Digital Bank Concept
As part of an interview assignment, I was tasked to create a Digital Bank concept from scratch. I was allowed to re-use any current banking brand or can choose to create my own brand name and logo.
As this was a self-initiated project, I was both the UX Designer and UI Designer.
The creative requirements included a presentation deck to show my process and approach in tackling the concept, chosen medium (app or website) and a prototype to tell the story of my product.
“How might we get customers to use banking apps/website so that it can be convenient for them to utilise banking services? ”
ZULAZFAR AHMED 😉
First off, I needed to fully understand the brief by finding out what exactly is Digital Banking and as a local Singaporean, I chose the context to be in Singapore.
This were some initial areas that I researched on:
∙ Why Digital Bank?
∙ Uses/Features of a Digital Bank
∙ Mobile vs Online (Internet) Banking
∙ The business landscape of digital banking in Singapore
∙ Singapore Digital Bank License
∙ Key Banks in Singapore
Thinking and Process Research
After getting a better understanding of the business landscape for Digital Banking (DB) in Singapore, I can’t help but ask myself this: Why Digital Banking in Singapore? I began to ask myself, why there’s this ‘craze’ for DB, why the stiff competition for Singapore Digital Bank Licenses (SDBL), why now?
In case you’re not aware, the Covid-19 pandemic happened. Evidently, this was a large contributor amongst other reasons as to why it solidifies the need for the Digital Bank. The pandemic has resulted in a record number of digital banking transactions during COVID-19 period. And for this reason, it is only natural to focus on something contextually and locally.
For starters, DBS Bank has seen 100 million more digital banking transactions this year, compared to the same period in 2019 (PayNow, Paylah!). The use of digital payments has also more than doubled, with e-commerce transactions rising by as much as close to 40% in value.
Adoption of Digital Services is The New Normal
61% of Singapore’s older population aged 54 and above, who agree they are using online tools frequently.
In fact, 69% of respondents in this age group say they are “somewhat” or “very” comfortable with online banking tools.
What I can derive from this is that, the population is already open or will be open to Digital Services regardless the pandemic or not. Therefore, my conclusion is that we need not worry so much about the older generations adopting the use of Digital Services.
We now know that we don’t need to worry about the older population, but what about the rest of the population? What do Singaporeans want? Are there features they desire or pain points that they face?
Naturally, I also needed to understand more about the rest of the population and through further research I found the following:
∙ 2 in 3 Singaporeans Open to Digital-Only Banks
∙ Singaporeans between the age of 18 and 24 are more likely to have a digital bank account
∙ Ages of 35 and 44 are currently digitally banked
∙ 54% of Singaporeans want digital banks to offer non-financial features
∙ Some 60% of Singaporeans will migrate services from their current bank to new digital players
∙ 40% of Singaporeans will only consider opening a digital bank account once it is popular and successful
Singaporean Pain Points
According to a publication on Digital Banking in Singapore by PWC, these are the pain points in exact order:
∙ Long waiting times
∙ Inability to perform banking functions offline
∙ Lack of education provided by their bank on the different financial offerings available
In this assignment, I had to choose a medium of my choice to fulfill the requirement of the assignment which could be an app or a website. I chose to work on an app after all my findings.
General Device Statistics in Singapore
Based on a survey results in 2019, the percentage of each kind of device used by the adult population are as such:
∙ 91% – Smartphone
∙ 71% – Laptop or Desktop Computer
Government Statistics – Penetration Rate
Further data from the government (IMDA) also shows that in 2019:
∙ 89% of population are individuals who have used the internet while there is a 159.1% smartphone penetration rate.
It is imperative that by mere statistics, we can conclude that the outreach and usage of smartphone usage is significantly higher and it is only logical to target that demographics.
After looking and analysing numerous facts and figures, what can I conclude? What do I make out of all of these? My conclusions were as such:
∙ Covid-19 allowed increase in adoption rates in Singapore
∙ Singaporeans in general are open to new services such as Digital Banking including seniors
∙ At least half of Singaporeans want more non-financial features in Digital Banking
∙ Pain points are mainly waiting times, inability to perform functions and lack of education
∙ Smartphone penetration and usage is higher than computers
Actual user research was also required to justify my findings and help me gain more insights so I came out with a set of behavioral questions and interviewed a total of 3 people. The scope of users I was looking at were ranging from 30 – 35, all Singaporean.
