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Getting to the crUX of identity verification

Great identity verification should be top of the list when it comes to technological improvement in finance. The number of people using online services is increasing, as online banking grows at an average of 3.5% year-on-year in the UK. And while this is a positive step for consumers, more data online means more procedures are needed to protect customer data.

This is where regulations come in, to ensure that consumers are not being put at risk. What was once considered great user experience (UX) is now no longer necessarily compliant with the law, and the real challenge has become delivering a great experience whilst remaining within the perimeters of compliance.

UX is a key component in attracting users - when you get this right, it shows how much you understand your customers and their needs.

Competition in almost every tech-based sector is rife – no more so than in financial services – and in a world where a face-to-face or a conversation with a company is rare, UX must be on point, to show users that companies understand their needs and wants.

Increasingly, the way customers access and use their money is digital-first; paying bills, mobile banking and online shopping are common through apps. This also impacts the financial lives of consumers with the latest figures suggesting that 61% of the EU uses Open Banking – only set to rise with Gen-Z. Brand loyalty is fading with every generation due in large part to clunky onboarding and UX. Overcomplicating apps will never beat simple and efficient functions, and as new technology has opened a gateway to convenience, consumers now expect more from their tech.

To stay competitive, companies need to get smart by balancing regulatory compliance with intuitive and seamless UX. Easier said than done, particularly when 38% of millennials have abandoned mobile banking  due to long, poorly designed processes. Striking the right balance comes down to knowing who your customers are and what they like. Minimum Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements are changing; and as companies are encouraged to get more familiar with who they are dealing with on a daily basis, considering how you interact with your audiences is a crucial part to meeting these requirements successfully. In particular, there are three key things to keep in mind when building out your offering:

  • Keep it simple: Don’t overthink your online offering. Only ask for necessary information, follow a logical customer journey, and consider the differences that may arise across territories.  Thinking carefully about what your customers need will keep you focused on what matters.
  • Incentivise your users: Show users how much progress they have made on certain forms, with a progress bar and a validation message when they have completed entries. By informing users about the length of their (short) journey, it will encourage completion, rather than abandonment and lead to more satisfied customers.
  • Communicate clearly: The language you use will impact how users interact with your site - make onboarding easy and stress-free by using clear language and options for auto-fill when available.

There is a risk moving forward that firms will only seek to meet the minimum compliance standards for new regulations, but that would be a missed opportunity to engage with customers and potential audiences.

I’d urge companies to go the extra step – like fintechs, such as Curve, have done to disrupt traditional banking services – and make sure they design user-friendly platforms that make it easy for customers to verify their identities and navigate platforms they rely on.

In putting UX first, firms won’t only meet their regulatory obligations, they will make a good impression on their users and increase engagement.



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Jonathan Jensen

Jonathan Jensen

Regulatory Policy Advisor


Member since

05 Jul 2019



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This post is from a series of posts in the group:

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