Cracking the Vault — User Experience in Fintech

By: Terry Cordeiro and Ivo Weevers

Twitter: @terryc_uk & @ivoweevers

Designing simple and usable experiences are instrumental to the adoption of new digital products. Recently, John Maeda (design partner at Kleiner Perkin in San Francisco, ref) published a report that demonstrates the important role design plays in the success of new startups and technologies. New successful tech companies such as AirBnB and Pinterest even have designers as their founders.

Certain requirements however threaten an optimal user experience. Take passwords. We need to have them. And we need so many that we make them easy to remember, such as our first girlfriend’s name backwards with her year or birth (arual80). Easy? Yes. Secure? No. The best thing is to create a unique password each time consisting of a long random sequence of characters and number (KJnnd76RTnns89). Secure? Yes. Easy to remember? No.

The nature of Financial Services imposes several challenges to creating great user experiences. In highly regulated environments, there is the need for security and data protection, strong identification and authentication procedures and the dependencies on existing, old-fashioned, but important infrastructures.

In this article, we will present key design lessons from our experiences in the financial space across major banks and fintech startups. These lessons cover specific solutions, including payments and security, and design approaches, including pilots and prototyping, and touch upon the balance between user experience and financial requirements. For example, moving beyond the password.

We will discuss these lessons within the framework of the three design levels that are important for any type of organisation.

• Strategic design: Definition of how design helps achieving business goals and positioning.

• Tactical design: The establishment of design processes, patterns and tools.

• Operational design: The actual creation of solutions to address customer needs.

Editors Notes: This entry has been submitted to the FINTECH Book, the world’s 1st globally crowd-sourced book on FINTECH. Readers that enjoyed this initial abstract are invited to share and like it so that it may be featured in a longer version.

The FINTECH Book is due to be released in April 2016 and is available for Pre-Order on Amazon.

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