Mobile apps have revolutionized the way we manage our finances, with 90 percent of mobile users predicted to make a mobile payment with their smartphone in 2020. Moreover, the number of transactions made using mobile devices is projected to grow by 121 percent by 2022 and account for 88 percent of all banking transactions. As developers continue to innovate the ways in which we use fintech and banking apps on mobile, it’s essential to stay up to speed and know your competition. In this article we cover how to make a banking app in 2020 – from creating user personas and marketing research, to UX and UI design.
What can banking apps offer?
Credit cards and e-wallets are expected to surpass cash at all points of sales by 2021, which can be accredited to the benefits digital banking can offer. When developing a banking app, it’s important to consider these benefits and how you can optimize the user experience by facilitating their needs. For example, a single mobile banking app can allow users to send and receive transactions, apply for loans, see their status for multiple accounts and contact customer services. The ability to independently complete these tasks from any location is unrivaled by physical stores.
Another considerable benefit to developing a banking app is that they can be used at any time – enabling your company to offer a 24/7service to your customers. This creates a win-win scenario where you automate tasks, save users time and benefit from a cost effective business model.
Where to begin when creating a successful banking app
Market research: know your audience and competitors
Understanding the banking app market is the first critical objective. You will need to conduct extensive market research in order to learn the many functions your target audience needs from a banking app. The banking vertical caters to a wide age range and a variety of user types, so it’s important to identify the most critical aspects of mobile banking in accordance with your customers. Moreover, if you already have services via desktop and mobile web, you should offer the same functions in your mobile app. Extensive testing is the best way to identify what works best and ensure your banking app is generating optimal results. You should also seek out user feedback from every demographic you are targeting.
As you gain a greater understanding of what customers want from your app, you should also gain a clear outline of your various target audience groups, why they will be interested and how you can compete against apps targeting the same audience. Answering these questions will give you the insights needed to plan your launch date and other critical components of your marketing strategy.
Essential elements of e-banking
Once your market research has given you a clear plan of action, you should consider which functions are essential to your app. In addition to your banking app’s unique selling points, you should ask these three questions:
What customer support will your mobile app offer?
There will be scenarios when your users need additional support so it is critical that they can contact a support team. This is a fail-safe way to ensure that users trust your company and know that their money is in safe, capable hands. However, there are ways to ensure users are only speaking with a support member when necessary: Chatbots and comprehensive FAQ pages can help you offer immediate answers to your customer’s most frequent questions.
How capable is your banking app for finance management?
Another important feature for banking apps is the ability to view translation history and statements. This enables users to organise their finances in-app without having to use multiple channels. Depending on the nature of your app, you can also offer budgeting tools and additional insights to offer a superior user experience to your competitors.
Can you offer a safe and secure experience?
None of the features above will convince users to install your app if they do not have trust in your app’s security measures. The importance of high-grade security for mobile banking apps cannot be overstated: this is a major concern for users that can make-or-break an app’s success. Ensure that your banking app has air-tight security before launch so that you are not susceptible to mobile bank fraud.
Banking app security
When looking for ways to make your banking app as secure as possible, it’s important to know how it will impact the user experience and efficiency of your app’s features. With that in mind, here are four features that can contribute to robust app security.
Only allow sophisticated passwords: This is a relatively simple way to make your authentication process more secure. Moreover, users will also already be familiar with having specific requirements for their passwords. In addition to disabling passwords that are easier to hack, you can also require users to change their password after a set period of time.
Don’t store unnecessary information: The best way to ensure user information isn’t compromised is to avoid storing it. Instead, tokenization can be used to ensure sensitive data cannot be stolen during a security breach. Tokenization is the process of replacing data with non-sensitive placeholder symbols called tokens. This is a buzzword within the fintech industry and has become more widely known due to the success of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.
Although you shouldn’t store unnecessary information, note that you should track information such as the IP address, geolocation, in-app events and device data. This is important if you need to perform data analysis that can be reviewed after an incident or security breach. Keeping activity logs enables you to learn the details of what happened and how this can be prevented in future,
Use two-factor authentication: This is a smart way to optimize your banking app’s security during login and before transactions are complete. For example, if a user wants to make a payment you can use two-factor authentication by sending them an email or contacting them via SMS. Your users can be sent a code which they will enter in-app, enabling them to complete their desired task.
Implement payment blocking: You can also combat fraud by developing a feature that automatically blocks payments that are suspicious. While this can cause some users who are wrongfully flagged as suspicious to become frustrated, this additional security measure is worth it because user security takes priority. You can also use your two-factor authentication system to unblock these transactions.
User onboarding: establishing trust in your brand
There are many aspects of user onboarding that need to be considered but the most important for fintech companies is that you establish trust with your audience. Here are some of the best ways to demonstrate why users can trust your brand during onboarding.
- When asking for personal information, always explain why it is necessary and how it will be used. This is a smart way to ensure users are comfortable with the information they are submitting to you and allows you to show your brand’s transparent approach. Including details for how this information will be used may even increase retention rates by preventing users from churning during your app’s onboarding.
- Offer trials so that users can see how your app works without any commitments. This means making a portion of your app accessible without having an account set up. While this might not be the best option for all banking apps, it is an onboarding method you should consider.
- Coordinate your onboarding across multiple channels: If you have several ways a user can access your services you must ensure your onboarding is seamless across all channels. Your messaging must be consistent to give the user the best experience possible.
User personas are also a great way to optimize your onboarding. These are fictionalized versions of audience groups that will help you segment your customers by their needs. You can create user personas using your market research and by gathering data to identify behavioral trends once your app has launched. You can develop your onboarding experience for each user persona, all of which will have different pain points and requirements. This allows you to accommodate for different audiences and optimize your onboarding. Having a complete understanding of your user personas will also help you further down the line and ensure you make research-driven decisions.
Banking app UI design: how to design your banking app
UI and UX design for banking apps offers several opportunities to beautify your app while making finance management easier and more engaging. At the same time, you should avoid unnecessary design elements – the user’s primary concern is that they are able to easily navigate and make use of your app’s features. Avoid overloading your app with images, text and icons – keep things simple so that users have no pain points preventing them from completing any action with minimal taps. However, you should give your app a visual identity by using your brand’s color themes and logo when appropriate.
A UX design element of particular importance to the fintech vertical is in-app messaging. You have the option to send interruptive messaging or non-interruptive messaging when trying to reach your users in-app. Interruptive messaging will appear on the users screen with an option to dismiss. Non-interruptive messages can be found in a user’s inbox and highlighted by alert symbols. You should test most methods and identify what works best for your audience. It may be that you discover that interruptive and non-interruptive messaging should be used for different purposes depending on their urgency and appeal. For example, a user may want to be immediately alerted to an incoming payment but might not want to be interrupted by an automated banking statement.
You should also include visualizations of data that is relevant and useful for the user. This includes graphs, charts and diagrams. For best results, A/B test these visualizations so you can learn when they are effective and when they are having a negative impact on your UX.
For more insights, read our article covering the essential mobile marketing strategies you need to know. This includes why you should set KPIs, focus on retention rates and utilize social media marketing. You may also be interested in our case study into how Indonedian fintech app Netzme fights for financial inclusion.