5 Examples of Well Executed UX Design in FinTech
It may seem that the FinTech sector is driven by technology, back-end systems, security etc. However, in recent years, a number of startups have begun to notice the value of great design, primarily when creating B2C interfaces.
Traditionally, any digital platform that had anything to do with numbers or finances was intrinsically complicated. CRMs, ERPs, banking systems – it seemed as if the developers were trying to show every potential interaction on every screen of an app. Quite recently, as design thinking has weaved its way into C-suite executives and a number of new disruptive startups have been co-founded by designers instead of programmers, cumbersome, complicated products are beginning to give way to a new wave of minimalistic, functional interfaces. In FinTech specifically, this has made a big impact – in the end, every key interaction that the user makes can bring a substantial chunk of revenue to the organisation and the simpler the service is, the less money gets spent on costly Customer Service…
Here are 5 examples of well designed FinTech experiences that redefine their niches and set the bar high for newcomers:
Founded in 2011, TransferWise targeted one of the biggest pains faced by the modern day banking consumer – overpriced international money transfers. What started as a genuine pain for the founders themselves, who had to transfer money between the UK and Estonia, eventually became a company employing over 450 people, claiming to have saved their customers “£22 million in hidden charges”. On top of a great digital product design and amazing transparency with their business model (all charges are displayed, any changes to rates are communicated to customers immediately), lay great creative minds who are producing eye-catching campaigns. Every couple of weeks you can see changes being made to their platform, which proves that they undergo a constant optimisation of the user experience to keep making it better.
One of the most minimalistic banking experiences you can find – even their credit cards seem to contain the minimum information necessary. And that’s what’s great about Simple Bank. Even though some customers complain about their offering, the truth is that Simple Bank created a big buzz in the US when they tackled the big, traditional (and dangerous!) industry with their simplistic approach. Take a look at this talk by Toby Sterrett, Simple’s Director of UX, who takes his audience on a journey through the design details they prepared for their users.
As Simple Bank hasn’t decided to pursue the European market, an interesting niche appeared in the banking industry. Number26 is one of the contenders to become its leader, currently available in just 8 European countries. They partnered with TransferWise with the shared mission of revolutionising the banking industry. Sign-up is dead simple – all done online, including the verification of your identity. As you might expect – no account or card charges! All management is done online or within their sleek mobile app, where you can toggle certain payment methods, lock cards etc. We presume Number26 is going to keep growing and will soon be available across the whole of the EU.
Another challenger in the game. In the niche sector dominated by PayPal, SagePay and Skrill, Stripe managed to fight their way through with an amazing, flexible and beautifully designed gateway. Allowing businesses to implement and customise their payment gateways pretty much anywhere – apps, websites, online forms (Typeform) etc. – this user-friendly interface is what wins them users and the transparent, low-cost model is what wins them business clients. The credit card form they offer is one of the best we’ve ever seen in action!
Behalf is a company that tackled another finance niche with a simple, online solution – providing SMEs with a credit line. Cumbersome, traditional financial systems take their time in approving applicants before giving them a purchasing line. With Behalf, what usually takes days, can be done in 60 seconds! The design problems they faced were not strictly related to designing an online interface to support this particular service, but to take a look at the bigger picture of business loans and find opportunities to improve the cash flow of SMEs. Their offer is packaged in a simple-to-use, well designed web app, that would be a nice addition to any small business owner’s digital arsenal.
FinTech is one of the fastest growing sectors in the tech industry. It’s especially visible to us, living in London, where FinTech startups fight for premium ad space on the Tube and organise countless meetups and events. Many startups are co-founded by seasoned bankers, however the design element is something that can truly differentiate every FinTech product from its competitors and current industry players are fully aware of this. It’s a revolution, where user-centricity is pushing away system-centricity, forcing design to partner with technology on equal terms. At last!