10 key elements of a better user experience for financial apps

Though retail banks lead by Monthly Active users, pureplay fintech apps take the lead when it comes to customer satisfaction. With the increased importance of mobile in the customer journey, what can banks do to keep up?

The demand for a better mobile experience for financial institutions is soaring. Combined iOS and Google Play finance app downloads grew 45 percent year over year in Q3 2016, according to a new report by App Annie, an app analytics company.  People aged 25 to 44 years old used banking apps the most often of any age group during the quarter and also experienced the greatest growth in monthly sessions, increasing 15 percent over the past two years.

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In order to keep up with the growing demand for good mobile experiences, App Annie suggests retail banks focus on the following strategies:

Your app should not be a copy of your website

The user’s intention and interaction on website and mobile are different. Prioritize the features that are important to users on the go, such as account information, transfers and simple requests. Do not try cram all of your website’s products in the mobile app.

Make financial interactions easier

Mobile users do not like to type. Remove the friction of simple financial interactions by auto loading account details from recent transfers.

Prioritize the user interface and user experience

The look and feel of the mobile app should be pleasant and intuitive. Navigation should be clear and simple. As the saying goes: UX is like a joke, if you need to explain it, it is not very good.

Establish and reinforce trust

Trust is one of the main competitive advantages retail banks have compared to newcomers. Leverage that trust to increase confidence and user loyalty with features such as touch ID.

Reward users

Increase the stickiness of of your mobile app with easily redeemable rewards.

Use ratings and reviews to inform your roadmap

Knowing exactly what features the customers are expecting before a launch is impossible. Use app analytics, ratings and reviews to inform improvements and additions to the user experience.

Incorporate mobile payments

Mobile payments are hailed as the next big revolution in banking with many attempts to dethrone cash and plastic. Though adoption rates are lackluster, mobile payments should be part of a bank app’s functionality.

Partner with innovative apps and services

Customer expectations are changing quickly as consumer technology advances. Partnering with other services allows a bank to meet customer expectation without spending the time and money to develop those products in house.

Build off competitive advantages

Though fintechs typically win when it comes to designing cutting edge products, banks have brand recognition and scale. Even when banks are not first to market, they can easily take the lead when leveraging those assets. Zelle, a payment network created by banks, is a good example of this.

Provide deeper insights and valuable information

Banks have a trove of data about a user’s lifestyle, needs and challenges. Banks can really go the extra mile by leveraging that data to assist the user in managing his finances, proactively suggesting products in a relevant and non-intrusive manner, and cross-selling relevant services.