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Need for simple user experience in financial services.

As people increasingly experience the rich and simple user experience in their day to day life through smart phones, feature phones, tablets and other such communication devices, the expectations cross over to what they use in their workplace. As more and more financial institutions leverage technology to automate, analyze, process a lot of their data, the expectations from their user community and end customers on how exactly it is used and processed assumes importance. Globally, as financial institutions strive to achieve growth, improve productivity and efficiency, it is imperative that they have a system/software in place that is highly user friendly, intuitive, and a lot more user-centric. Additionally financial institutions driven by regulators are expected to serve the 'un-banked' and 'under-banked' from an inclusivity perspective. This gives rise not only to challenges relates to scalability but also expectations around ultra-simplicity, and faster time to market.

The cross industry relativism and expectation is impacting the financial services industry as well. User experience in the retail, telecom and entertainment industries is driving changes in the financial institutions from an end customer perspective. Phenomena such as 'DIY' (Do-It-Yourself) and 'BYOD' (Bring Your Own Device) are slowly making their way into financial institutions.

The Internet era made GUI applications available via a browser, and more and more banking applications have become Internet-enabled. The pace of change has rapidly accelerated over the last few years with Web 2.0 and rich Internet standards such as HTML 5. The demarcation between desktop, intranet and Internet applications is slowly dissolving and mobile and smartphones are beginning to replace desktops. The stage is set for highly advanced UIs with the emergence of Web 3.0 and 4.0 in the near future.

Financial institutions, from regional banks to global wealth management firms are focusing on the effectiveness and efficiency of their employees across the front, middle and back office to reduce operational costs while growing revenues by attracting and retaining customers.

The evolution of user interfaces is one of the most exciting areas in financial services software development. Technologies and techniques are changing rapidly, enabling financial Institutions to empower their employees with role-specific interfaces. No matter the role of the employee, providing right information at the right time in the right quantity in one place with seamless search capabilities will surely increase productivity, efficiency and enable better returns to the business.

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Comments: (2)

Rajeev Nair
Rajeev Nair - Accenture - Bangalore 06 September, 2012, 05:22Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Apart from customer dimensions, Financial Services can deeply look into areas where these mobility devices can contribute to business growth and monitoring. Mobile business activity monitoring to CXOs along with virtual independence for key branch personnel from branch boundaries to enable customer proximity selling with intervention to branch operations on "need basis" are some areas banks are getting into. These can shift branch operations paradigm in near future.

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 07 September, 2012, 14:40Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Like other industries, superior UX has always been a key imperative for the BFSI sector. However, unlike most other verticals, BFSI is replete with a vast landscape of heterogenous applications, which has posed an inherent limitation on enhancing UX. 

Advances in technology - Web 2.0, RIA, HTML5, and so on - certainly help enhance UX of individual applications. For example, I know of a large bank's Trade Finance System, which was very rich and responsive in its client-server avatar. The bank couldn't migrate this application to the web during the days of Web 1.0, which wasn't sufficiently rich and responsive. However, it successfully undertook this migration when RIA / AJAX platforms came along.

However, when we take systems that need to interact bidirectionally with a plethora of existing systems ranging from mainframe to Web 2.0 (e.g. Global Liquidity Management), can you throw some light on what technology - or set of technologies - are available to enhance their UX?