AI and customer-centricity are fundamental for developing a banking app with the best UX and the highest potential to foster customer loyalty

The coronavirus pandemic has lifted the expectations of customers as far as their relationship with brands goes. The more that people turn to digital channels to connect to a physician, buy groceries, take exercise classes, buy across multiple e-commerce platforms – really, for anything – the more that their expectations regarding financial services apps are rising.

For banks, this is a golden opportunity to recruit more digital customers and win their loyalty in the long term. Improving the user experience now will pay dividends in the future.

Sophisticated artificial intelligence tools can help banks offer a customer-centered digital experience with modern characteristics such as financial consulting, which help build customer confidence and loyalty.

But before AI or modern features such as financial health accounts, comes the right mind-set. For a superior user experience, you should place the customer front and center in your focus.

Customer-Centricity: Fundamental for a Great Experience

Just as every teller in a branch literally sees every customer as a person, the same approach is needed in digital banking.

Being centered on the customer means remembering that each one is a person with their own thoughts and feelings. It also means understanding some of the psychology behind how we interact with digital channels. For example, people’s daily interactions are increasingly through digital channels and so – as Jakob’s Law saysyour user prefers your app to work the same way as all the others.

Client-centricity is perhaps the most important pillar in designing a note-worthy user experience for your digital customers. With solid understanding of who your customers are and what they want from your application, you can better take advantage of tools of artificial intelligence.

AI: Key for World-Class UX

Artificial intelligence can help banks not only see patterns in the users’ behavior, but also, on a deeper level, to understand why customers make certain financial decisions. That understanding allows banks to offer personalized services to each customer over digital channels.

Doing this well implies developing specific user personas. In part, these are developed through traditional UX research, mainly by talking with customers. But artificial intelligence and dense data analysis should be used to create deeper, more nuanced customer profiles.

Then, these personas can be incorporated into the system, and used to characterize and understand each user, says Rodrigo Gonzalez, CEO of the consulting and digital transformation firm The Stoic Lab and ex-head of innovation, transformation and experience at the Panamanian bank Banesco.

With dense data, you have a more complete view of the customer: not just of what they do, but also why they do it.”

Financial Health: Loyalty-Building Tool

By using a customer-centric approach and tools of artificial intelligence, your bank is well-equipped to recognize and develop the features that are most important to users. That can include anything from frictionless digital onboarding processes to offering digital wallets.

Analysis tools to improve financial “health” are another area where artificial intelligence and customer-centricity come together more and more often in an important user experience.

What is financial health? The US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau defines financial wellbeing as the capacity to manage daily and monthly finances, to absorb shocks, reach goals, and have certain freedom of financial options.

Banks can help customers improve their financial situation with digital tools. These include:

  • A dashboard that offers instant visualization of recurring expenses, to manage them better
  • Real-time suggestions to help customers make decisions aligned with their long-term goals
  • Gamification tools, such as a dynamic financial wellbeing score, to incentivize good habits

The incorporation of financial health tools in a digital banking app generates trust and loyalty for the institution on a long-term basis. It is an example of the mutually beneficial solutions that can be achieved by a first-class user experience.

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