Banking App UX: Best Design Practices

Banking App UX: Best Design Practices

Through superior banking UX design, modern mobile banking apps are easy to navigate. Users hardly ever get lost in the application. Mobile banking apps are also fast and safe, which are important requirements for fintech products. Possibly the most important feature that a good mobile banking app must have is superior User Experience (UX). 

But what do we mean when we refer to banking app UX design? 

User experience, and the process of designing it, is about finding a way to improve the usefulness and usability of an app. In this article, we will discuss the process of mobile banking app design. We will cover the following key areas: 

  • Benefits of a banking app 
  • What to consider when making a banking app 
  • Top features of a good banking app 
  • How S-PRO makes a banking app from scratch 

Benefits of a Banking App 

Before we go into the understanding of a banking app, let’s first understand the benefits it brings. This is important because when the stakes are high, then the level of development must be just as high. 

By looking at the end result of having a good banking app, we can understand why so much effort goes into creating banking apps with the best UX for customers: 

1. Grow Your Base  

Banking apps are made with the goal of keeping existing clients happy and winning new clients. A good app can set you apart from the competition and broadcast your service and innovation to a bigger audience. 

Ukrainian online-only bank Monobank grew its customer base from zero to 2.6 million people in just 3 years by offering innovative mobile banking UX solutions. 

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2. Learn About Your Customer  

In the age of big data, we have the tools and the know-how to collect vast amounts of information about customer habits. 

As app technology improves, we can get better at collecting and activating this information for the benefit of the bank and the customer. For example, banks can easily calculate customer risk profiles through their habits and offer their clients attractive deals.

3. Reduce Costs

Physical branch coverage is in decline in many areas of the world. Why invest in extensive brick-and-mortar bank branches when apps perform many of the same functions? 

It’s not just the physical infrastructure of branches that costs money, it’s the extra people, consumables, security, branding, and much more. 

4. Drive New Services

Online banking apps get great engagement from users. When banking apps are seamlessly integrated into users’ daily lives, it gives banks the opportunity to present new services. 

Today, it is normal to pay for items like bus rides, household shopping, and holiday payments natively from a banking app. In doing this, banks can make it easier for users to access new banking services like applying for extra credit. 

5. Market Your Brand

Consumers stick to brands that have given them good service in the past. Good banking apps promote customer loyalty. 

Traditional marketing is expensive and sometimes difficult to measure, but a good banking app can encourage customer retention while measuring engagement at the same time. 

What to Consider When Creating an App 

The best app design has a simple UX part. Banking apps deal with hard-earned customer funds, so the bar for performance is high. 

Customers expect cutting-edge digital development that is safe and fast. But the technology must also combine usability, helpfulness, and it must keep up with the times. 

Here are the most important factors to consider: 

  • User-friendly design 
  • Multi-device capability 
  • Flexible enough for upgrades 

It’s important for banks to take into account banking UX trends as they create user-centered banking apps. 

Customer preferences are a good resource to feed into the development of good UX. Customer engagement provides a powerful feedback loop for designers. 

Using this information, banks can create intuitive interfaces, simple designs, personalization, and beautiful apps.  

However, as clear as customer preferences are, designers cannot rush the process of designs and upgrades. To effectively build a mobile banking app, the process needs to be organized well. Even something as small as adding a feature requires careful and comprehensive planning. 

Citizen Bank in the US suffered a major loss of customer confidence when an upgrade went wrong. Many users were unable to process payments, while others had issues with logging into the app. 

Mobile banking app development must be a carefully considered process. After researching if there is customer demand for a new feature, teams can run AB testing to implement the solution. This should only be rolled out to a small number of users initially. Then, a development team must collect feedback and perform changes to the updates if this is needed before mass rollout.

