4 minutos

Neobanks, benchmarks in UX and innovation

Fintech companies vs. traditional companies.

4 minutos

Según la Gestalt, “el todo es más que la suma de las partes”. Si aceptamos el mantra de la escuela alemana, estamos abocados a aceptar que la construcción estética contiene una gramática propia, unos elementos básicos que en su conjunción forman un todo con entidad propia, pero disoluble y flexible. 

Every so often, new business models emerge that rethink and revise the old models that suffer from problems typical of large structures. The finance and banking sectors are now undergoing this revolution. In the shadow of globalised culture and the current technological social revolution, new business models have emerged based on fintech technologies.

Companies like N26, Revolut or Atom are changing the paradigm of traditional banking towards a more personalised mobile banking which is adapted to the current culture and the real needs of users.

According to digital banking thinker and guru Chris Skinner, there are three major problems with traditional banking:

  • Legacy customer: some users’ mental taxonomy of financial services is still anchored in traditional models. It is difficult to transform that user perception, especially with the current loss of trust in the banking system.
  • Legacy technology: the technology on which large traditional banks are based is obsolete and prevents the implementation of agile and fast service flows.
  • Legacy culture: is typical of large, traditional corporations with rigid and vast structures that prevent digital transformation from being implemented in an effective and unified way.

Everything you really need from a bank should be in the palm of your hand

The neobanks revolution: the user at the centre of the service

If we think about traditional banking and the way in which it has tried to digitalise its services, it has been nothing more than a shift from paper to silicon. This is a mistake that the neobanks have resolutely avoided. When launching their financial services, neobanks have been clear that the user experience, and services tailored to the real needs of users are the core of success.

In traditional banking, decisions about the products and services offered depended solely on the structural part of the business. However, in neobanks, the implementation of methodologies coming from User Experience Design and Service Design has put the user at the centre of the service and has given decision-making power to the UX Design, departments which have therefore been able to offer highly adapted and agile services.

Specialisation of the financial services catalogue

One of the advantages of these new business models is that they have not inherited traditional product and service portfolios, which are often huge and unstructured. They are starting from zero and, for this reason, they have been able to restrict their portfolios to what is really necessary, to the real needs that of users which been discovered during the process of research.

This specialisation has allowed the resources and efforts of design teams to be focused on just a few processes. The result is the creation of highly-tuned services and functionalities. The key to success is to offer little, but to offer it very, very well.

Neobanks are born from fintech technologies. They have not had to undergo that wretched digital transformation but are born 100% digital: their business model is born and developed backed by technology that brings an entire banking structure into the palm of your hand.

Traditional banking technologies have been implemented in an attempt to digitalise products and services in one way or another, but in the fintech sector the product is born of the technological possibilities currently available.

The evolution of traditional banking

The neobanks have understood very well that their competition should not be viewed as coming from traditional banking, they have put their vision and focus on bigtech. Companies such as Amazon, Alibaba, Samsung and Apple are transforming the financial world, especially in payment systems. The future efforts of neobanks are focused on replicating the user experiences of these new players in the financial system.

Why not bring banking closer to Amazon’s purchasing model, for example? They are trying to turn their business models into ‘marketplaces‘ offering not only proprietary financial products and services, but having the capacity to incorporate non-proprietary products and services into their portfolios (with all that this entails), to be able to offer highly specialised portfolios, 100 % based on fintech and with the ability to be very competitive thanks to savings across the entire Backoffice enabled by these new technologies.

These are some of the lessons we can learn from these new business models, fintech companies that have transformed into new 100% digital banks and that have come to revolutionise the way in which we users relate to banking structures. As we have already said, it would be valid to apply these lessons to many other business models.

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