This column is authored by freelance writer, Rachel Oliver
If you look at some of the most successful firms in the world today, it becomes evident that one trait is common among all of them. They’re successful not only because of the work they do, but also because they all have seamless UX supporting their technology.
Take a look at global tech giant, Alphabet, for example. This company has a simple and easy-to-access UX environment throughout its products to suit any type of user.
Several upcoming companies have been given plenty of thought to creating a great user experience, whereas banks and other financial institutions are quickly realizing the importance of a flawless UX.
So, what are the top UX trends when it comes to banking in 2017?
Here are the top three trends that can be observed this year.
1. User-Centric Design
The banking sector did not pay much attention to influencing customer behaviour in the past. Now, however, a change is sweeping in this industry. Other major sectors such as the media and fashion have already transformed themselves to be more innovative and user-friendly in their approach to UX to suit today’s discerning customer.
The importance of creating brilliant UX has finally caught the banking sector’s attention. In a sector that is heavily regulated, introducing any new feature to the design of a bank’s website must undergo legal scrutiny before it can be approved. Points that especially need to be considered include transactional risk issues such as compromise of data, privacy and confidentiality, inaccuracies when processing transactions, and unauthorized access to accounts.
Banks need to speak with users to decipher which features will add real value for them. Making their services, customer-focused will be the key to success in 2017. It is important to recognize the problems faced by customers who use online banking services. Banks need to understand not only the technological side of the market, but also user behavior.
Millennials are going to be the most powerful consumer group in the coming years. Each bank must be able to provide an engaging user experience.
Most modern companies have a robust online presence, which means users are probably flooded with information by them. Social media, news websites, viral content creators, movies and music websites are a few of the most common sources of information overload.
In addition, if you shop online, then you’ve probably come across e-commerce websites that list new products regularly. Keeping this in mind, online banking must provide an intuitive, yet simple UX environment that meets the user’s basic needs.
For example, the intro page must include bank contacts, sign-in inputs, branch and ATM locator, news feed, and information pertaining to the bank’s products and services, to name a few. Bank statements should be easily accessible to verified customers, with no unnecessary pie charts and diagrams to distract them.
This will lead to better management of the most valuable commodity for the multi-tasking user today: time. By keeping the process simple, banks can avoid over-complicating the user experience and information overload.
3. Human Touch
Thanks to predictive analytics, banks now have the power to tailor-make a pleasant experience for every online-banking customer. For example, artificial intelligence can be used to predict user actions; and by including every user’s social network ID, banks can present a more personalized customer experience.
It is also important that the UX resonates with human psychology. It is only when the right questions are asked that proper research will take place. UX is no longer only about placing the correct-colored button on a particular part of the screen. It is also about understanding your customer’s financial behavior.
Banks also need to ensure an omni-channel solution for online banking. This entails allowing users to access their bank accounts through a range of gadgets such as smartphones, tablets, desktops, and more. In 2015, 57% of smartphone users in the US used smartphone for banking.
With rising customer expectations, banking UX engineering will require the merging of financial services with marketing, human psychology and technology.
To be successful, banks and finance firms need to employ new and innovative approaches to attract and retain customers through relevant and personalized experiences across channels. Banks must prioritize switching from product-centric to customer-centric thinking.
Although a complete UX revolution in the immediate future seems unthinkable, banks do need to figure out how to make their customers happy. This will need to be done by studying their behavior and providing a user experience that addresses the smallest of their problems.