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Top Features of a Good Banking App

Banking apps already have a long record of market performance, so banks already have a good idea of what customers need. We already know that the most regularly used features of a common banking app are as follows: 

  • Account balance enquiry  
  • Payments and transfers
  • Transaction history
  • Branch and ATM locator
  • Currency exchange and calculator
  • Bank contact methods

In line with these trends, banks are advised to use this information to input the following features into their apps:

1. Make Important Data Easy to Find

One of the most sought-after pieces of information is the high-level financial overview. Users just want to know how much money they have. Some banks can overcomplicate things and make it hard to find the bottom line account balance among other numbers like incoming, outgoing, and pending funds.

The best UX is simple UX, and the same goes for what information is shown on the banking dashboard. However, this is not to say that banks cannot test new ways to show financial overviews according to customer feedback.

2. Enable Easy Authorization 

Banks face a fine balance between convenience and safety. Biometrics is an increasing requirement in modern banking apps. Users want to have access to their banking app as quickly and easily as possible.

Banks that don’t do this will fall behind. Mobile apps are mobile for a reason, customers are usually on-the-go and don’t have much time. A simple act like logging on to the app must be fast and safe at the same time. Quick balance checks and other authorizations must be easy and seamless.

3. Facilitate Rapid Payments

Making quick payments is one of the top priorities of the customer experience. 

The turnaround time for payments is getting shorter. Older customers might remember filling in paper forms with several fields. But today’s customers can simply tap or shake their mobile phones to authorize payment. 

Banks should strive towards sending money instantly, without fees, between different banks and service providers.  

Another type of payment that banks can fine tune is the routine monthly bill such as a rent payment. Users have to remember to visit the payments section of the app every month to make the same payment. How about using AI settings to automatically send push notifications so the user can pay repeat bills with a single tap? 

4. Make Sense of Spending Trends

Many people have difficulty managing their finances. Banks can use spending trends to provide customers with valuable information at a glance. They can provide a look at spending trends and pending bills while providing financial advice in an intuitive way. This would help those customers who need it, and give them a chance to take control of their affairs in order to improve them. 

5. Make Reaching Financial Goals Fun 

For the fintech app to fulfil its growing role in a user’s life, it has to serve as a companion in achieving bigger financial goals. Banking apps can play a powerful function in motivating and helping customers achieve financial stability. 

This is where gamification comes in. 

Gamification uses human-driven incentives to get banking clients to do what banks want them to do. Besides exciting and engaging banking audiences, banks can get customers to change some elements of their behavior by rewarding certain actions. 

6. Offer Great Personalized Offers 

Banks should not miss the opportunity to make the most of personalized offers through their banking apps. They already have so much useful information about their customers that it should be an easy process. These promotions can drive customer retention as customers feel valued by their bank. 

By applying information from customer spending patterns and knowledge of their location and preferences, banks can arrive at a smart analysis of what customers might find valuable. For example, using AI, a bank can detect that a customer is purchasing a new car, and it could offer tailor-made vehicle insurance. 

7. Voice-Enabled Mobile Banking 

The modern customer values speed and convenience. Banks know that they are competing on core services, but they are also competing to find the next edge in simplicity and convenience. If banks can give users the ability to get AI voice-driven support, this could be the next frontier.

We are seeing the rise of helper bots, but the next wave could be a helpful financial AI assistant who verbally interacts with the client and can prepare and approve proposals for a certain number of service requests backed by AI and real-time analytics.  

8. Create a Financial Ecosystem 

Large financial groups offer clients a myriad of different financial services, but often, users cannot extract maximum value from these products. This is in part because of the difficulty in identifying what benefits the product would bring, whether the user needs it, and how to combine the services. 

This is why the best banking apps should concentrate on bridging this obvious gap. Banks can do this by applying themselves to delivering a UX and UI that combines the best of a number of accounts such as deposit accounts and credit accounts. But they could also take it further and integrate the full basket of products such as insurance policies and investment accounts.  

Principles of Effective UX Design for Banking Apps

It’s not easy to define the effectiveness of banking app UX design. Users want to perform the desired action in as few taps or clicks as possible. The experience is improved by faster request processing. Whether it’s moving from one menu to another or executing a payment, the app should be fast and not waste precious seconds of the user’s time.

Let’s take a look at some aspects designers should consider to maximize user satisfaction.

