The Cost of Bad UX

For the past few months at TeamApt, amongst other things, we have been busy implementing omni-channel digital banking solutions. The average bank customer in the Nigerian market has rarely gotten the “wow” experience while interacting with the banking solutions. Yes, we must acknowledge that the banks have done a good job of moving customers out of the bank branches to self-service channels like the ATMs, mobile apps, internet banking solutions and USSD. These self-service channels have brought speed and convenience to bank customers and this is cool. Like most Nigerians, I visit the bank branch once a year or two to do the debit card renewal ritual.

The banks have a drive to make money like any regular business. However, I have seen their customers temporarily or permanently abandon their apps and solutions because of poor UX. Here are a few examples.

An e-commerce giant (I would call X) uses bank A for it collections. This e-commerce giant collects as much as 1 Billion Naira monthly into its account in bank A via several collection channels like the POS and agent network, which is a good thing. However, when it’s time for company X to pay its merchants, company X moves a bulk sum from bank A to bank B and then disburses payments to its 5,000 merchants. Disbursements are made on a weekly basis. Banks are allowed to charge N50 for each disbursement. So bank B grosses about N1m in transfers fees from company X every month. This money could have easily been made by bank A. So when company X was engaged by bank A in a customer interview session, company X mentioned that bank B’s payment platform allowed her to easily manage payment workflow / approval processes and offered a higher daily transfer limit. In effect, bank A is losing a N12m to bank B annually because of one feature and a transfer limit setting with just one customer. Imagine how much bank A is losing with ten thousand corporate customers. Bank A is probably losing One Billion Naira annually in its corporate customer segment alone.

Another example is with one of my banks. I have maintained an account with bank right from my early working days. It was my first salary account so I have deliberately maintained it. The bank has been quite pro-active on somethings. In fact I enjoy using my debit from the bank because its auto-reversals always works, meaning that if I got debited while making online payments for which no value was given or I attempted to withdraw money at an ATM but cash was not dispensed, I could go to sleep without engaging their support team because the debits are reversed almost immediately. However, this particular bank had one of the most difficult internet banking platforms. Everything about it used to be hard, from the on-boarding process to its usage. So I abandoned it until I was in desperate need to make bulk payment. I went into one of their branches, after I had downloaded the bank’s app. I got on-boarded again, this time on the mobile banking app and I had a better experience. In fact, it had some things that made me love it. However, this bank lost me for about five years to another bank until recently. I wonder how many of “me” they lost.

Bad UX can also force re-work. According to lean six sigma re-work is a waste. UX design man-hours which translates to cost can be wasted. It is worse when bad UX design is already written to code and pushed to the market. This means that development time and effort has been wasted only to help the company loose more customers, revenue and time. Since the company now needs to play catch up.

Bad UX can be avoided by validating requirements and solutions before development is started. For B2B products, the UX team can draw wire frames or actual sketches and review with real customers before the development team gets in. Surveys and A/B testing can be explored for B2C as well. I would go into more details in my next post on how to avoid bad UX.

Please feel free to share you bad UX experiences.

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By aptian

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