Several years of UX experience - in core-banking in a global bank and the fintech industry in both London and Poland - led me to create this list.
The entries below are absolute must-haves when it comes to fintech products.
“We have to think about the customers first” - this is a well-known truth. But how exactly does it influence design thinking?
We need to understand that users bring with them not just their trust and assets, but they are also their experience from traditional banking.
So imagine a traditional banking interaction - visiting a branch, opening the door, chatting with a clerk, proving your identity and talking about your needs to wisely choose a financial product… I bet any of you can replay that journey in your mind. In fact, we can translate it to a digital user journey, reflecting the process almost 1:1. How? Do read about the process below.
1. Effective onboarding process
A major part of the onboarding process is capturing all essential data about the users, from identification and verification, to pre-scoring and scoring. We can design and improve processes when users know exactly:
where they are in the process,
what is already done,
what steps they are expected to complete.
The challenge is to keep the process transparent for the users and inform them about every step and reason for collecting data. This is especially important in EU because of the new GDPR regulation.
2. Identity authentication
Acquisition of new users is often the key measure of success for fintech companies. However, when it comes to sensitive data, assets management, transactions etc., it is essential to deal with real people. Because internet gives users a sense of anonymity, the fintech industry has to identify and authenticate users within apps. This is why a document verification process is a crucial part of the entire user journey.
The verification process can be fully automated or purely manual – the advantage of manual verification is its accuracy, the advantage of machine learning is its speed.
Which is better? Usually, the decision is made with a compromise between time and budget in mind. Fintech companies which have access to ambient touchpoints with their users definitely have the advantage.
3. Biometric verification
There’s no compromise when it comes to security! Biometric verification is becoming available on most mobile devices and two-step verification is the standard within the financial industry. However, there’s no limit for exploring different verification methods. The example pictured above shows how a security code can be pre-populated for users in two different ways: as a QR code or animage for manual re-typing.
4. Fitting it all on a small screen
Another challenge is to fit in dozens of traditional bank features in a single app. A well-designed dashboard definitely helps – both form and function matter. Smartphone users can conveniently access data about the performance of their assets with easy to apply sorting filters. Interactive charts allow displaying really complex conjunctions of values, assets and time. When we add an essential call to action button we can only compare it to stock exchange monitoring and constant calls to brokers. However all this looks way simpler and more accessible in developing mobile fintech apps - a great argument for the existence of digital products.
5. Behaviour prediction
There’s a lot of buzz around machine learning and usage of complex algorithms to get to know users better and predict their behaviors. Forecasting can be achieved in many different ways, giving users a feeling of dealing with personalised products crafted for their unique needs and aspirations. We can only compare it to a dedicated, well-trained agent who really knows the user, along with his or her capabilities and needs. Clearly, fintech solutions again have the advantage in terms of time, costs and scaling possibilities.
Scoring is the biggest risk for both sides of the process within the industry. As many third-party companies can provide useful data, it is a great practice to inform users about the existing scoring and suggesting ways to improve. Fintech companies are still learning how to deal with user evaluation. One thing is certain: with more sources to monitor, more trust can be earned. So, as seen in the example above, it is a definitely great fintech UX design practice to ask for more sources of knowledge to minimise risk and offer more interesting (cheaper by the cost of risk) financial products.
7. Transparency and being useful
Once again about transparency. Since fintech solutions are detached from physical branches, it is a crucial practice to provide as much related data as possible to keep their products understandable and avoid users spending time on help and support channels. This can lead to frustration and dropped services – fintech is all about the users and customer is king.
While almost every company tries to redefine the market and get their own piece of cake, you have to think about the customers first. You may be inclined to think that it is just a marketing mantra, but real business proves that it’s much more than just a platitude. Design plays an essential part in the end user’s journey in fintech and it is crucial to master the UX and UI experience. In literally every project I worked on, the ROI justified the design effort.
To quote the CEO of Meniga, a fast-growing fintech company: “Start showing users that you care for their well-being, help them manage their money. Educate them so they have no reason to go elsewhere.” This is his advice for banks. But it does apply to the whole industry.
At Netguru pay special attention to translating ambient behaviors into digital ones by creating great and consistent user experience and product designs. That’s why we were chosen by many fintech partners - Skrill, Policygenius and My Dobot to name a few. Want to know more? Get in touch!