One of my favorite parts of our work in the Customer Experience Design Practice at Temenos is keeping an eye on innovative experience designs from banks around the globe. Banking institutions of all sizes are drawing inspiration from digital leaders like Amazon, Netflix and Airbnb to create some really interesting omnichannel application experiences. In this blog, we outline the top customer experience design trends that leading banks around the world are implementing to improve customer onboarding.
Our team reviews digital onboarding experiences across all sizes of banks: from giants like HSBC, Citi, and Bankwest to smaller regional banks and local credit unions. We also look across various product types: deposit accounts, cards, loans, small business, and mortgages. While I think there is still ground to be made up for many banks, the trend towards more user-friendly, personalized designs is strong. As a proponent of human-centered design, I find this to be a very exciting time in the digital banking space!
On March 7th, I’ll be co-hosting a webinar along with Jim Marous from the Financial Brand, discussing design trends from banks around the globe. Today I’ll give you a sneak peek into some of what we’re seeing.
One of the trends I’m most encouraged by is the adoption of design thinking methodologies. Human-centered design has gained a strong following in technology and product designs over the last decade. We’re now seeing it being adopted in the banking space as well (thank goodness!). Several years ago, Capital One committed to this approach with the acquisition of Adaptive Path, and their focus on empathic messaging and design is very present in their marketing and award-winning mobile apps. One of Australia’s “Big Four” banks, Bankwest, spends considerable time talking to customers about their needs and goals, testing prototypes of digital experiences, all in search of those key insights that allow them to really connect with those customers.
Conversations, Not Interrogations
Making your customer onboarding a conversation, not an interrogation, is key to improving onboarding efficiency. Perhaps as a byproduct of a human-centered design approach, more online applications talk to their customers in a conversational, personal tone. Just because an application experience is digital, and removes the personal interaction of a branch visit, doesn’t mean it needs to feel less human. If you’ve ever used TurboTax to prepare your taxes, you’ve seen how a personalized, even fun at times, approach can reduce your anxiety and fear of completing a complicated transaction. Bank of Montreal’s deposit account applications have a personalized, approachable feel.
The banks positioned best for the future are also embracing open banking. The creative possibilities enabled by open banking, to simplify onboarding processes, are really exciting. Sharing account data between banks, for example, will greatly streamline processes that were previously manually intensive. Let’s say you want to apply for an auto loan with a new bank. Sharing your account details and history between your primary bank and new bank can quickly answer fraud risk, identity verification, and creditworthiness questions. The banks are getting more consistent, accurate data with very little effort required by the customer. A win for both sides! Watch this space as open banking efforts continue to roll-out across the globe.
Fictitious example sharing customer data between banks to streamline an application process.