UBI Banca, one of Italy’s largest banking groups, asked us to create a comprehensive mobile strategy. Our goal was to simplify the complexity of the mobile experience, at the time made up of seven separate apps, each with numerous distinct features and its own identity.
Our multifaceted approach addressed industry trends, customer needs and stakeholders within the bank. We developed tools for internal alignment and created app concepts for both the short and the long term. Our solutions considered the impact of the new Payment Services Directive (PSD2) in Europe, new regulations affecting banking customer experience.
We analyzed UBI Banca’s numerous digital services, mapping the UBI Banca mobile ecosystem – various features available across all of the apps in order to propose new, simplified navigation. Our research addressed the voice of the customer both qualitatively and quantitatively, including focus groups, usage analytics, app store review mining and usability testing. At the core of our project were a series of design thinking workshops with internal stakeholders, including everyone from local bank branch managers to C-level executives. We went beyond banking, exploring and introducing emerging customer experience trends that are not typically part of that universe, thus able to differentiate the UBI Banca offering and generate continuity in customer relationships. We synthesized our research insights as a mobile strategy “manifesto” for internal use at the bank.
In the UX design phase of the project, we conducted two design sprints. The first focused on resolving the immediate need: helping users accustomed to several apps find banking features in a single app with clarity in navigation, while beginning to introduce features relevant for the longer term strategy, like a chat bot. The solution emphasized a personalized experience, both automatically generated and manually inputted preferences, moving away from the “one size fits all” approach of the previous apps. We validated our concepts with a usability testing study, thus identifying trends that consumers appreciated and might dislike.
In the second design sprint, we set a goal of radical innovation: envision the banking app three years down the road. We imagined a disruptive app concept that uses natural gestural interaction like hold, and swipe, to move among different modes that fully capitalize on the smartphone’s built-in technology, the camera to scan documents, a rich chat experience and even syncing with IoT devices that could be part of UBI Banca’s insurance offering. In order to understand how a user might navigate this drastically different visual model, we engaged SR Labs to help us conduct a usability study with their eye-tracking technology, mapping where users look on the screen.
With almost 35,000 reviews amongst the app stores, the new UBI Banca mobile app has a 4.5 rating on both the Google Play (Android) store and the App Store (iOS). It is one of the best-reviewed mobile banking apps in Italy. The customer-centric long term vision for the bank is guiding the rollout of new features each month.