Microinteractions in mobile banking

During the last year I have been working in the digital financial world designing new banking experiences. Right now small and big banks need to evolve and get them self up to speed in the current disruption they are suffering.

We see a lot of new Fintech startups that allow us to transfer money in new ways and even with great app experiences based in simplicity and small micro interactions.

Banking has changed and so their services need to change too. We are managing our finances at any moment and at any place with the smartphones. We need to be in control and feel smart. It’s our money!

Micro interactions play an important role here, those little details that make the different and push the experience a bit more up.


Easy

Probably the most common statement, but it is. Easy is good. This can make an annoying and clumsy app, a great app. And this goes from the functionality to the IA.

A mobile is still a small device with a relatively small screen. We use it in all different kind of situations where we get distracted all the time. Everything can’t fit in a mobile screen, so a prioritisation is necessary.

We normally use banking apps to check our balance and transactions, move money, open accounts and maybe set up our cards when traveling abroad. These are the very basic necessities, other than that is somehow secondary and it can or can’t be in the app.

Keeping the app easy will help us to introduce those little details without stressing the experience.


Removing unnecessary steps

One of our most common interaction with a banking app is check our saldo. Did the phone bill already arrive together with the insurance? What about the transfer that you are waiting for from a friend?

That specific interaction can be skipped in several occasions by bringing up some kind of notification that lets us know if there is any update in our account or not. So in this way we can skip the step of entering in our account details to see nothing new.

Notice that this simple micro interaction is helping us to do not perform an unnecessary step, it’s just making us feel a bit smarter.


A real-life listing

We live month by month. We normally get a monthly salary and we have to pay our bills monthly. Everything is based in a month-by-month structure.

We need to bring this reality to the app, a transaction list grouped by months will help us to quickly analyse our current status and don’t get lost in the list while scrolling.

This can be done in many ways, but for example it can be done straight forward by using “headers” to divide the transactions.

Upcoming payments

We are sort of aware of all the things we need to pay, but every month is different. Maybe we used the credit card or we purchased something that we completely forgot about it.

Imagine a transaction list that can show us the upcoming payments for this month, this can improve our organisation and at the same time our administrative skills.

One of the issues we can find here is the placement of this element. If we, for example, have created an expandable row that shows the upcoming payments list in-situ; placing it inside March can create some conflicts at the end of a month, when a payment is planned to happen in April but it’s underneath March.


Smart traveling

When traveling abroad we likely have to activate our cards in order to use them in the destination. And of course we need to take care of that activation when we are back, in order to protect our card.

The most ideal way to do it is by selecting a time range startDate — endDate when activating the card. In this way we don’t need to remember to deactivate it after the trip.

Furthermore, with the current technology the smartphone can detect when we are at our resident country (even home) and remind us that our card is still activate.

And in the same way, it can remind us to activate our cards if we are abroad and we didn’t do it in advance.


Explore

These are just a very few of all the possibilities (inside of a traditional banking app template) that we can explore, experiment, test and apply to our designs. Most of these examples require some technical implications and remember that not always everything is our side.

Right now there are some many tools around that we should feel the obligation of always look for better solutions and think about how we can nail the experience.

Think. Research. Design. Test.


Rafael Quesada, an UX Designer at Backbase, Amsterdam | www.rafaquesada.com