Experience design for NEO banks Digital Onboarding and Loan disbursement.

Valli Rg
5 min readSep 14, 2023

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Epi’k fintech saw a growing need for configurable mobile application for NEO banks that have started emerging in fintech industries for past few years. The challenge was to build customer trust without a physical presence. In this case study I will walk you through the opportunities, challenges, strategy and solution provided for these.

My Role

  • I was responsible for user research and experience design.
  • Collaborated closely with the business and product team to capture their insights and requirements.
  • Conducted user interviews to uncover any potential areas of friction on digital onboarding and challenges for completing loan request with research data and ultimately proposed solution to address the issues we uncovered.
  • Additionally provided support to the development team to ensure seamless implementation.

The Challenges

Banks once just a financial institution licensed to accept deposits and make loans is going through rapid changes. Since the time of first banks until a few years ago, had physical infrastructure and bankers to guide us in their services.Later with emergence of internet banking the concept of digital only banking (NEO banks) came.

Photo by Traxer on Unsplash

Despite the appeal of 100% digital services by NEO banks, their competitive edge was diminishing as traditional banks also embraced digital services.

NEO banks came with it’s own set of challenges such as :

  • Lack of physical branches : Digital only banks do not have physical branches, customers did not have face-to-face customer services or access to cash. Couldn’t gain customer trust.
  • Security concerns : Concerns about online scams because of fewer security measures.
  • Capital hindrance : Limited Capital hindered NEO banks from building extensive tech platforms, compared to traditional banks.

Customer Interviews

I reached out to some traditional bank mobile app users and NEO bank customers age range between 25 — 34 years. My goal at this stage was to understand their concerns about digital onboarding, challenges they faced on loan request and other areas of friction that we could improve on.

Key takeaways from the interview :

Based on our conversation with users and surveys responses we arrived at the following key takeaways.

  1. Onboarding process required a significant efforts and time investment from users that increases drop-out rates.
  2. Amount of information required for onboarding users was a bit overwhelming.
  3. Users had no way of knowing the loan amount they were eligible for which resulted in a lot of declined loan request.
  4. Users struggled with understanding the relationship between interest rates and payback amount.

Ideation

At this stage, we came up with a few ideas aimed at resolving the issues that were uncovered during user research.

  1. One-input at a time. Having one step up at a time, and easy to flow instruction, enabling users to focus their attention in providing one detail at a time.
  2. Minimal steps to complete the onboarding, only asking for required information.
  3. Restrict loan request amount to only amount that a user is eligible for.
  4. Provide clarity around the loan amount, repayment amount, interest rate and loan duration, thereby making it easier for users to make an informed decision about the loan.

User flow

I broke down the process into a few simple steps.

Onboarding flow

Loan request flow

Design Solutions

Wireframes

At this stage, I tried to still limit my focus to the flow and functionality of the app while also including some interface details to give more clarity to the purpose of each screen. This allows me to rapidly test and improve my ideas before moving on to the proper interface designs.

One Input at a time

Streamlined page layout at each sign-up step, and easy to flow instruction, enabling prospective user to focus their attention in providing one input at a time without being distracted or feeling bored. Use of progress bar giving users a clear path towards completion(visibility) and reduce abandonment rate.

Digital verification

Improve the user engagement and excitement during KYC by requesting a selfie for identity verification. At conclusion of the KYC process, the app provides estimated time required to complete KYC check (10mins).

Fewer opportunities to be interrupted

Given the minimal steps required.Throughout the sign-in process users do not have to move to any different apps or platforms to input data (email validity check in included in background, SMS code is picked up by the app)

Allow users to request a different amount

Users can select a smaller amount than the loan amount specified. There is a option for users to select a specific amount while still restricting the highest possible amount to what they are eligible for.

Onboarding hi-fidelity screens

Learnings

Fintech product design gave me a chance to really understand the digital banking and new age digital verification process. A key part of the designing a product is interacting with users early and often.

Relying on assumption of the problem is never enough. Deep understanding of the problem gives us a chance to make better UX decision.

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