Person with headphones on looking at a stack of paper.
All articles
Jul 27, 2021 | Updated Jun 11, 2024

Why Good UX is Essential for Banks

As the desire for easy-to-use digital banking services continues to rise, banks and fintech companies have an opportunity to create better user experiences for their online customers.

Thanks to its convenience, flexibility and even the 2020 pandemic, the demand for digital banking continues to build momentum.

According to the 2020 mobile banking study from Insider’s Intelligence, 89% of respondents indicated that they use mobile banking. Even more telling, 97% of millennials reported using mobile banking apps, while 91% of Gen Xers and 79% of baby boomers reported seeing benefits in the services.

That’s 9 out of every ten bank customers logging into their mobile banking apps regularly to check balances, deposit checks, pay bills, and transfer money.

With this level of consumer engagement, financial institutions in the banking industry have a tremendous opportunity to gain customers via up-to-date and frictionless digital banking experiences.

So let’s take a look at the principles of good UX in digital banking and why good UX is essential for banks and fintech companies.

What is digital banking?

Digital banking is being able to access everyday banking functions via a computer or mobile device.

Therefore, mobile banking applications and online banking websites fall under the “digital banking” umbrella. Even digital-only newcomers, such as Ally and GoBank, have claimed a stake in the digital banking space.

What makes a good digital banking user experience?

Gone are the days of having to visit your local brick-and-mortar bank to deposit a check. What was once necessary for a bank to retain customers — a clean office space, friendly tellers, and short lines — is now somewhat obsolete. Instead, the ability to deposit a check via phone, quick-loading homepages, and sleek user interfaces have become the priority.

Director of Client Relations, Anne, sitting in a chair our Seattle studio while wearing headphones and looking at an Ipad.
Director of Client Relations, Anne, hanging out in our Seattle studio.

As bank customers become more digitally savvy, banks need new digital standards and practices to engage their virtual customers. Here are six principles of user-friendly digital banking and a delightful bank customer experience:

1. Personalization

Digital banking services should meet the unique needs of each customer. How is this done? Companies can use customer analytics and data to anticipate each user’s needs and offer personalized service information, enrollment opportunities, and advice based on those needs.

2. Easy navigation

As true for any good user experience, functionality is key. Use design thinking and evidence-driven UX design to develop a layout and structure that will be most useful to your customers. Good UX also includes a functional design for all digital channels, whether your user is banking on their phone, tablet, or computer.

3. Transparency

Prioritize simple designs and precise bank-to-customer interactions. Money can be complicated. The systems that manage it shouldn’t be.

4. Security

Trust, safety, and security make up the cornerstone of a successful bank. Advanced security features such as biometric authentication, face recognition, and automated fraud alerts protect your customers and their money.

5. Relevant features and functions

Include functions that meet your customers’ everyday banking needs. For example, give customers a way to check balances, deposit checks, open accounts, and enroll in services — anything they would do while visiting a bank in person.

6. Quick access to help

Banking solutions, such as chatbots, FAQs, and knowledge bases, help customers find answers and discover solutions quickly.

Once you’ve applied these principles, consider working with a UX research and design firm like Blink to test your digital banking experience with usability testing, user research, and user journey maps.

Blinkers conduct research for a client study.
Blinkers Tom and Claire conduct research for a client study.

Why is good UX essential for banks?

At Blink, we think good UX is essential for all industries, but especially banking and fintech. Because of its personal nature, financial institutions must build services that people understand and trust. A good user experience design in banking can boost customer loyalty, confidence, and sales. Here’s a deeper look at why banks need good UX:

  • Thoughtful designs keep customers. User-friendly digital products and services increase customer satisfaction and help retain customers. According to the 2021 Digital Banking Report from Mobiquity, 46% of respondents under 55 years old indicated that they would switch banks to get better digital features. Therefore, this is an opportunity for banks to prioritize UX and keep those customers from making the switch.
  • Good UX makes finance more accessible and inclusive. Mobile bank apps and online banking websites can save time, increase financial literacy, and provide customers with easy access to services. “On average, respondents estimate that they save 45 minutes a month because of mobile banking,” says Citi’s 2018 Mobile Banking Study. In addition, for customers who live far away from or can’t travel to a brick-and-mortar location, digital services help them stay connected. More than ever, banks can offer complimentary financial advice with their digital services to increase financial literacy and support customers in every aspect of their economic life.
  • Investing in better banking experiences saves time and money. Investing upfront in UX research and design for your banking service is far less expensive than any rework done after launching the service. In addition, UX research and data-driven designs help anticipate and correct product pain points before your product hits the market.

Digital banking is here to stay

And customers are looking for engaging banking platforms they can trust. By reimagining digital banking UX, banks and fintech startups have the opportunity to gain customers, build trust, and make finance more accessible and inclusive.

Evidence-driven design for your digital banking service

At Blink, our UX designers and researchers have worked with dozens of financial institutions to rethink their digital service experiences. By using an evidence-driven design approach, we can help you create financial products that your customers will use and love. If you’re ready to reimagine your digital banking user experience, contact us today.

Contact us today