Expectations have changed. Strong UX is no longer an added bonus, it decides whether someone uses your product or not.
Your UX is what decides whether customers come back to use your product or service again. Just look at Amazon. Whatever you think about them, the fact that you can complete a purchase in a click and it will arrive at your house the following day is unbelievably impressive and a huge part of why they’ve enjoyed so much success. It’s a fantastic service - my wife agrees (my bank balance, not so much).
But what a lot of people don’t think about is the payment infrastructure that sits behind Amazon’s front-end to make its UX so user-friendly. There are regulatory and technological challenges that must be overcome to ensure there are no sacrifices in security or compliance when creating a great user experience. Meeting those challenges is my job.
When I speak to businesses, I’m not telling them how they should design their user interfaces, nor would I want to. The client, and their customers, are the experts on their own product. For me, the question I often ask myself is ‘if I was using this, what would I want to be able to do?’. It’s then our job to make sure we can facilitate that. Whether the client uses it in that way is ultimately their choice, but our goal is to make our infrastructure able to support these experiences our clients are building.
All businesses want to make things easy for their customers from start to finish. Take onboarding, if an app asks you for your passport, proof of address, your mother’s maiden name, your grandmother’s birthday etc, the user will get the impression this is not a simple service to use.
The faster we can make user onboarding (again, while making no sacrifices on what’s necessary), the more likely it is users will complete the process and recommend it to others. However, for me the real strength of good UX is not getting people to sign up to something. It’s making them come back and use it again.
For this to be the case, the product has to solve the problem that the customer has, while not adding any additional complications to their day. There are many ways this can be seen. If you’re sending money to a friend overseas and the service tells you it will take 3-5 days to appear, you probably then have to message your friend telling them it will be a little while. Maybe you don’t want to let them down, or you know they need it faster, so now you have to think of a quicker way to get it to them.
Alternatively, sending money in real-time and then receiving a notification to confirm it has hit the recipient’s bank account is an entirely different experience - one you will happily use again. When receiving payments from multiple parties, having a better view of when transactions are ‘completed’ can be very helpful. If you are a landlord, for example, and you can be notified when all tenants have paid this month’s rent, that is much more convenient than having to keep checking your bank balance and keep an eye on names and references.
This brings me to why I think UX in finance is so important. Money impacts so many aspects of our lives and is one of the primary sources of stress. If you make a payment, but the UX does not give you a clear indication that the payment has been completed, it’s not just an annoyance, it can cause panic.
For customers to trust a business, they need to feel first and foremost that the business is a reliable custodian of their funds. Taking an approach that ‘once the customer has paid, we can ignore the UX, the job’s done’ will lose you a lot of customers. Fast.
I’ve always believed that taking a customer-centric approach is a bit of a win-win scenario. By constantly thinking ‘how can I make this simpler and more enjoyable for the customer?’ a business benefits from a far more loyal and engaged audience and the customer gets a higher quality product.
As the use of cash continues to decline, businesses need to be aware of how consumers want to experience financial services. At OpenPayd, we’re committed to developing our flexible payment infrastructure to enable you to meet that demand - whatever that may look like.
We’re sure you’ll understand embedded finance by the end of this article.