Mobile Banking — The Force is Strong

3D touch — Why banks should be paying attention

Ever since purchasing an iPhone 6S, one feature that was the biggest revelation to me was 3D touch. Initially I was a bit sceptical, very few apps took advantage of this new feature, however, more and more are now starting to incorporate the functionality and finding new ways to improve the user experience (UX).

3D Touch detects the pressure applied to an iPhone screen and allows developers to use this and leverage it within their apps.

The biggest use of 3D Touch so far seems to be to accelerate the navigation for apps using ‘Quick Actions’. ‘Quick Actions’ enables simpler navigation directly from the application icon.

Instagram and Facebook Examples

Quick Actions — Facebook and Instagram

So far this technology has been integrated into mainstream applications such as Facebook, Instagram, Overcast and Waze. One category of app that has taken it’s time so far, appears to be the financial institutes.


How are Banks using this technology?

Banks are not generally not the quickest in adopting new technologies, however with the drive to offer greater customer experience, this has been changing in recent years (e.g. fingerprint recognition for logon).

I was surprised however, when looking at financial apps on Apples App Store, the only apps that I could find with 3D Touch enabled came mostly from fintech start-ups. Coinbase and TransferWise both offer their customers the ability to jump straight to the section in the app that they would like to start their journey from.

Coinbase, Starbucks Payments and Transferwise all use quick actions

For me this is a missed opportunity to really improve and speed up the customer experience and journey.

How and where can 3D Touch be applied?

Let’s start by speeding up the navigation using ‘Quick Actions’

The obvious use of 3D Touch for banks is to improve their navigation. Most of the time a customer knows what they want when they launch a mobile banking application.

“how much cash do I have?”, “I need to pay my phone bill”, “I’ll transfer you the cash now”

Using 3D Touch, the customer can start their journey straight from the application icon, select the journey they require, verify themselves with a fingerprint and proceed with the transaction instantly.

This simplification removes multiple interactions. I don’t wish to see my list of accounts, select an account and then choose pay a bill. Using 3D touch allows me start my interaction through a single click and a finger print.

Peek and Pop

Peek and Pop let you preview all kinds of content and even act on it — without having to actually open it. For example, with a light press you can Peek at each email in your inbox. Then when you want to open one, press a little deeper to Pop into it. — Apple
Apple E-mail App Peek and Pop example

Mobile Banking is a very personal experience and banks go out their way to ensure privacy for customers. The ‘Peek and Pop’ concept has the potential to work perfectly here.

Quick Balances

Many banks offer customers the ability to see their main bank account balance with limited security. This normally requires the user to perform an action (e.g. swipe down) and the balance is displayed. Using a peek and pop concept would enable the balance to be viewed by just applying pressure. If they wanted to know more, then apply a bit more pressure and offer the customer the option to go through security to see more detailed information.

Transaction viewing

If a customer wants to look at the detail of a transaction, having a preview by applying pressure to a specific transaction could allow them to quickly see the transactions details without moving away from their transaction list.

Private Information

A bank will go out its way to secure private information such as a bank card PIN number. Using Peek and Pop provides a similar metaphor to the real world, allowing a customer to sneak a look at a PIN with out displaying it for a long duration on the screen.


So what’s next?

I’m positive 3D Touch technology will become the norm in banking apps in the coming years. Until then, banks should be introducing this technology to their banking apps and experimenting to see how it can be extended further to provide greater customer experiences.

I look forward to the day my bank adds it to their app!

If you’ve seen or used 3D touch with your bank in the wild then please let me know. Always interested to hear thoughts, views and comments.

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