It’s All About Navigation

Smooth navigation is at the core of a successful banking app design. Whether a user opens the app to manage their finances, set up a transaction, or simply check the balance, each feature must be accessed intuitively and quickly; otherwise, they may choose another product and discard yours. 

The banking UX design should ensure that each section is easily accessible from the moment the user opens an application. Well-thought-out information architecture is vital to securing optimal discoverability and findability. Performing research and analyzing how potential users think can help identify the best layout for your app.

Balance Security and User Experience

Authorization is a tricky task when optimizing banking app UX. Most financial institutions now require two-factor authentication (2FA) to access their applications. Although it guarantees more security, many users consider it a hassle.

Biometrics are the way around this. Using a fingerprint to access the service is fast for the user since it only takes a moment, and there’s no code input or going through the tedious 2FA process. Biometrics delivers what users expect — fast access to checking their balance or paying a bill. 

Depending on the app, you could also secure Voice ID or Face ID authentication features. The important thing is that this won’t disrupt the security level. However, experts advise that particularly sensitive functions should include extra confirmation — changing settings, adjusting limits, or transferring huge amounts.

Make Transaction Details and Spending Analytics Readily Available

Banking apps don’t only serve individuals with a single account. Many users, especially entrepreneurs, have multiple accounts or debit/credit cards. That’s why organizing everything to make transaction information easily accessible is imperative when creating an effective user interface.

The general rule is that users should have transaction details available by clicking on the desired transaction from the chosen account. The information should include the sum, beneficiary, and all other specifics. Spending analytics, such as an account’s or card’s total expenses for this or the previous month, should be readily available, too.

Innovative Technologies Shaping Banking App UX

If your goal is to create a top-quality banking app that will exceed user expectations, it’s vital to embrace innovation. Keeping up with the trends and continuously developing new features can make you stand out from the crowd. As for banking UX design, here are some innovative technologies to use to your advantage!

Leverage AI via a Personal Assistant

Most banking app users lack advanced financial knowledge. That leads to different issues — from not paying their bills on time to expired credit cards. Artificial intelligence capabilities allow the addition of a personal financial assistant to your application.

AI-powered assistants will deliver immediate alerts if a situation requires user attention. For example, something has been charged to their bank account, and it’s now in red. AI assistants go a step forward because they offer predictive analytics and actionable insights. This, in turn, improves the user’s financial health. Analyzing the current situation and making financial forecasts can also help plan the budget for the forthcoming period.

Perform Financial Operations by Voice Processing

According to stats, over 40% of US adults use voice internet search on a daily basis. Voice assistants like Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa have never been this popular. They improve user experience and accessibility. Many users find it easier to use voice searches than tap on the screen or use a computer mouse.

Banking apps should consider implementing voice processing to perform financial operations of different complexity. The important thing is that the software clearly understands user intention, so including multiple confirmations might be recommended, especially for sensitive actions. That way, developers minimize the risk of the app performing the wrong action by accident.

Partnering with Third-Party Services

Apart from the actual banking app design, the services available also affect user opinion of the software. Depending on the bank, not all service types might be supported. If that’s the case, the bank should consider partnering with other financial institutions and companies. Integrating services provided by third parties will make the app more versatile and tempting for a wide range of users.

Trends show that more banking apps will use external infrastructure to offer payment processing. The concept of banking as a platform could prove valuable here. It’s when a third party creates a certain service and partners it with a bank to offer it within their app, thus creating a bigger financial ecosystem accessible from a single app, which most users will appreciate.

Automate Routine Bill Payment

Automatic bill payment has become a standard for most banking applications. If a user has a recurring bill to pay every month, they can automate the payments in the application. The banking app UX design should enable users to enter the desired sum, the date when to pay, and for how many months the payments should continue.

A neat trick is to show these payments in a different color in the spending analytics. Some apps use another approach and don’t create automatic payments. Instead, they prepare everything and deliver a push notification. Once the user approves, the payment goes through. It’s the perfect middle-ground that serves as a reminder for the user to pay the bill. However, the app doesn’t execute the payment without their approval.

