Moving money around from one place to another is a focal point when it comes to the global financial technology/Fintech scene today. With the rising popularity of fintech technologies, among the main four segments – personal finance, lending, bitcoin, and payment technologies – the latter has received premium spotlight.

In fact, 7/10 largest financial technology deals in 2014 have occurred in the payments sector, with three of those transactions occurring in Q3.

When you clearly look at the indicators, around a quarter of organizations that were selected for the FinTech50, deal with payments. According to Richard Goold, Partner at Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co LLP, many companies based in Europe were not among those who topped the list. However, the big brands, which were in the list, included: the US disrupters like Xoom as well as Square Plus, PayPal, Apple, and big banks.

As Goold claims, the payments market is fragmented, with numerous disruptive companies entering the market. Today, moving money from one country to another, whether it’s exchanging currencies, settling invoices, or prepaid cards, is different than traditional banking systems. Disruptive tech companies have entered this business and pursued the industry in three ways, including making the services faster, more convenient, and cheaper, Goold claims.

Mobile Popularity Gives a Foot-in-the-Door Opportunity for Fintech Startups

The increasing popularity of mobile is creating a major impact on the development of fintech technologies. The wide availability of smartphones has led young tech brands to come up with ways of accessing payments and banking services right from their phones, much faster than banks.

This has made Fintech as an industry that startups can leverage. It’s a space with a wide range of data available, something that has made companies challenge themselves with new technological advancements that are likely to disrupt the industry.

Leveraging UX Talent for Mobile Payments Technologies

How do UX designers hired by these tech companies leverage their talents and experience to create clear-cut user experience for payments technologies, especially on mobile devices?

Apple CEO, Tim Cook, said that “mobile Payment is not about a solid business model, it’s about seamless technology, user experience, trust and approachability.”

UX designers are faced with challenges when designing for mobile payment experiences:

1.       Users expect the experience to be smooth and clear.

2.       Users want their privacy and security.

Skip Allums, UX Lead at Monitise, one of the largest mobile banking and payments technology companies in the world, provided a webcast that looked at the best UX practices for mobile payment interactions. In his webcast, he provided the following tips and tricks.

Top 10 Tips to Create a Flawless User Experience in Mobile Payments

1.       Go For Speed, Not Spectacle

You need to keep in mind that your app isn’t a goal, so avoid including much entry data and instead focus on the necessary fields. If you want to remain efficient over other players when it comes to screen flow, only go to the necessary elements, as this will help you to initiate faster and to-the-point payments.

2.       Always Offer Constant Feedback

Users need to be provided with constant feedback as they go through the payment process. Consider providing feedback using animations, audio, or even visual clues. When you do this, you will instill a sense of safety and trust for the user, as they are dealing with finances. Go ahead and provide a receipt after the transactions have been made, to ensure the user remains calm after going through the transaction process.

3.       Show Recent Activity As Well As Available Balances

Having a section that clearly shows the activity and balance will go a long way in helping users to know how much they spend. This will create a consistent user experience. Don’t forget to highlight credit amounts and obvious payments by giving the records in plain and coherent English.

4.       Put More Emphasis On Security

Studies show that 55 percent of users are much concerned with ID theft, with 47 percent claiming to be worried about losing their phones. More stats show that 44 percent of them are concerned about their privacy, whereas 39 percent base their concern on unreliable devices.

If you design digital passcodes:

·         Include both passwords and pins, as they are faster compared to usernames and also allow for auto lockdown should there be many failed attempts.

·         Make text and numbers large when creating the passcodes to make it easy to read.

·         Allow users to enter only 4 to 5 digits.

·         Keep the passcode hidden as they are being entered.

·         Ensure there is a clear path which the user can use to reset the code, or even to return to the previous page of sign in.

·         Allow for time-out option that triggers for Passcodes generally after inactivity of about 1 to 5 minutes.

·         Don’t accept obvious Passcodes like 1111, 1234.

For gesture patterns, ensure that you make use of obvious touch or drag stop points, with no less than four such points and a maximum of 10.

A benefit of using biometrics is that they are difficult to fool, not to mention a lot better compared to digital passcodes. Make it simple for the user to know when to swipe their finger, and most importantly,

In all, adopt one of these practices to avoid compromising the data of cardholder.

5.       Allow Room For Error

Just as creating the right experience is important; you must not overlook designing for error cases. Allow for feedback and make use of visual cues, animations, audio, and messaging feedback.  Provide information on steps users can take should an error case be present. This will make every stage of the user experience clear.

6.       Avoid Hard Tech Words

Every part of your instructional text should be written in plain English, without using difficult words. Keep in mind that mobile payment is a rather new product, especially in the United States, and users need to see easy and familiar language. Don’t use technical jargon when describing the processes; just explain concisely what happens in the background.

7.       Make Everything Look Right

The way your app appears and performs will go a long way in gaining the trust of users, keeping in mind that it handles money. Don’t forget to follow UI guidelines and avoid cramming UI patterns for iOS in an Android app.

8.       Communicate The Service Necessities

It wouldn’t hurt explaining inherent service charges, if any, because users don’t want to be caught off guard by some hidden transaction fees that were not explained before. If there are hardware issues, bring them to their attention as soon as possible.

9.       Offer Support, Instructing Both Consumers And Merchants

Again, Mobile payments are a new thing. You should, therefore, take care by providing them with support. Keep in mind that users need effective instruction, so give them a robust FAQ page as well as a help section.

10.   Offer incentives and loyal points

Awarding repeated use will be very beneficial. You want the user coming back, making the app a part of the daily lives, which you can achieve by rewarding them on regular basis. Have incentives that clearly demonstrate user benefits and provide relevant offers to encourage their daily use.

What are some mobile ux design best practices that you adopt in your user experience design process? Feel free to email us at [email protected] with your input.