Banks should put people first when creating new digital banking services

Our VP of Product, Finnur Magnusson gives great advice to banks who are implementing app and other customer-facing technology in a new…

Finnur Magnusson, Meniga’s VP Product, urges banks to prioritise the user experience. Not technology.

Study finds customer ambivalence towards financial technologies

The article is centered around a recent ING survey of attitudes towards financial technologies amongst Europeans. It found that 73% of customers feel banks have a responsibility to deliver the latest technologies.

However, 36% said it was too ambitious, while 22% thought their bank was being too conservative. 39% of those asked said they either did not know or did not care.

Don’t just innovate for other innovators

Magnusson says banking innovation leaders must consider different customer needs and attitudes when rolling out new technology. He urges banks to learn from tech companies on how to think about their digital services.

“There will always be pioneers, people willing to try out new things and take risks on new technology,”

There will always be super users who love new things and embrace your stuff. These people also tend to be similar to the product owners and innovation leaders at banks. So, the innovation leaders assume that all their customers are like that. In fact, a majority of their userbase will like things just as they are.”

Magnusson comments that banks should learn from technology companies when it comes to interactivity.

“They put the people and the user experience and customer experience at the forefront, not just introducing technologies for the sake of innovation. They figure out the most common things people need to do and introduce the technology on the back of that”.

Great user-user experience is key to benefiting from open banking

Interestingly, the study found that over half of respondents are unaware that third-party firms might gain access via the PSD2 regulation and Open Banking. 41% of those who said they were aware added they would be happy for companies to share their data this way, versus 47% who say they would not.

Magnusson warns that many overestimate the impact of Open Banking in the short term. To reap the potential rewards of Open Banking, banks must get the customer interface right.

“We are taking part in a lot of projects and trying to do so from a user experience perspective. We’ve seen a lot of clunky UX, especially when it comes to fetching the information from all the third-party organizations.

It’s going to be dependent on how you interpret the policies. I think it’s very unlikely, for example, that someone will want to connect together all of their banks to get a holistic overview if every time they have to sign in to each bank to view it. It’s not realistic to expect such engagement from normal people.”

The Meniga app is tried and tested in our local market and designed to drastically improve customer engagement through a delightful user experience.

Get the balance of technology and usability right

Security is obviously an important issue for digital banking. ING’s study found that 70% of respondents to the ING survey thought two-factor authentication was secure or very secure, with 66% saying the same for fingerprint logins and 62% for single-use passwords. But as Magnusson points out, it is vital to get the balance between security and usability right.

“My experience is that banks often think, ‘let's bring in this new technology and everything will be fine,’ but sometimes they forget to think about customer appetite.

You can create a lot of hurdles for those who might not be as tech-driven as others.”

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