Like any other industry or emerging technology, the world of fintech is subject to changing trends and increasingly selective users. Fintech firms are quickly adopting new UX/UI practices to provide their users with digital financial solutions that are easy to use and highly secure.
In this article, we discuss the ten biggest trends in fintech and how they are paving the way for a new phase of digital fintech products and apps.
1. Additional Friction
Despite the fact that effortless, instantaneous, and frictionless design has become a common practice, increasing user friction for certain tasks is essential in fintech UX design. It is necessary to intentionally make specific tasks harder to complete so that users are reassured that they are in control of their actions, especially when it comes to money management. Venmo – a mobile payment service – utilizes this strategy by adding an extra step and asking users to confirm the intended action.
Other ways to use positive friction in fintech UX design include text message confirmation or pop-up messages to prevent potential errors.
Increased friction reduces the probability of user mistakes, thus increasing their overall satisfaction with the product as users feel (and are!) in control over how they manage their finances.
Regarding user control, it is important to note that users expect to be constantly reassured about the status of the tasks they are trying to complete, especially if they are interacting with a financial services platform. Therefore, providing responsive feedback is imperative to improve the overall usability of the product and user experience.
Financial platform Wise follows this tip by providing feedback and displaying the exact time and status of the user’s money transfer, reassuring and informing the user about any transaction updates.
Speaking of feedback, micro-interactions are an imperative part of a good user experience, as they help display the status of a task, prevent errors and communicate the brand. Subtle motion graphics better convey the message to the user, and when used properly, can assist them in understanding what they’re seeing from a quick glance.
For example, a crypto trading platform Coinbase uses skeletal loading screens while the user’s information is loading. It takes the pressure off the user by demonstrating that their information is indeed loading, as well as what will be displayed once the loading is complete. Subtle micro-interactions like this not only convey system status but may also differentiate the fintech product from competitors.
There is no doubt that finances may sometimes feel like a burden to the general public, since this topic may be worrisome and intellectually demanding. To alleviate the stress and simplify complicated financial terms and transactions, there are a number of gamification elements that can be incorporated into the product. For example, progress bars, badges, rewards, challenges, and streaks, as well as points and in-app currency are some of the gamification elements that may motivate the users to achieve their financial goals.
As an example, the Fortune City app helps stimulate healthy financial behaviour by allowing users to build and manage a virtual city. In order to construct the buildings, the users are encouraged to record their income and expenses, which allows them to create different types of buildings. Standard budgeting app features are also included, which builds healthy financial habits by making mundane tasks such as tracking expenses or saving money more rewarding and engaging.
Image: Fortune City
5. Data Visualization
Naturally, fintech products and platforms include a lot of numbers in the interface. One of the tips for good user experience design is to be able to tell a story with these numbers by displaying them in a graphically meaningful way. Data visualization is one of the best ways to accomplish this goal, and it is a powerful tool in fintech UX design, which became almost an inherent expectation for financial platforms.
For instance, the budgeting app Pocket Guard displays the data in a variety of ways: there is an option to see one’s expenses as a convenient pie chart easily scannable at a first glance, or as a list, which also gives one a trajectory of last month’s spending. The user can also see their spending history per category per month thanks to the data visualized as bar charts, which allows the user to easily compare their monthly expenses.
Image: Pocket Guard
6. Simple Language
The financial industry is known to be intimidating to some people due to the unknown terminology or impenetrable jargon. Despite the fact that traditional banking products have been using difficult financial language, modern fintech applications don’t have to follow in their footsteps. Instead, fintech platforms can utilize plain language to their advantage, by choosing a copy that would be understandable to their users at the first glance.
Simple and understandable language is an effort that should be taken by both UX designers and copywriters. Clear copy increases the general accessibility of the product, by allowing the users to understand and make better financial decisions.
It is important to note that some terminology like overdraft or prolongation cannot be put in simpler terms. Therefore, a good solution would be to include a dedicated glossary for users to have access to definitions whenever they need them.
7. Personalization & Customization
Digital products, especially mobile applications, are getting increasingly personalized and customized by adapting the user experience to an individual user’s needs. The most widespread examples of customization are “dark” and “light” themes, which allow users to choose the interface options that they like best.
Moreover, a personalized experience can be created by anticipating the user’s needs and displaying an experience that would be relevant to that user. As an example, polls during the onboarding process can benefit the user and help create a personalized experience. By adjusting each user’s journey, fintech applications can make their users feel understood and develop their loyalty.
Compared to other institutions, financial companies are 300 times more likely to become a victim of cybercriminals, according to Boston Consulting Group. Therefore, when designing for fintech it is imperative to account for cybersecurity issues and concerns. One of the easiest ways to mitigate potential security risks is to design registration forms in a way that encourages users to create stronger passwords.
Cryptocurrency exchange platform Kraken integrates a simple real-time password checker that communicates whether the requirements have been fulfilled or not, as the user is entering the password.
Intentionally increasing friction and combining it with a user-friendly interface is essential in fintech UX design.
9. Onboarding & Verification
Onboarding is a key step for users to get familiar with the platform, and one of the best practices for onboarding is to eliminate any obstacles between new users and the product. However, the financial sector is required to meet the demands of KYC and AML compliance:
- Know Your Customer (KYC) verifies the user and ensures they are who they say they are.
- Anti-Money Laundering (AML) ensures that financial transactions are not linked to illegal activities such as fraud, money laundering, or terrorism.
In other words, the user’s identity needs to be verified before they can perform any transactions on the platform. Consequently, the challenge here is to design an experience in a way that combines these contradicting requirements and allows the user to interact with the platform as soon as possible.
One of the effective ways to do this is to separate the registration and onboarding process into small sections and allow the user to focus on one section at a time. This is a great opportunity to build trust and walk the user through the process while allowing them to save progress and come back to it anytime.
Cryptocurrency exchange platform Binance came up with a creative verification process that works just like tiered pricing, which may already be familiar to some users. There are three verification tiers that authorize the user to perform specific transactions on the platform, depending on which tier they have. Such a strategy is effective as it makes the long verification process more manageable, thus improving the user experience.
10. Visual Identity
In the last decade, fintech products have progressed drastically from boring traditional banking apps with basic functionality to entire brand experiences showcasing a holistic product identity.
A distinctive, inviting and human-centered visual identity is what helps users make the connection with the digital product. The proper use of visible elements of a brand, such as colour palette, imagery, fonts, and typography, is what determines how users interact with the product, as well as how they develop their loyalty to the brand. As an example, let’s take a look at two different fintech apps.
On one hand, there is a CIBC mobile banking app, which has a traditional banking product look. Its visual identity is uninviting and lacks personality.
Image: CIBC Mobile Banking app
On the other hand, there’s Crezco – a fintech service, whose aim is to help small businesses grow easier.
The look and feel of Crezco is much more welcoming and warm, which is achieved through the product’s visual identity. For example, the colour palette of the brand is based on shades of deep and pale green, with accent colours such as beige and orange. The combination of such colours allows playing with the contrast and highlighting the areas users should pay attention to.
The example above demonstrates how visual identity can affect the users’ experience with the product and make it more enjoyable and engaging while increasing the value of the product, brand loyalty, and user satisfaction in return.
Idea Theorem™ is a Toronto-based UI UX Agency. We create simple and usable products for web and mobile. Our human-centered design approach lets us understand your customers, identify their pain points & deliver solutions that enhance their experience with your brand. Contact Us if you have any questions and we will be happy to help you.