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A UX agency’s tips on implementing service design for banks

What is a banking service design? Why is it so important?

Many people who work in the financial sector ask themselves: what is service design and why should a banking service be designed?

Service design plays a big part in creating a satisfying user experience (UX) in the service industry, including banks. The main benefit of this process is that it doesn’t just focus on one specific part of your banking service. It takes into account every single element that makes up your service in order to create the best possible interaction between your customers and your bank. This includes physical elements like entering the bank, being in the waiting area, and of course, the UX elements of your bank’s mobile application.

UX design as a whole is always focused on customer satisfaction. No business and no industry can survive and succeed without satisfied customers. If you can meet, and perhaps even exceed the expectations and needs of your users, they are much more likely to contribute to your conversion rate. Satisfied customers are much more likely to come back instead of looking around for other solutions among your competitors and recommend you to others.

Trust is one of the most essential components of a successful banking service design, and if you can communicate that during every interaction your business has with its users, you are much more likely to see the results you want.

Tip number 1 from a UX agency: what should a banking service design focus on?

The financial industry has seen some notable changes during the past few years, with banking service designs playing a much bigger role than before. This is mainly due to the restrictions brought by the pandemic and the new consumer habits that it resulted in. In short, banks had to restructure their business model with a stronger focus on new financial channels such as online services, and customers have become much more inclined to handle their finances via applications.

Technological novelties and new consumer habits have resulted in rapid changes in the financial market, with big data collection and UX research being the next big trend. Banks have access to more and more customer-centric data to create more customized services, but customers also expect to have access to more personalized services: the bar has been raised. Cash payments and traditional banking experiences are steadily declining.

All this means that a bank will need to invest in keeping their service design up-to-date if they are expected to stay ahead of increasingly tougher competition in the financial sector.

According to a UX agency in Hungary, a service design for banks should focus on:

  • Communicating trust, empathy, and commitment toward customers
  • Acquiring customer information advantage
  • Creating a customer-centric business model
  • Implementing a more personalized banking service design
  • Optimizing resource allocation
  • Frictionless user journeys
  • Integrating real-time data
  • Simplifying their operating models
  • Open banking solutions
  • Supporting internal innovation
  • Risk management

Tip number 2 from a UX agency: how to design the process of a service design for banks

UX agencies have specific methods to create the optimal service design for a bank. This is what they call a service blueprint. It’s basically like a chart that outlines the complete structure of your banking service design. It doesn’t just encompass your financial offers, but every single element that contributes to creating a unique user experience for your customers.

In short, it helps banks to see the bigger picture by:

  • Determining which elements can and cannot be used in the service design of your bank
  • Identifying the main responsibilities of your bank
  • Analyzing how the elements that support your customer journey work

It’s important to note that compared to “user journey mapping” (another method employed by UX design agencies) a service blueprint doesn’t just focus on the first experience a user may have when interacting with your bank. It also aims to bridge the gap between your bank and your users by taking your business’s background into account.

It is with this “behind the scenes” attitude that a UX agency can truly provide a useful overview of the links between your users and your services:

  • Support Processes: the boundaries of internal interactions
  • Backstage Action: the boundaries separating your users from your bank
  • Frontstage Action: the process of interactions

Tip number 3 from a UX agency: an example of a successful banking service design in practice

The service design of the Q110 Deutsche Bank of Future in Berlin is definitely an example everyone can learn from.

  • Customers treated as guests: warm greetings, friendly atmosphere, comfy rooms to discuss finances
  • Innovative interior design: cold and formal replaced by vibrant colors (designed by the person behind Tom Tailer retail stores!)
  • Banking products: starter pack presented in aluminum boxes
  • Innovative technology: guests and employees use table-sized touch screens together
  • Results: retirement benefit sales have doubled since the bank’s new service design has been put into place