According to one report, 90% of us have ditched apps that didn’t meet our expectations. From sign up to sign out, we expect them to be seamless. If they aren’t, we’ll complain to our friends about it.
So, for service providers, this means user experience (UX) must be prioritised.
What makes a good user experience for open banking? What makes some apps complicated or confusing, and others seamless and satisfying?
Let’s take a closer look.
What is user experience?
User experience (UX) is the journey users take within a product, service, or system.
It covers functionality, design, copywriting, and more. In short, everything that has any kind of positive, neutral, or negative impact on a user’s interactions. It can be especially important when it is part of a financial service or payment method where it has an important role in earning customer trust.
When it is good, user experience is generally simple and satisfying. When is bad, it is complicated and confusing.
What is UI?
UI stands for user interface. It is the visual and interactive component part of a software-based system that users interact with and so it’s an essential part of user experience.
It consists of different components, including menus, buttons, forms, and design elements. And its backend is also important, too, because responsiveness and overall performance.
What’s the difference between user experience and customer experience?
User experience is about the direct experience users have with a product or service. It focuses on functionality and usability.
Customer experience (CX), on the other hand, encompasses all customer interactions with a business. This includes purchase transactions, delivery times, after-sale services, and more.
User experience and customer experience can be relatively separate, i.e., a company’s product’s user experience might be great but their customer experience is bad (or vice versa).
However, most financial service providers naturally aim to optimise both of them. This is true for the link between user experience and customer experience in open banking, too.
User experience and open banking
In open banking, user experience tends to refer to interaction users have with apps. This includes signing up, purchasing, renewals, and contact with customer support.
And apps themselves rely on application programming interfaces (APIs) to work seamlessly with open banking-related services. APIs are intermediary software that facilitates data exchange and interactions between different computing systems.
Thinking through user experience’s role in open banking success
Imagine you’re a fintech service provider that has just launched exciting new features on your payment app. The market enthusiastically greets it - you know, because many people download it.
But then, engagement figures for the app are low and uninstall rates rocket. Reviews reveal that users are faced with so many options that they’re overwhelmed and can’t figure out what to do next.
In a field where many have trouble figuring out what it all means, the app compounds their uncertainty. So, before you know it, they’ve deleted your app and moved on to another that’s had more time invested in developing its customer journey.
The key takeaway? User experience is everything!
But as with user experience more broadly, user experience in open banking isn’t a one-and-done initiative. It’s a long-term effort between teams…
Obstacles to user experience for open banking solutions
Open banking is all about giving new financial service providers access to our bank data. This could mean basic information, like our account name and address, or more detailed banking data such as transaction history.
But it’s not just about data… open banking also makes payments easier. Payments like top-ups and bank-to-bank payments can be done in just a few clicks, without having to enter card or bank account details.
It also enables payment initiation services. This means third-party Payment Initiation Service Providers (PISPs) can initiate payments on behalf of customers.
But what does all of this mean for the user experience?
Well, it can make payments faster, cheaper and more convenient and secure for customers. We recently asked businesses to rate the user experience they offer customers at the checkout, and the majority (66%) of companies said it was good or very good.
But we also found that a significant 62% of consumers have recently abandoned their cart because of a poor experience.
The biggest reason? Lack of transparency about costs (see below, ‘best practices for improving customer experience’).
Which department is responsible for user experience?
You might think that your product team is solely responsible for creating the user experience of your product or services.
However, the customer success team should also play an important role in it.
Because the two teams share similar goals, including:
- Retaining customers
- Incentivising customers to upgrade to new features
- Keeping conversion rates high
On that note…
Conversion rates and user experience
A conversion rate (or completion rate) is the percentage of users that have successfully connected their bank account to an app or made a payment to a company.
It is a useful metric for all open banking solutions providers because good user experience will drive higher conversions.
But what does that mean in practice?
How to increase conversion rates for open banking
1. Offer multiple banking options
For niche use cases, consider having a specific set of banks. Don’t send users where you know they’ll encounter challenges (or worst of all, can’t connect their bank accounts.)
2. Solve edge cases
Take into account edge cases (rare or exceptional events), particularly for high-value financial transactions too. No matter how few users they affect, your product team should always work to solve them.
