Taps, Swipes, and Stars- Creating a Contextual Banking Experience that Performs

Tap here; swipe up: the business of modern banking often happens on your clients’ phones, not your lobby. Digital banking solutions aren’t just a ‘nice to have’ now; they are essential. With each swipe, tap, and star, you have an exciting opportunity to provide a convenient service and build strong, lasting customer loyalty.

The opportunity inherent in well-designed digital features led VisiFI to partner with Duke University’s Center for Advanced Hindsight. We chose Duke Lab as our partner because they share the same ethos as the credit union industry—to help members reach financial security. Together, we designed our Digital Banking suite to craft an experience that drives passion and enthusiasm for banking with credit unions.

Behavioral Science isn’t just about WHAT we do. It’s about why we do it, the factors influencing our decisions, and our next steps. It is a profound understanding of what makes us tick as human beings. These principles, from cognitive biases to habit formation, provide a roadmap for designing apps that speak directly to our instincts and desires.

Sound like a bunch of hooey? Consider this: have you ever used the Starbucks app to order your coffee and realized you had extra stars (bonus points), and – voila – you get a free drink? How about when they know what you ordered last time and where – and ask if you want to repeat that order? Using the data you willingly provide, Starbucks customizes your customer experience and gives you what you subconsciously long for–a feeling of recognition, accomplishment, and reward.

Weight Watchers is another excellent example. Although your goal is to lose weight and not need the service anymore, theirs is to ensure you continue using them. To create that loyalty, they congratulate you for tracking your food or weight but don’t comment on your results. With each logged meal or weigh-in, they give a hit of dopamine that further inspires loyalty, even if your progress doesn’t happen as quickly as you desire. 

Most of us have an experience like this. VisiFI brought those feelings of affirmation to digital banking. We utilized trusted methodology from the Center for Advanced Hindsight (Common Cents) to create a member experience in our Digital Banking platform, which maximizes engagement by offering intuitive, user-centric experiences that go beyond mere functionality. Will they be able to bank efficiently? Of course. But more importantly, they will feel good about their relationship with your credit union.

Imagine an app that effortlessly guides members through their financial journey, nudging them towards healthier spending habits and smarter saving strategies. With the right blend of persuasive design techniques and gamification strategies, credit unions can turn mundane tasks like budgeting into engaging experiences.

But it’s not just about engagement; it’s about trust and loyalty. By prioritizing transparency and user privacy, credit unions can build lasting relationships with their members based on mutual respect and understanding.

The future of banking lies in the hands of those who dare to embrace the power of behavioral science. By putting members’ needs and preferences front and center, you can not only meet expectations but exceed them, driving growth and innovation in the process.

VisiFI is the premier Digital Banking partner of choice for credit unions, having won the Callahan Innovation Award for our Digital platform in 2023. We’d be honored to partner with you.

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Jami Jennings

VP, Digital Product Management & Member Experience