Financial activity is hardly everyone’s cup of tea. In fact, in many cases, people see depositing checks, balancing budgets, and paying bills as chores. This is true, whether it’s done in a brick-and-mortar bank or on a smartphone.
With that said, more and more banks have felt the effects of digital transformation in the last few years. An increasing number of customers wish to use online portals and mobile apps to streamline and simplify their financial activity.
If you want your financial institution to steer into this technological change, you must do so with an eye toward more than practical banking activity. You should strive to create a superior customer experience that will help your brand stand out, even in the crowded fintech space. Here are a few tips to help create a banking app that draws the user in and provides a positive, quality experience.
1. Focus on Functionality
Let’s start with a general — yet critical — aspect of banking apps: functionality. A fintech app should never be a vague or complex tool. Instead, it should have a clear and obvious purpose.
If any type of bank wants to provide a portal for online banking, each aspect of its app should serve a distinct banking function. For example, if a company wants to create an online access point for its credit builder card, it should focus on desired things like transferring money, making payments, and reporting them to the credit bureaus.
Regardless of the specific function, every type of banking app should prioritize functionality. It should focus on performing the tasks and answering the needs that it exists to address. It should do this in a straightforward manner that doesn’t beat around the bush. Resist the urge to focus on flashy details or emphasize less important features. As a banking tool, your app should be easy to use and stress-free.
2. Prioritize Security
All apps tend to be flashpoints for security concerns. Even an entertainment or gaming app can collect personal information that it must keep safe. When it comes to banking in particular, though, security is a top priority. If you create an app that puts users’ data — not to mention their funds — at risk, it will undermine every other positive aspect of your software.
With that in mind, it’s wise to establish strong security protocols for your banking app. Utilize things like strong passwords, two-factor authentication, and even fingerprint, voice, and face recognition.
Decide what is the minimum amount of security required to make the average user feel safe. Then offer additional layers of protection for those looking to take extra precautions. In addition, make sure that all of your security features aren’t just present but obvious. Tout how safe your app is so that users can rest in the fact that they are safe as they go about the business of their online banking.
3. Consider Additional Features
There are many additional features that can be integrated into a banking app that go beyond basic banking behavior. A few of these include:
- Notifications: The kind of notifications that you offer can make a big difference in the user experience. Rather than having users log on to receive in-app notifications, provide options to have messages emailed or texted to them. Also, try to empower the user by giving them the ability to customize their notifications.
- Texting: Some banks are starting to offer the ultra-convenient ability to engage in certain activities via text. Text banking is limited in nature, but it can allow people to perform common functions such as making transfers or getting customer support.
- Smart integrations: Making your app usable across different smart devices is another great way to meet user needs. The ability to transition between a computer, a phone, and even a smartwatch while banking is a great perk.
Thoughtfully incorporate each feature that you choose into your banking app. It should answer a user’s needs and help them be safe. Don’t use additional features to gussy up your app. Instead, utilize them as opportunities to genuinely enhance the customer experience.
4. Ask Your Customers
Throughout the development and maintenance of your app, it’s important to keep your customers involved in the process. Don’t fall into the classic engineering trap of creating what you think the customer wants and then trying to sell it to them. Instead, start by gaining a firm grasp of what factors, features, and functions your customers actually want in their banking app.
You can start with basic market research. Study competitors and look for what makes their apps popular. Also, make note of where their software falls short or leaves customers dissatisfied.
You should also invest in learning more about your current customers’ pain points. What does your clientele want to see in a banking app? What features do they consider superfluous? Will they visit brick-and-mortar banking branches at all in the future or do they want to eliminate in-person transactions entirely?
As you gather information, you can use it to inform your app design and development. This can shape what features you offer as well as how they look and operate. You can also use this research to ensure that your app is accessible to everyone who may need to use it.
Once you’ve launched the app, continue to look for active feedback from users. Use surveys and ratings to help you identify where your app can continue to improve.
Also, take the time to have your team stay abreast of the latest developments in banking app design. This can help you keep up with the currents of technological change that are always impacting the fintech space.
From functionality to security, feedback to features, there are plenty of areas to focus on if you want to build a better banking app. The key is to remain aware of the customer experience throughout your development journey. If you can always keep the user at the forefront of your mind, you can create a banking app that truly meets your customers’ needs in the best manner possible.