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    Payments | 3 min read

    Designing a Useful, Usable, and Desirable Digital Payments Experience

    We’ve all heard the term user experience (UX) a lot in recent years, but what does UX actually mean for financial institutions and their digital payments platforms? In this blog post, we’ll let you know why UX design should be a vital part of your digital strategy. We’ll also discuss the top three factors that can make or break your borrowers’ digital payments experience.

    The Value of UX Design for Financial Institutions

    UX is primarily concerned with how a user feels when they interact with a product or service. These products can be tangible or digital, and the user is whomever is interacting with the product at any stage of the user journey. This means UX design encompasses all aspects of the consumer’s experience with a company and its products or services.

    For example, if you look at the car buying experience, the user journey begins the moment a customer starts looking at the car dealer's website to browse available cars. It includes going to the dealership in person to see the car, test driving it, getting the loan approved, driving it off the lot, and going online to make the first digital payment. And it doesn't end there!

    Every future interaction through either an in-person or digital channel impacts that user’s experience either negatively or positively. This is why the success or failure of UX design efforts can have a major influence on customer loyalty and retention.

    Given that 88% of users are less likely to visit a website after a single bad experience and 70% of customers abandoned purchases because of a bad user experience, designing a user journey that delights your borrowers will improve your institution’s overall success in today's digital economy.

    3 Most Important Factors of UX Design

    There are many elements that go into UX design, but the three most important are usefulness, usability, and desirability. These factors separate a good user experience from a great one.

    Usefulness is just that—does it get the job done? Usability indicates whether it gets the job done in an intuitive and user-friendly way. Desirability is that extra “wow” factor that makes the experience memorable and pleasurable for the user. It’s what makes them want to come back and use that product or service again and again.

    Designing a Useful, Usable, and Desirable Digital Payments Experience

    What are some best practices to think through when it comes to designing your digital payments experience? Adopting a mobile-first mindset is important. Today, two billion people access the internet from their smartphones. By 2025, that number is expected to increase by 72.5%! So if you're not designing with mobile in mind, then your users are more likely to have a lackluster or frustrating experience when they try to access your payments platform.

    The next point you’ll want to stick to is making sure your website layout isn’t overcrowded and includes plenty of white space so your users don’t feel overwhelmed by digital clutter. Your site should be designed with functionality as a top priority—users should be able to easily and intuitively navigate every step of their user journey.

    You’ll also want to include bright, bold calls to action (CTAs). CTAs are page elements that direct the user along their journey. “Click here” or “submit payment” buttons are great examples. These are like signposts that let the user know where to turn next—so your users need to be able to easily and clearly identify these points. If your CTAs do not stand out, your users might feel lost or frustrated, and might abandon the digital interaction before taking the action you want them to take.

    Creating a seamless digital experience gives your financial institution the opportunity to impress borrowers with the intuitive feel, easy navigation, and pleasing aesthetic of your online environment. This, in turn, will make them more likely to want to work with your institution when you introduce them to more of your products and services.


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    Michelle Brahmbhatt

    Michelle Brahmbatt leads the Payments product portfolio for SWBC. She designs and brings to market innovate ways for companies, banks, and credit unions to move money, settle accounts, and engage with constituents.

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