Invest in the user experience

November 30, 2012

Customers have become so used to e-banking, but banks must ensure they’re constantly innovating and investing in this channel to offer the best experience possible, says Kestutis Gardziulis.

For many people, e-banking has become just as important as having a cup of coffee in the morning. Most use it everyday and it is their first point of call for managing all of their finances.
I am unique. I have different roles in my life; I talk to different people about different things. As a result, I have different needs when it comes to managing my finances – both in a personal and business sense. In one day, for example, I may want to make a payment transfer to my wife on my mobile and then when I’m on route to a business meeting I may need to sign 52 new transfers that my accountant has assigned to me. These two tasks are quite different, but I want to be able to manage them in a similar way – one that is quick and simple.

Unfortunately, not all banks can support functions like this across online and mobile channels. This can be extremely frustrating. With consumers used to managing all areas of their lives online – from food and clothes shopping to social networking – it’s important that banks keep up and do as much as they can to enrich their online experience.

According to Capgemini’s World Retail Banking Report 2012, nine per cent of respondents are likely to leave their banks in the next six months. 40 per cent are unsure they will stay with their banks long term. If we combine these two findings, it’s really quite concerning. 53 per cent said that quality of service is a key deciding factor, with 49 per cent asking for ease of use in the online experience. In my opinion a good e-banking experience is now a major differentiator and something that customers have come to expect.

So how does one create an e-banking solution that provides a good customer experience?
Firstly, I believe that you cannot make today’s software with yesterday’s tools. This is why banks must refresh their minds, re-spark their souls and collaborate. Nowadays, redeveloping a system in a short space of time can be achieved only by using new methods and techniques, such as agile or LEAN development principles. Statistics and surveys show us that ease of use and great user experience is a must. Do not forget it. Invest in a good front-end development, design and visual appearance, carry out usability tests and really think about the features and functionality you want to include. Focus on your users’ needs. Make the same great banking experience through different channels. Collaborate with a development company. Be open to new things, new collaborations, new principles, new products and unheard features. Be open to inventing and trying new things. Be open to innovation.

The financial industry today faces so many challenges. Transforming your online channel is a great way to make your customers happy and encourage long-term loyalty. Listen and respond to your customers’ needs. Act now!