UX Trends in the Finance Sector for 2021 and Beyond

800 449 Andrew Machin

The financial services sector is in a state of change. Innovative fintech companies with a focus on customer experience are disrupting the traditional finance model. This is forcing mainstream lenders to adapt their methods to keep up with customer expectations.

Read on to find out about the UX trends expected to impact the finance industry in 2021 and beyond.

Digital technology is levelling the playing field

The launch of online banking in 1997 set off a digital transformation in the finance industry – and it continues to evolve. Digitalisation in the financial services sector has seen mainstream lenders lose their majority stake in the market.

Fintech’s have used technology to their advantage by creating products with customer experience in mind. In contrast, traditional lenders have been slow to move on, which means they continue to play catch up. 

Larger financial institutions have suffered from disparate and siloed propositions and product management, leading to an inconsistent digital customer experience. This has made way for digital disruptors like fintechs, as they favour a user-first approach. 

When it comes to consumer decision making, consistency is a key factor. Many are choosing to move across to more modern banking options, as they offer better choice and a more positive overall experience. 

As technology continues to evolve and improve, so will the options available for consumers. Technology improvements will also help to increase the capabilities of software and devices used to conduct financial transactions. 

Making customers a priority

Historically, banks have been seen to value numbers over people, meaning customer service has taken a back seat to profit. While this may not be so true today as it once was, it has held traditional lenders back. This has allowed a new generation of banking options to secure a large market share.

A customer-focused approach is fundamental to the success of financial services businesses in 2021 and beyond. This means that user experience and design thinking will take front stage.

UX and design thinking are a primary focus

Financial institutions are increasing their focus on user experience and design thinking. It is here that the foundations of an in-demand product are built. But it goes beyond the hiring of a UX designer. Only businesses that are fully committed to meeting the needs of users will rise above the competition.

Ensuring a successful customer experience requires dedication from company personnel at every level. It is not just on the shoulders of UX developers to create an outstanding user-centred digital platform. In the future, we will continue to see company-wide engagement in the design process. 

Digital transformation is not enough

Digital transformation is necessary to survive in the financial services sector, but this alone is not enough to secure longevity.

Apps that allow users to complete transactions, secure loans and make repayments from their mobile devices are great. But to be truly successful, those apps must provide a streamlined, easy to understand experience.

An app that confuses the user, lacks the necessary functions, crashes often, or offers inadequate support will be detrimental to the overall user experience.

Technology is an integral part of modern-day banking, but the customer experience is always the deciding factor in the success of a service. For financial organisations to thrive, they must continue to find ways that their product can be used more effectively and efficiently.

Functionality is no longer a USP

Functionality is important, but it is also expected. It is not a sufficient USP for consumers in the modern age.

Finance professionals must understand the key benefits of their product and exploit them to engage audiences. A combination of functionality, usability and aesthetics is vital, with personalisation capabilities seen as an added bonus.

Technological advancements have provided an opportunity to step outside of the box. Finance operators will be looking to expand their capabilities to ensure they offer the product of choice in a world full of options.

Design becomes less about the visual elements

In the era of digital, design is not just a matter of creating visually appealing interfaces. It has evolved into something more meaningful, often being used to present the company values and how it perceives its position in the world.

It is now less about the tools and technology used, and more about intention and ambition. For success in the financial world, a holistic approach to design is needed. This is where the real value for the customer lies. 

An ongoing process

UX is an ongoing process. It needs constant appraisal and evaluation to ensure customers are getting the best possible experience from their finance providers.

The market disruption brought about by fintech’s, open banking, blockchain and other technological advancements will continue to separate the winners, losers and those who did not quite make it in 2021 and beyond.

    Andrew Machin

    With over 15 years’ experience in web design and digital marketing Andrew has helped many brands, both in the UK and US, create exceptional digital experiences, from websites to in-store retail experiences, such as John Lewis, Jet2, Virgin Holidays and Interflora.Through the success of such projects Andrew has received accolades that include high-profile awards that span innovation, strategy, design and results such as the Dadi Grand Prix Award and the Digital Impact Award for Innovation.This experience has led to Andrew judging digital design awards, been featured in .net magazine, lecturing at Leeds university and speak at seminars and conferences across the UK.Follow Andrew @The_Machin

    All stories by: Andrew Machin