Banking in the age of UX


Zachary Owen Banking, UX, UI...

If there was one piece of news (not involving Donald Trump) that stole the headlines in 2017, it was the rise and subsequent fall of Bitcoin. Its volatile fluctuation and ability to make millionaires whilst simultaneously destroy the ordinary man’s savings overnight captured the imagination of millions around the globe.

Fundamentally, it raised questions about the way in which banking and traditional currency exchange fits into the digital age. Financial institutions have been remarkably resistant to extensive change over the years, especially in comparison to other sectors that have had to pivot significantly to fend off new competitors in the market. The dawn of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology combined with more mainstream forms of fintech have shone an intense spotlight on the financial sector and how  future-proof many of the traditional players truly are.

Tulip fever or not, the conversation that cryptocurrency has sparked shines a light on the future of banking.

What does this all have to do with UX? 

As banks scramble to see off emerging threats to their supremacy. They are increasingly looking to offer the best and most convenient possible experience to their customers. This of course implies building world class apps that inspire the confidence of their clientele. This drive to revolutionise their online presence is putting UX designers in high demand. As banks defend their position and new forces try to open up the financial services sector, the real winners will be the digital talent that will be crucial in this battle for market share..

The idea of banks needing to invest in UX is no longer just speculation. It is reality and is reflected in the strong partnerships that have been forged between Conversion Talent and their corporate partners such as as BNP Paribas Fortis, Hello Bank and Belfius.

This picture is being reflected across Europe as banks attempt to adapt to the rapidly evolving online economy. In Spain, Santander and BBVA have embarked on a competition to offer a far more comprehensive online package to their customers with the latter having won the recognition of offering the best online banking service in the world in 2017.

Digilosophy is knowing how to take your business over there without having to leave here.

Lesser known competitors in London have begun to steal away business from established financial institutions with fintech companies such as Transferwise and Monzo having vastly expanded the wealth of choices available for consumers in the market. What was once perceived to be an almost totally inaccesible market has been split wide open thanks to advances in technology and increasingly intuitive design, chipping away at many of the banks’ sources of income.

One of the most intriguing cases has been the decision of Orange to move into the banking sector in France. The audacity of such a move has drawn praise from commentators across Europe but what remains certain is that they shall not be alone in this venture.

The Financial Times’ Patrick Jenkins wrote of Orange’s move that “the premise is simple. The shift to smartphone banking should put telecom operators, handset makers and the big technology groups in a strong position to go head to head with the traditional banks.” If Orange is successful in their venture in the French financial sector then there would be nothing to stop them establishing themselves as a banking powerhouse throughout the EU. The ability to enter into into markets where their mobile network already has a significant presence wold be hugely advantageous due to the fact that their brand is already widely recognised.

The ten years after the 2008 financial crisis were catastrophic for the brand power of many banks. Over this same decade, technology companies have managed to inspire increased loyalty from the public. These combined factors have created fertile ground for an invasion of the previously impenetrable financial sector. If Orange is successful, it would be a certainty that other telecom and tech giants would follow them into the market.

Orange’s drive into the financial sector has won the admiration of the world press.

This creates a wealth of opportunities for UX Designers as the success of any company in the age of mobile banking will depend greatly on the quality of their UX.

Conversion Talent takes a key role in providing digital talent (with a particular specialiston in UX design) to some of Europe’s leading banks and telecom companies. As the competition heats up, we expect our experts to be in higher demand than ever before. 2018 promises to be an excellent year for UX design.

If you are a UX Designer that wants to embark on new journey with some of Europe’s most innovative and ambitious UX teams, book a call with Javi today.