A popular experience that has touches our lives on a frequent basis involves that of banking – a rather important institution that in the beginning of the century has seen a dramatic shift. The general consensus affirms that bank-goers are faced with an arrangement of inconveniences – bothersome trips to the bank; uncomfortable working hours; minutes wasted on waiting in line; and the deterring task of schlepping piles of paperwork to have signed and approved by the notorious, impatient bank teller.
From as early as the beginning of the 1980’s, the E-banking era took rise, developing mounting expectations from financial enterprises that a large majority of bank-goers would resort to the online solution, resolving the issues that haunt the everyday bank-goer. Here we are – nearly a decade later and financial institutions are still in their prime, having not disappeared. What happened? Well, compliance issues and poor user experience in E-banking resulting in bad practice have prevented the less-than-savvy E-banking users from utilizing online banking services.
How many times have you found yourself in a bind during failed attempts at transferring money to a family member, only to be frustrated by a notification error on the user interface of the banking website? Have you experienced the exasperation of mismanaging your scheduled payments? We certainly all find ourselves at some point on an E-banking platform or another trying to tackle one or more online banking issues, such as the ones listed proposed above. With that, here are simple, yet crucial, points to improve the user experience of E-banking websites.
1. Promote Simple and Positive Communication
Michelle Bayles asserts that there are twelve reasons why people choose to refrain from using E-banking services. Within those twelve reasons, 13% do not trust the accuracy of the information and 28% prefer to deal with people face-to-face. To dramatically lower these percentages, a positive message on the banking site should be conveyed in order to encourage what users what to hear. Communicating a simple message might seem simple in and of itself, but it is far from it.
Take for example the goals of the bank – to create revenue based on interest rates and extra fees. But, no marketing executive in the upper management of a financial institution will, in their right-mind make a point of emphasizing high interest rates, extra fees and risks. This is despite the fact that these are the points clients need to be made aware of. If this is the only message a visitor takes away from their experience on the banking website, there is a major problem. Supplying positive, supportive, and attractive call-to-actions and content that is simple will leave users feeling valued and in good hands.
2. Don’t Go Overboard
The phrase “less is more” cannot be more stressed when it comes to the appearance and messaging of banking websites, let alone any website. Rich content is certainly a beneficial factor in the success of online bankers. However, that rich content must be valuable enough to speak to the specific needs of the users, refraining from an overbearing and overwhelming tone. Content that confuses the user is not only inappropriate for any website, but hurtful to users and the financial institution alike. While sophisticated jargon on corporate websites may impress some visitors, not everyone is awarded with an advanced degree and even those that have attained an advanced degree, for that matter, frequently value a simple and concise message. According to Bayles, it is evident that 31% of E-banking users abstain from using online banking sites because the terminology is too confusing.
Additionally, the sensitivity and riskiness users feel regarding the E-banking sector requires that the website appearance remains clean and crisp. Users tend to run away from loud, large, and blinking images that greet them upon arriving at a site. Ensure that the homepage is welcoming and professional-looking, from graphic design, to color choices, to the layout. The key to successful financial usability on online banking portals involves optimization of landing pages or homepages. Users will become more engaged and website conversion will increase if users have something to relate to. Be sure to tell story to provide all the details necessary for banking users to understand the necessary actions while eliciting trust in them. I frequently propose SaaS solutions and web designers to implement these three key elements in order to inspire users to move through webpages with ease:
- Display the key benefits of the service with a distinct headline, subheading, bullet points, and a testimonial.
- Design an enticing and concise call-to-action to elicit the desired response.
- Relay simple and minimal information so as to not scare the user away, which includes fields for sign up.
3. Create a Holistic Customer Journey and Experience
No matter how fabulous or sleek a website looks, there is always that small percentage of users who get lost on the interface. Several instances occur in which online banking issues arise due to internal management and product management concerns with developing and releasing a product within a tight time frame and budget. This factor often overlooks the whole customer experience. Bayles emphasizes, however, that numerous banks forunately “have attempted to address these issues by implementing interactive capabilities such as secure chat and e-mail help.” The presence of support is crucial in order to create a more interactive and holistic experience and journey for the users. Online tutorials or help files that distract the online banker from the user interface can create a time-consuming and frustrating experience. This thus generates a huge drop-off rate and decrease in revenue for the financial institution. Several external services and technologies are flourishing in the all industry, especially the software-as-a-service and Cloud sector. These up-and-coming technologies can be implemented in order to create an easier, quicker, and more efficient experience for an online banker.
“For years, we’ve known about the importance of completing tasks. Not the items on your to-do list — the users’ tasks. What we found in our research over the last 10 years is that practically every measure of users’ performance correlates strongly with the users completing their task. Users who achieve their objective believe the web site looks more professional, rate it as more fun, tell us it runs faster, and are more satisfied with the site. There’s no doubt: if you want users to love your site, make sure they complete their tasks.” -Jared Spool