The Importance of UX in the banking industry

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  • July 8, 2013
Bank Sign

As people, we all care about money. It’s not unusual for a person to want to check his/her bank account at least once a week, and it’s self-explainable why. We live in a financially-driven world, and many things revolve around our account balance. Therefore, even if we like it or not, we’re constantly in need to make financial decisions. When it comes to money, these decisions are mostly in regard to value exchange and transactions.When operating an ATM, using online banking services to pay for bills and/or to check the account, or when accessing financial services on our mobile phones, we always get in touch with user experience design. That being said, a quality design can ease the way people handle their finances, can reduce the time needed to access certain features, and can lead to a more pleasant experience overall. By comparison, a poorly thought out design can easily lead to the customer getting angry or upset and thus orient himself towards the competitions services.

Financial institutions have always focused on the performance of their products and services in order to attract customers. This focus hasn’t changed much over the years, although users have become more impatient and are seeking an immediate response to their needs and issues. User experience design plays a very important role in this, as it can facilitate users’ access to a number of services.

We live in a society where the market competition is highly fierce, and this is especially true when speaking about the banking sector. Nowadays, there are so many banks and financial institutions on the market that customers can be easily tempted to switch from one to the other. However, smart banks know how to adapt to customers’ expectations by making use of technology, and this is easily revealed by looking at their profitability stats. Banks which have understood that an adaptation to customers’ needs is essential had the most to gain, both in terms of clients as well as in revenue.

But how does UX design influence this field? In more than one way! Consider that user experience does not apply only to a website, although this aspect is perhaps the most important of all. Customers interact in person with self service ATMs, mobile banking, internet banking, pay by phone services and more. All these take UX design into account, for in the absence of it, there would be nothing else but tech-savvy devices that only few would know how to use.

The right user experience design can show the user exactly what he/she has to do to complete certain actions faster and easier, thus ultimately leading him to achieving his goals. And a user who understood how the bank’s product/service works from the first time will certainly be a satisfied user, one that is going to recommend the institution to everybody he knows. But perhaps more importantly, the right UX design can prevent users from suffering a negative experience, and thus there is a significantly higher chance for them to remain loyal to the bank for longer.

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