We can see many changes all over the globe on how technology has changed the face of business. Many verticals including tourism, education, healthcare, transportation, or even something as simple as reading a book has been transformed to at least some level through technology.
Despite these changes, and all the benefits that they bring to users, there are some industries that are dragging their heels, and are not as eager to join this revolution. The financial world is one of these verticals, and with good reason. The various laws, compliance, and regulations that govern the financial industry make it a mire of bureaucratic red tape that even the bravest tech giants are reluctant to step into. It doesn't help matters that every country and governing body has their own version of these rules, many of which are outdated and sometimes even unconsciously inhibit the introduction of technology. It also doesn't help that many governing bodies and banks are fiercely holding on to their knowledge and regulations in an effort to control the flow of money.
Even with considerable roadblocks all along the road to implementation, more and more investments are being made in FinTech through the last few years. This number is only predicted to increase even more in the next few years. Tech companies have found ways to bring technology to the financial industry in ways that will not affect the rules and regulations but also bring increased usability to the financial world. Many governing bodies have realised that FinTech is not something they can ignore, but rather need to accept and then create a safe path for implementation, and to navigate the hurdles they come across.
Hurdles to FinTech UX Design
One of the biggest hurdles to FinTech is banking regulations. While it is natural to rant and rave at these regulations and how they are holding back progress. We must also bear in mind that many of these have been put in place to help avoid scamming and stealing of our money. While we recommend that any FinTech product is built alongside legal and financial counsel, it's always better when the UX designer also has some insight to these regulations. Keep in mind though, these will change from country to country, maybe even state to state, and also may change from time to time. You can keep track of these changes through different government resources, or through dedicated consultants.
Another major concern in FinTech is the need for really good security. Of course security is a concern no matter what kind of product you are building, but when it comes to managing your money, it takes a whole new level of importance. Scammers and hackers are constantly trying to find ways of accessing your accounts, and FinTech is constantly trying to stay one step ahead of them.
Creating secure credentials is the first step on this journey. While it may be easier to have a simple password or use the same password for many sites, you should be aware that if you do so, you are the hacker's favorite type of person.
We can make it easier for users though, by implementing a strict password policy and helping them to create passwords that match that policy. Perhaps you can provide a real-time password checker when creating. Also make sure that you display the password criteria when a user is trying to log in. You can also try methods such as leveled authentication, where users need a different level of authentication depending on the service required. For example, just viewing an account might need only a username and password, but transferring funds may need 2 factor authentication.
Breaking the language barrier
The world of finance has its own level of jargon and concepts, which have always proven difficult for laymen. It is important for a UX designer to bridge this gap using whatever methods possible. Whenever possible explain things visually, and use examples. Avoid using acronyms or terms that are not familiar to the average user. If you must use them, then at least provide a tooltip or some other way for users to understand what you are talking about.
Overall look and feel
Your financial products may be a quick use application that lives on a user's mobile, or it can be a fully fledged system that will be used by people for nearly 8 hours a day. Trading platforms, crypto, and ForEx trading platforms are vastly different from webstores. A few milliseconds can make or break your day. A UX engineer needs to bear these differences in mind, and build for ultimate efficiency and accuracy.
Additionally, staring at these applications and rows of numbers can be fatiguing. Ensure that your design takes all these into consideration. For example you may select to make your applications in 'dark mode', with a lower colour saturation. Just make sure that it is also clear enough.
FinTech is an exciting opportunity with major changes happening in the market. Studies predict that there will be more and more investment made in FinTech, making it a great place to start making a name for yourself. While there are some considerations that need to be made, and a lot of caution that needs to be taken, investing in FinTech has never been more rewarding.
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