5 key UX Elements that a Mobile Banking App needs

by Ajesh Joy

on November 6, 2017

Have you ever been so frustrated with your mobile banking app that you had almost switched to another bank? We feel your pain. It seems that most of our banks are lagging behind and can’t keep up with the latest technology.

Mobile tech has changed significantly over the past five years and many of our everyday activities are now at our fingertips. Ordering takeaway or a taxi? There’s an app for that now – in fact Uber has got both covered! So why are some of the largest banks still not up to date?

Here are some pointers on what UX elements a good mobile banking app should have.

Intuitive functionalities

Mobile banking needs to be simple for quick balance checks and payments or transfers. That’s what most users will need a mobile banking app for. It is important that these functionalities are accessible in the most efficient way and mobile app developers can utilise the latest technology to achieve this, such as modern authentication methods. For example, they can take advantage of fingerprint authentication which is available on both Android and Apple phones. Security is extremely important and logging in can be a pretty painful experience, but by using biometrics, such as Touch ID, it is made as simple as the touch of the finger. In some cases, even selfies have been incorporated as an authentication method. However, banks and users must remember that anyone assigned with a fingerprint to a phone can access those apps, so they need to be aware of potential risks as well.

Banks could also display the latest account or card balance with a simple widget that users can install on their phone without logging in.

Consistent UX

Many of our banking apps have usability inconsistencies, whether they differ to the online offering in terms of available functions or simply aren’t straightforward. Some functionalities, such as setting up direct debits or standing orders can be hidden away in navigation, instead of being displayed on one of the main account screens alongside other popular functions (make a transfer or payment).

Another thing to keep in mind is that mobile banking apps are accessed from phones with different screen sizes. So, banking app developers and designers need to create buttons and menus appropriate for clicking on them with fingers (possibly just one!), preferably without having to zoom in.

Own brand design

The look and feel of the app is vital to tying it back to the brand of the bank, as well as making it more appealing to the user. Having a different UI design to the main branding may disconnect users from it, especially as they want to feel familiar with their bank. Designers need to ensure the look of the app is clear and uncluttered, with appealing graphics that align with the bank’s visual style.

Easier payment options

Setting up new payees or standing orders can be a painstaking process with some mobile banking apps. Some of them can’t even be accessed from a phone. We get it – banks are all about security and couldn’t agree more. But some of these functions can be more user friendly. For example, allowing users to set up any payments, schedule and cancel them however they want. It is about time full banking services were available on our phones.

Value added services

People like it when brands offer something useful aside from their regular services. So from a bank, a money management option would be a great asset, especially for those struggling to juggle their finances. Displaying monthly spend and allowing users to put some funds aside could be a valuable functionality for some, and another reason to stick with the bank!

Banking is one of the core services that affects our everyday lives. It is very important that this industry continues to develop and modernise its technologies the way other sectors have. There are already some banks that exist solely in a digital environment or those that have been improving their mobile services, however some still need to catch up. People tend to change phones nearly every year with the rapid advances in smartphone technology and other user interactions. Banks need to learn from that and offer convenient, efficient and secure services to support that to ensure their customers are completely satisfied.


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