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Design thinking for the banking & financial services industry: 9 top tips.

January 12, 2021 By: Alex Torres

Brick-and-mortar banks and financial institutions are continuing to make the shift to digital first. Because of this, the online banking experience has become more important than ever. To ensure that they are delivering the best possible customer and user experience, leaders in the field should engage in data-driven design thinking for banking & financial services industry. 

When it comes to banking, clients need to accomplish tasks without hiccups. Paying bills, applying for car loans, and sending someone cash all have a direct impact on a person’s life and financial well being. 

Here are 9 tips for how your bank or financial institution can enhance digital banking experiences for new and prospective clients. 

1. Monitor, view, and study new customer journeys.

Online banking is full of unique customer journeys, including account sign ups, financial applications for car loan, and first-time deposits in a business account. In order to best support their clients, banks need to be aware of any problems or challenges that occur over the course of the customer journey.

Simple UX errors can make it difficult for people to accomplish things like filling out a loan application. By identifying these problems sooner rather than later, banks can keep their conversion rates high by ensuring that customers won’t look elsewhere for loan options.

2. Consider the cross-device journey.

Clients are using their mobile phones as well as their desktop devices to manage their finances. 

Baby boomers and Gen X are more likely to use their desktop devices, whereas Gen Z and Millennials are inclined to use their mobile devices. 

In addition, some things are easier to accomplish on one device than the other. For instance, most banks make it easy to deposit a check by using your mobile device’s camera. 

By thinking about how each channel is used differently, banks and financial institutions can use data-driven design thinking to ensure that each user segment is being served well.

3. Take anecdotal customer feedback with a grain of salt.

Like other organizations, banks and financial institutions are accustomed to asking customers for feedback about their experience using an app or website. However, they need to quantify and prioritize these feedback, not rely on an anecdote or two.

While this feedback can be helpful, it’s often too anecdotal to be useful. The UX problems that have the greatest impact on a business’s bottom line are often misaligned with customer feedback. 

Rather than focus on customer feedback, banks and financial institutions should use data analytics to track conversion rates and other key performance indicators (KPIs). 

4. Stay ahead of the curve with security.

Banks and financial institutions have access to so much of our personal information, including social security numbers, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and other sensitive information. 

With that in mind, banks and financial institutions can’t make the same mistakes that, say, retailers and e-commerce giants can make. 

Banks and financial institutions must stay ahead of potential security threats by monitoring, tracking, and analyzing customer behavior and data well before problems arise. If they notice a sudden drop in conversion rates or an anomaly that suggests fraud, teams can address the problem before clients encounter them.

To accomplish this, financial institutions and banks are using Quantum Metric, a Continuous Product design platform that provides key information about user engagement, app crashes, API performance, and other important pain points, whether captured on websites, native apps for mobile, or hybrid apps.

5. Offer features that put clients in contact with an agent when necessary.

Nowadays, most customers hope to accomplish their digital banking needs without speaking with an agent. 

However, it’s not uncommon for technical errors or glitches to occur. These hiccups can make it difficult or impossible to accomplish a simple task, like making a money transfer. 

To rescue the client from these moments of friction, banks and financial institutions should offer a chat window, where clients can message a live rep. Another option is building a popup that includes a direct phone number to reach the relevant agent.

It’s especially important to help customers who are in the middle of tasks like filing an insurance claim, transferring large sums of money, or buying securities.

6. Use session replay technology to understand client’s experience.

Platforms such as Quantum Metric offer session replay technology that reduce MTTI (mean time to identify) problems. With session replay, banks & financial institutions can identify hard-to-find UX errors and design flaws. Many of these errors or design flaws do not register on other analytics tools. 

UX designers, IT/ops, software engineers, and other stakeholders are able to pair web and native app analytics with Quantum Metric’s high fidelity session replay technology so that they can better understand a user’s every move. 

Quantum Metric’s uniquely secure data capture method, device level encryption, ensures that any personal information is encrypted and secured. Sensitive data is encrypted on your customer’s device, so data is always secured when it is being sent and stored. 

7. Reduce steps to accomplish a task.

Design thinking for banking & financial services industry requires teams to think about the relationship between conversion rate optimization and UX design.

When creating a workflow, it’s best to reduce the number of steps or elements that are required to accomplish a specific task.

After all, fewer steps means fewer opportunities for errors.

8. Introduce productive customer friction.

While we tend to think of customer/user friction as a bad thing, friction can also be a positive signal for clients, especially in financial services, where one click can be worth thousands of dollars. 

Stock purchases and money transfers can be stressful, and clients want reassurance that they are sending their money to the right place. Some added friction—re-entering a password, filling out a captcha, or simply confirming a transaction—can establish trust between the client and the financial institution. 

In fact, over 90% of clients are in favor of taking an extra approval step before making a serious transaction.

9. Mitigate and dodge fraud.

Unusually high bank transactions, excessive login attempts, cutting and pasting into login forms, and the absence of scrolling are all signs of fraud. Anomaly detection software expedites the process of uncovering serious security issues. 

Quantum Metric makes it easier for banks and other financial institutions to catch fraud. Quantum’s anomaly detection technology helps teams to identify abnormalities in micro events and conversions, especially those that occur in the middle of the conversion funnel.

One financial services company used Quantum Metric’s anomaly detection technology to reclaim millions in fraud losses. The anomaly detection technology made it possible to identify suspicious cut-and-paste activity.

With the help of Quantum Metric, the company discovered that bots, or non-human traffic, were responsible for cutting and pasting various usernames in rapid succession, much faster than is humanly possible, on the login page. 

In general, filling out a form is considered a micro conversion. This makes it an easy step to overlook, especially since filling out forms does not have an obvious impact on the website’s KPIS. However, the fraudulent activity was costing the company millions, as well as putting customers at risk. 

By following our 9 top tips for using design thinking for banking & financial services industry, your team will be better prepared to deliver standout digital products and enhance the customer experience. 

Are you a bank or financial institution interested in learning more about how Quantum Metric can help your team build better digital products? 

Check out our case studies for detecting conversion blocking issues on native app and identifying API anomalies that caused a site-wide crash.

Are you interested in seeing Quantum Metric’s anomaly detection technology yourself? 

Request a live demo today.

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