Online banking is here to stay ... but the sooner you embrace UX Design, the better.

Banking - something we all do, but don’t necessarily like. 2018 wraps up to be a big year for this industry as technology continues to create convenient experiences for everyday tasks. Many 20 somethings have never owned a checkbook, and the days of walking into a branch for service are quickly becoming a “back in the day” memory.

The Cincinnati Business Courier recently published an article about how Fifth Third Bank branches are changing according to CEO, Greg Carmichael. He stated, “About two-thirds of Fifth Third’s transactions go through its digital channels now. And 54% of checks are transacted digitally, compared with zero just a few years ago.” One significant result? Closing 36 branches in the beginning of 2017 and replacing them with smart ATMs.

My experience with banking is unique, I use Navy Federal which is an invite only service for active duty members of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard, veterans, retirees and their families. The company is mostly international (located on or nearby bases) and operates as a remote bank. My family has a long history with the Navy, so it’s always been the ideal and preferred way to bank. Once the time came for me to handle my own finances, the transition was seamless and has been hassle free ever since. I deposit checks, manage my mortgage, transfer money and monitor accounts all in one place. The best part - I can use any ATM without additional fees. This model fits the future of banking, and my hope is that more and more companies will shape their services to something similar.

But as a designer, I want to touch on UX in the bank industry as a whole. If a digital interaction (through a web page or an app) is the main way your customers interact with your business, that experience has to be fantastic from beginning to end. You have one chance to capture them before they make a decision to stay with you or not. Put yourself in their shoes … if a user opens an app and can’t get to their transaction history within 1-2 clicks, you’ve lost them. Simple, clean, convenient will make you a crowd favorite every time - that and outstanding customer service.

My remote banking customer service experience has been incredible. Rather than the dreaded fraud freeze on your card you have to call in to unblock, Navy Federal will give me a call or even text to verify that I am in fact making the purchases they flag as suspicious. There’s a difference between customer service and hospitality - one is reactive and one is proactive. My bank anticipates my needs which allows for more freedom and peace of mind at the same time. Plus, they are all over the world so I can travel without worry and still access an ATM. Technology isn’t going anywhere, and by embracing these remote and digital opportunities, businesses can offer irreplaceable solutions - which promises customers for life.

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