Insights from user interviews
∙ Mobile Banking used a few times a week or within past 2 days (PayNow function)
∙ Never had need to visit a physical bank in months
∙ Tend to look for promotions, rebates and rewards
Key Quotes from User Interviews
“Spend too much time looking for things online even basic actions such as transferring cash.” ” — Cassie, 31, Designer
“If I’m near a bank, need explanation or require the personal touch then might as well do it in person.” .” — Fanny, 30, Events Manager
“Call center can be better. It’s painful.”— Sandy, 31, Social Worker
UX Research & Planning: Part 1
By now, I had gotten a clear and better understanding of what’s the business landscape is like, user pain points and also things like what are some Singaporean wants. For this section it focuses a lot on the UX research process such as affinity mappings, personas, competitor analysis, flowcharts and wireframes. For starters, I compiled all my findings from both research and user interviews into affinity maps to see what are common themes or occurances. Themes were broken down into frequency of bank usage both online and offline usage, feelings and thoughts when both using mobile and online banking and ultimately, the problems and issues faced as users.
Through my user interviews, I found that PayNow is the most commonly used feature in a digital bank app. PayNow is a function where you can send money instantly with just the mobile number, NRIC/FIN or Company Unique Entity Number (UEN) of any recipient. For this reason, I have decide to base the user flowchart on this. Having thought of things such error prevention or flexibility, these were needed in an event someone doesn’t go through the conventional flow as intended. Additionally, I also had to account for other app features that I also derived from research and user interviews such as the need for most used and non-financial features.
User Research & Planning: Part 2
I also performed a competitor analysis between the two key players in Singapore such as DBS and UOB. This allowed me to study which feature worked well and which did not. More importantly, there had to be a sense of familiarity so that the app doesn’t have a steep learning curve. In my findings, it seems that the features are fairly similar but it differs when it comes to the PayNow transaction process. I studied how certain portions could be better such as including a ‘Favourites’ section or it could even be a slight change in terms of the UI. I believe in the idiom “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.
While digital bank apps are a service to its users, there isn’t really a need to create retention loops per se, rather it should serve its purpose on a need to use basis. What I gathered from my user interviews, it was mainly about using PayNow. And when asked about what are certain features they looked out for, all interviewees mentioned the rewards or rebates page. This was therefore a deciding factor on having a standalone ‘Rewards’ page.
The persona of someone who would use this app is a 31-year-old designer, who is married with no kids currently residing in Singapore. The goals of this person is fairly straightforward: To use the app as a one-stop platform to pay bills and make PayNow transactions on the fly. Some of the challenges or pain points faced is that the call centre process is cumbersome especially with certain card issues requiring to take time off work to visit the bank physically.
When designing this app, it was crucial to link back to insights and findings from both research and user interviews. Through that, I determined key features on the app which helped with the whole design process. I prioritised the PayNow feature and made it clear and upfront. Featured services included features such as booking of flights or buying of insurance as more than half of Singaporeans want digital bank apps to have non-financial features. Rewards or promotions are also sought after especially with certain cards offering F&B dining or shopping discounts.
Services page is meant to include all available services that is provided by the digital bank. This could be services to that link back to e-commerce partners such as Shopee or used for groceries shopping such as FairPrice. In this modern day of cryptocurrency trading and investment, Bitcoin or Ethereum may also be available for purchase. General services as per how a physical bank would operate will be available as well for the users.
Test the prototype here!
Aside from the above UX research, I’ve also designed a mock-up prototype of the app to give a better understanding and experience of the concept. Check out, the digital bank app!
Disclaimer: All works and images do not belong to Razer Inc except their logo.
∙ With or without Covid-19, a digital bank app will still be useful and highly sought after by Singaporeans
∙ What Singaporeans do: Frequent cash transfers; What Singaporeans want: More non-financial services
∙ To be successful,in my opinion, is to cater to these wants of Singaporeans as this is also based on collective data.
∙ The app is also reliant on third-party partnerships to serve more non-conventional services
∙ AI-powered Chatbot has to be present to help users
∙ In the interest of time, icons may not fit so well, hence why apps have their own icon set
∙ Using a familiar brand such as Razer as a concept makes things easier to set the colour schemes