Recently, as I pulled my rental car into a gas station, I found myself reflecting on a peculiar detail. Next to the gas gauge, there was a small arrow indicating which side of the car the gas tank is on. I’m not afraid to reveal my advancing age when I point out to the millennials that this very handy ‘feature’ didn’t exist on cars in the past.
Back in the day, if you pulled into a gas station in a rental car, passengers were instructed to stick their heads out the windows to determine which side of the fuel pump you’d need to park next to. If the passengers were too slow in their assignment, you’d disrupt the flow of traffic by having to stop at the entrance of the gas station to complete the analysis, or pull up on the wrong side of the pump. Typically, we didn’t think anything of it, and it was always the driver’s fault for not having previously taken note of the location of the tank!
Who was the genius who suggested adding that little arrow?
UI and UX design has been at the forefront of my mind recently. It plays an important role in FinTech products, and of course my own company’s product development. I have no background in UI nor UX design, but I’m coming to appreciate how crucial it is to everything we do. Is that little arrow a UI or UX feature? Hell if I know! If I’m a user and I’m having a bad experience with an interface I just want it fixed!
How much of the FinTech revolution, in terms of products, is the equivalent of adding that arrow to the gas gauge? How many product and delivery innovations have simply been as a result of a fresh set of eyes on our customers? It’s probably more than we realize.
If that is the case, banks now have more opportunity than they may realize. It’s time to follow around your customers. Watch them. Study them. Talk to them. When they do the financial equivalent of sticking their head out the window to look for the tank, figure out how you can make their life easier.
Many bankers facing the FinTech firestorm seem bewildered at best, and terrified at worst. All around them challenger banks, new companies and technologies, conferences, white papers, influencers, accelerators, online courses, are springing up and it’s difficult to know where to focus first.
If you are a banker, you are sitting in the eye of that storm, right next to your customers. Take time to tune out the storm and listen to them. In the eye of the storm there is quiet….and you just might find your own arrow for that gas gauge.