3. Educate your users
Open banking is still (relatively) new, so users need direction. Make sure you educate your users about where they’re going, like being redirected to a consent screen.
Best practices for improving user experience
1. Keep it simple
Don’t overwhelm customers with too many features. Instead, focus on the most important functions and make them easy to find and use.
2. Improve accessibility
In the field of user experience, accessibility refers to designing products and services that are accessible (and usable) by all individuals with impairments or disabilities.
It covers a range of components, such as clear navigation, readable text, and UIs that are intuitive to use. The benefits of accessibility extend to all users, including those without impairments.
3. Be transparent
Open banking can be a complex concept. Be transparent about how customers can control and manage their own banking data to build trust and foster a positive user experience.
4. Maintain consistency
Repetition is a good thing when it comes to branding, so make sure your user flows have a consistent look and feel. This should apply to every area, including your sign-up forms, consent screens, etc.
5. Provide logical navigation
Make it easy for customers to find what they need. That means having a clear and logical navigation structure, with intuitive menus and user journeys.
Things like breadcrumbs can help users easily get back to where they were previously.
What are breadcrumbs?
Breadcrumbs are a navigational feature that guides users between different sections user interfaces, including apps and websites. They essentially signpost each section of a customer journey.
Unlike regular navigation menus, breadcrumbs clearly list the user’s journey up until where they are. So they can quickly go back to specific pages with one click rather than need to re-find them via navigation.
6. Use clear language
Wording and tone are essential components of user experience.
Using simple and familiar language is important.
For example, using phrases such as ‘financial standing’ or ‘asset total’ over ‘account balances’ would be confusing for most users. Or ‘transaction log/archive’ rather than ‘transaction history’.
Writing in a friendly tone can also help with this.
7. Support your customers
Open banking can be confusing at first, so provide resources to educate customers on what it means. After all, fintechs are financial services providers that aim to give users more control over access to their financial data.
Why not go old-school with a FAQ page? Just make sure your contact page is easy to find in case they can’t find what they’re looking for.
Improving user experience with app-to-app redirection
App-to-app redirection is the process of transferring users from one mobile app to another for action when data or functionalities from the second app are required. It is commonly used in open banking services, where it can provide a seamless journey for the end-user.
The flow bypasses the built-in browser (e.g., Chrome/ Safari) on users’ mobile device and redirects them to their installed bank-app for quick and simple open banking consent.
If the user doesn’t have a bank-app installed, they are directed to a mobile-friendly banking site instead.
Consumer research data shows most users prefer app-based journeys using biometric security measures such as fingerprints and face-ID. This helps improve the customer’s interaction with apps in the following ways:
- Smooths the user consent journey to connect to banks, increasing conversion ratios
- Enhances user experience and strengthens engagement with thirty-party apps
- Improves the uptake of open banking as the best option for payments and data retrieval for mobile-originated journeys
How Yapily can help you improve your user experience
Yapily offers an open banking API with extensive coverage across the UK and Europe for both consumer and business accounts.
Our API opens the way for product innovation, data analysis, and efficient payments. It aims to accelerate performance and support developers with best-in-class documentation and support.
Our services enable businesses and service providers to improve their user experience by tailoring their open banking services.
For example, wealth management platform inbestMe saw conversion rates increase up to 70% since partnering with Yapily.
And payment solution Crezco achieved a net promoter score of +76, showing a strong satisfaction with the user experience.
User experience (UX) is crucial for the success of open banking solutions. It is a term that is more specific to user interfaces and direct interaction with products and services than the term ‘customer experience’ covers.
Good UX experience involves simplicity, transparency, and logical navigation. Improving accessibility for users with impairments is s big part of this, which can benefit all users.
In open banking, UX generally refers to user interactions with apps, including signing up, purchases, and customer support. Improving apps’ accessibility and navigation enhances user experience. So too does using clear language and consistent branding. All these factors also contribute to earning the trust of your end-user.
More specifically, issues such as app-to-app redirection can facilitate seamless journeys for users and improves conversions and engagement when executed properly.
By prioritising user experience and utilising the right API, businesses working with open banking can create seamless and satisfying interactions with their customers.