Successful Banking App UX Designs: Case Study

Karty is a company that created an all-around digital finance app for the Qatar market. Many large companies present in this market recognized the potential of this idea. Qatar Development Bank, Visa, Qatar Foundation, and local angel investors secured a funding of over $1.2 million. Karty partnered with us, a software development company with vast experience in the fintech industry. Our portfolio features digital banking solutions, a Bitcoin wallet app, and other projects for the crypto market.

The main challenge was to ensure the app followed all the latest tech trends. The banking app UX requirements were to ensure users can navigate and use desired services effortlessly. Qatar Development Bank was integrated within the app to offer its range of financial and banking services. We also worked closely with Visa to support digital payment options. 

These developments had to be made while maintaining the highest security levels and compliance with regulatory standards, which presented another challenge in itself. 

App Design and Integration 

The case study proved that the app required a modern interface for optimal user experience. It was necessary to completely redesign it to ensure it features a visually attractive and intuitive interface. Finally, our team focused on mobile devices, including iOS and Android smartphones. Delivering superb mobile banking design was the way to attract users to try this software solution.

QDB enjoyed significant benefits thanks to having their services integrated into the app. They promoted their advanced offerings, such as advisory, business loans, and financial support, which paved the way for further QDB development and growth.

Achieving Maximum Security Levels

According to reports, there was a 72% increase in cybersecurity attacks on data servers in 2023 when compared to the two previous years. As the world becomes more digitized, cybercrime danger increases. This highlights the importance of implementing maximum security measures in addition to perfecting the banking app design.

Additional security layers, encryption, and multi-factor authentication were how this app achieved the desired user safety goal. The banking UX design made the app easy to navigate for users, while experts ensured data protection measures complied with relevant local standards and regulations.

The collaboration was successful, making customers, service providers, and app creators satisfied with all the work done. Mobile banking UX proved intuitive and enabled access to finance management and specialized services from a single app. 

How S-PRO Creates Banking Apps

S-PRO uses best practices in all these areas to create banking apps with cutting-edge mobile banking UX. Product development has many phases that often blend into one another. 

Here are just some of the steps that go into creating a product with quality banking UX: 

1. Apportion Ownership

Each project starts with a client vision. We ask the project owner within the client about their inspiration for the app. We discuss which apps the client wishes to model theirs from. We also discuss colors, logos, and branding. 

Using this information, we conduct market research and perform a thorough competitor analysis.  

2. Discovery Phase 

To develop a user-centered design in banking, it is imperative that we perform preliminary research, which is an intense exploration of the client’s industry. 

To ensure the best results, we gather focus groups and compare applications and functions that we need to implement. We explore a lot of material from sources such as Pinterest and Behance, in addition to understanding what has made earlier apps work well.

Learn more about the Product Discovery Phase.

3. Conduct Research 

There is valuable customer information in learning how people use fintech services on a daily basis. In searching for this information, we will ask the client to make a video of how clients use the application.

We analyze information such as how many clicks the user performs, and what app features they focus on. Another good source of information is how the touch area is used by most clients.   

4. Design Prototyping  

The design prototyping stage is very important for creating a good UX design. Each design should have the main features of usability and usefulness at its core. These are some of the key elements that are presented to the client at this stage:

  • App design sketch
  • Basic app prototype
  • Mockups including colors, fonts, and pictures
  • Mood board  

If our designers are given the best brief, they can apply a technical eye to create an application according to specification. 

The Bottom Line 

Banking apps have taken convenience to a whole new level. Gone are the days of standing in lines at the banking branch. Filling in forms to make deposits and withdrawals is a thing of the past. 

Quality banking app UX design can make banking services stand out. Poorly designed UX can cost banks important market share. 

Competitors in the fintech space are in a race to constantly improve their mobile banking UX. This will go a long way to ensuring customer success.

CEO, Co-founder. Innovative and commercially-minded Creative Technologist. Solid experience in product & market needs analysis, business strategy development & team leadership.
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