and financial behavior on a deeper level will you be able to architect services that your customers are seeking.
3. UX Support From Stakeholders Will Increase
The role of UX specialists will be more highly respected and more important for consumer-ocentric banks in 2017. From an instrumental level of UX/UI designers, the user experience design will move to a higher level of engineering, from UX architects to strategy level C-level executives like chief experience officers and heads of digital experience.
This will be caused by a banking organizational culture switch to a new paradigm – customer-centricity. In the digital age, this is the only way to make banking successful.
4. Banking UX Approaches Will Become Holistic
Effective banking UX engineering is not only about designing user interfaces. Rather, it requires deep competence in a myriad of areas, including financial services, business management, marketing, human psychology, technology, digital platforms, etc. A UX specialist explores the big picture of banking service workflow, hundreds of user scenarios, and the overall background to create an ideal user journey map.
As a result, a holistic approach allows the integration of bank targets, customer needs and technological opportunities into innovative digital solutions.
5. Banking UX Will Be Challenged from Alternative UIs
We have recently witnessed the appearance of a lot of alternative user interaction platforms, such as Chatbots, voice processing and VR technology. We expect them to grow rapidly by expanding into new areas, including finance, and providing new financial abilities for users. This will become a critical challenge for banking UX specialists in the near future.
6. Banking UX Will Be Designed for Millennials
Millennials are poised to become the most powerful consumer group in the next decade. They are tech-savvy and independent. They are less brand loyal – experience drives their decision making. If you want to ensure your bank survives in the long term, find out who these Millennials are and how to improve engagement with them.
7. Financial UX Will Become More Personalized
Artificial intelligence (AI) and predictive analytics will ensure the ability to craft a pleasant user experience by matching user needs on a deeper level. AI virtual assistance using Internet of Things (IoT) sensors will predict user intentions even when offline. Maybe next year is too early to speak about full AI-based banking personalization, but banking services may become closer to customers by personalizing experiences using social IDs.
8. Bank Users Will Expect Completely Digital UX
More and more consumers expect to be able to do everything digitally, having a complete digital experience when opening their accounts, making transactions and enrolling in new services. Many of them want to get the best possible self-service experience ensured by biometric authentication, digital forms, step-by-step guides, FAQs, DIY videos, knowledge bases, online advisory support, advanced scoring, etc.
9. Banking UX Will Be Empowered by Micro-Interactions
Design is getting more functional, especially in digital services. But, it’s not about outdated spreadsheet design with which we are so familiar in banking. It’s about the science of meeting customer needs in a digital space, with simple elements and lines, clear icons, minimal copy and frictionless flow. In order to ensure this, banking design should switch from static to dynamic by implementing rich micro-interactions based on descriptive animation.
10. Mobile-First Is Transforming Into Omnichannel UX
Without a doubt, mobile channels are already dominating. If you have just begun your bank digitalization, start with responsive web for mobile services. But to provide the best possible experience for your customers, implement an omnichannel strategy that includes native solutions for major mobile platforms, responsive desktop service and, in the near future, wearables, IoT or even VR solutions. This will generate exceptional experiences across all platforms used by your customers.
5 Banking UX Design Do’s for 2017
1. Interact with Customers. Banks should talk to their customers, research their financial behaviors, and collect all possible feedback (including negative) to find real pain points when interacting with digital banking solutions.
2. Simplify Design. It is finally the right moment for banks to simplify everything and offer digital solutions to make their services clear, obvious and intuitive for their users. Perhaps this is the most difficult task of all because of the need to overcome existing internal politics and an organizational culture.
3. Implement Design Thinking. Let’s bring more pleasure and fun to finance by delighting users with emotions that banking services can provide through light design and smooth flow. Let’s implement design thinking into all bank levels.
4. Investigate Fintechs. The world is moving fast, and rapidly growing technology startups can share some outstanding UX design insights and case studies. Banks should find out what inspires their users and be open to digital challenges and changes.
5. Be Passionate. Banking services could look more authentic if banks would add soul to it. It sounds provocative, but finance doesn’t have to be so formal. We all know that digital solutions will reinvent banking and make it more human-centric. Challenger banks are already unafraid to show their passion in serving their clients.
5 Banking UX Design Dont’s for 2017
1. Don’t Underestimate the Power of UX Design. in a modern world. Today, consumers are constantly searching for pleasant experiences. Their expectations are rising, and they could easily switch to a more active and caring provider regardless of its size and experience. Consider the success of the iPhone versus the fall of the Nokia.
2. Don’t be Afraid of Digital Technologies. Start from a simple solution that will enrich your customer experiences and match their needs. Iterate and move forward step-by-step by implementing new solutions.
3. Don’t Live in the Past. Step into your customers’ shoes and look at the big picture, even if it hurts. Your previous decades of success means nothing in the eyes of modern customers … they only care about their actual experience today.
4. Don’t Overcomplicate. Users are freaked out by information overload. Make your information architecture contextual – every feature is in the right place at the right time. Follow the progressive learning curve principle.
5. Don’t Manipulate Users. Conversion rate optimization and UX engineering should only be used to bring fair value to your customers. It’s not just about marketing anymore. Your customers are waiting for real value from your service. Give it to them; make their lives easier.
How Does the ‘Bank of the Future’ Differ from Today’s Bank?
The main difference from the customer perspective is simpler navigation – users no longer have to navigate dozens of sections indicative of a traditional bank or credit union. There are only seven main sections in our ‘Bank of the Future’ vision, with a clear definition for every section.
The ‘Bank of the Future’ provides all services in one marketplace that looks like a store filled with financial applications. This is more engaging for users since they can easily navigate through the store and find any solution they need.
With personal financial management (PFM) of the future, users can monitor spending and determine what amount of money is safe to spend based on real-time monitoring of interactions. Customer want to 1)see their balances, 2)view their transaction history, and 3) make transfers and payments. Consumers should be able to do all of this in one or two clicks. This is a big advantage over traditional banking solutions, which typically require over eight clicks to accomplish tasks.
Users don’t want to have to tap dozens of buttons. They want to push one button and be provided the solution they need. This is the ‘Bank of the Future’.