For over 12 years, I have been associated with the development of Internet banking applications. In this article, I would like to share my views on the user experience aspect of Internet Banking applications and its future.
Not until recent years did the concept of user experience gain importance and attention it truly deserves. However, before that, the view on user experience was, like Mr. Dick Berry illustrates in his article1, just the tip of the iceberg. Quite surprisingly, this illustration is still valid. I still remember my first Internet banking experience 12 years ago - I was very sensitive and cautious about making any action in the application.
However, today I do not have any anxiety while banking over the Internet. I am quite comfortable and find it convenient. Though there is such a distinct shift in user experience, the application pretty much continued to remain the same. One could say that the shift in the user experience is due to the continuous use of a predictable application.
However, it is this aspect of predictability that has come in the way of creating new user experience. The user experience of applications is created on a foundation of predictability, which will not aid in the creation of something new.
With the advent of tablets, one could state that there is a big shift in user experience, but in my view, it is not user experience that shifted, it is the level of user interaction that has changed. The user experience no doubt has improved – but only from the perspective of the tip of the iceberg.
As a bank user myself, how I use the Internet banking facility has pretty much remained the same, by adding more services over the Internet channel, the convenience aspect of user experience has definitely improved, and convenience is not just the only aspect that governs user experience.
According to International Standard for Organization’s (ISO) definition, user experience includes all the users' emotions, beliefs, preferences, perceptions, physical and psychological responses, behaviors and accomplishments that occur before, during and after use. ISO also lists three factors that influence user experience: system, user and the context of use.
While the system and user factors have influenced user experience significantly over the years, the "context of use" has pretty much remained the same, which in my view include, convenience for the user, reduced costs for the bank, and increased customer engagement thereby increasing business. There is no doubt that this context has worked so far, however, continuing with the same will only be limiting the potential of banking technology from the user experience perspective.
Looking back at the source of this context has been predominantly in reducing costs by moving "work" from the bank to the customer with the help of technology.
However, this "work" has pretty much remained the same. With more and more users now settling with the way of banking over the Internet, it is only natural that banks have started investing in looking at customer engagement at a whole new level, where technology is used to explore, analyze and provide insights and ways of fulfilling a user's or company's financial needs, to create specifications that can provide an adaptive user experience, one that is able to address the new entrants to the Internet banking realm and also those who are settled with the system and
is looking forward to explore more.
The views expressed in this column are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect this publication's view, and this article is not edited by Asian Banking & Finance. The author was not remunerated for this article.
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Velayoudam Kuberan is a technology architect with Polaris Financial Technology Ltd., specializing in CBX technology.
His particular focus is on Customer Experience, Security, and Performance paradigms.