indian banking sector on ux

15 March 2013

Banking services stops not only with the websites. It is one among those sectors which has different delivery channels from In-person dealing, Internet banking, Mobile banking, ATM etc. Every person must have experienced stepping into a bank, getting the services by waiting in a long queue, then realizing “Oh, I have forgotten to bring the document”, “It is taking more time, I should come next week” or worst facing bad customer service from their employees. Another spectrum of challenges as a customer we face is “Which bank will serve me the best?” Years ago people have to go to the banks to seek all the services or information. Later, to stop the endless problems banks adopted technology into their systems to earn – “Customer Satisfaction”, but how well the technology is being utilized is another subject. 

It is self-explanatory that Customer Satisfaction is the key note for this industry to retain their customers. What foreign banks do to bring customer satisfaction? Do the foreign banks operate in a same way as Indian banks? Not really, people want everything at their door step, this is what the foreign banks do, they don’t want their customers to travel so long, wait in a queue and get things done. 

From my experience, I would like to share how the foreign banks work and it is going to take very few years for Indian banking sector to adopt the same culture. During my 2 years stay in Europe, I have been to bank twice – one is to open my account and next is to get educated how the foreign bank works. I wanted to deposit some cash to my friends’ account but I was unable to access my net banking as my one time code generator instrument (which generates a code to be used during login) was not with me. Then I reached an ATM took some money and biked to reach the bank. I reached the counter and without enquiring I took a paper which had my friends’ account number, the cash and moved towards him and I said, please deposit the cash to this account. He gave me a peculiar look and said “We are no more dealing with cash, if you have cash in your account I can transfer and we also charge some service fee”. Then I gave thought and realized that he is doing nothing than transferring the money without my instrument for which I have to pay service fee. And I had no option but spending the cash for myself. 

Then, I told to myself that few years from now, there won’t be in-person dealing as we are in the process of digitalizing, hence to provide a pleasurable online experience and user friendly interfaces on ATM machines, mobile devices by embracing the importance of usability and a good experience are more vital. So, how to formulate best customer experience for serving millions and millions of Indian people dealing with their personal finances? As a UX designer, I could foresee people’s motivations and needs tend to be incredibly diverse – expecting same kind of experience regardless of their location or on which device they are working. Listening to the people around me, I understand people mostly visit banking sites to make transactions, balance enquiry, seek information on loans, investments, credit card etc. 

Today banks claim to offer all the above services through various mediums, 

Bank 1: “Yeah, our website and ATM are providing all the above mentioned features!!” 
Bank 2: “We have more than they requested for and we are market leaders!!” 
Bank 3: “We have mobile banking!!” 

Sounds Great right!! However how user friendly their customers finding it is still a debate among them. 
I looked upon some Indian banking websites and ATMs’ to best explain the above, but I realized compared with the best online experiences in other industries, banks are years behind. None of the banks have set an example of good UX in any medium of their services and speaking from customer’s point of view “we want an experience a lot more human”. 

I remember reading an article, where it says “A lot of traditional banking websites get really distracting and difficult to use because they’re selling so many products and services on all four sides of your content,” ATMs’ has been years after years quoted for the bad design practices and mobile websites, which has become the latest trend among this industry has bunged to look what the customer really wants, hasn’t it? 

All the above concerns might seem trivial but it is high time that the banks should start looking their online and other channels as an engagement platform and not a transactional or functional platform. I agree, the customers are task oriented and banks are into serious business, but there are some best UX practices in transactional platforms, bill payments, services, sales to make these issues get sorted. Presenting the Human-ness in a simple, user’s language, focusing on user context and ready to use interface better entice customers. 

“People should never feel like a failure when using technology. Like the customer, the user is always right. If software crashes, it is the software designer’s fault. if someone can’t find something on a web site, it is the web designer’s fault… The big difference between good and bad designers is how they handle people struggling with their design.

Technology serves humans. Humans do not serve technology “ – Joshua Porter, an entrepreneur, author and UX expert. 

Source : https://experiencedesignideas.wordpress.com/2013/03/15/indian-banking-sector-on-ux-saranya-subramanium-ux-designer-techved-consulting/

 

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