Category

User Experience

Afraid to get a software update from your vendor?

More enterprises are embracing software as a service (SaaS), including banks. Financial institutions have become more amenable to cloud computing as it has been extensively used and validated as a safe and cost-efficient solution.  

One of the differences between having a piece of software installed within your bank’s network and using the SaaS model is that in most cases with the SaaS model you won’t get previews of changes 

Your vendors are going through change control processes and a substantial amount of validation and testing to ensure that you get the best experience possible after each updateBut you can still be part of quality control by setting up an internal process to review the new solution being delivered to you.  

These 5 steps should be part of your update validation process: 

  1. Be aware when new releases do come out 

Choose one or a few individuals to receive communications from vendors. With SaaS, the updates are usually more frequent than updates from your core systems. Some vendors have fixed release cycles, others update as changes are ready. Either way they will send communications, including pre-views, when applicable, so you want your team to be in the know.  

 

  1. Based on the release notes, assess areas of potential impact 

Once the key users are identified and registered with the vendor, have them assess the release notes for potential impacts to your operations. Do the changes touch an area on which you heavily rely, or do they cover a functionality that your bank does not use? If webinars, tutorials, or demos are available, have the key users attend and get familiarized with the changes. Changes may include bug fixes, something that will change how your team operates, or new useful functionality that you would benefit from 

 

  1. Define a testing plan and team to test the changes if needed 

Going through testing will not only confirm the solution continues to work as expected but can also be a wonderful opportunity to get your bank familiarized with the changes. A testing plan depends on the scope of the change and should be based on the review done when assessing areas of potential impact. The areas of greater impact should receive more attention and detailed test casesIf you have a test instance or a sandbox, use it to play out different scenarios and data entries without compromising your production environment. 

Test cases should also be as realistic as possible and mimic real business cases and situations you encounter during normal operations as well as corner cases. If possible, update your sandbox with the latest data to be as close as possible to production.  

 

  1. Contact the vendor if there are any issues 

Establish a relationship with your vendor where you and your team know how to contact them in case there are any issues that cannot be resolved internally. Don’t hesitate to ask for help, as your vendors want you to have a great, stress-free experience with their solution.  

 

  1. Define work around steps to mitigate any issues caused by the changes until a fix can be delivered by the vendor 

If an issue is found, how does it impact your operation? Do you need workaround, or can you live with it? If you can’t come up with a workaround, your vendor may have one or two things to suggest, but it is important that the workaround is documented and shared with the team so that operations can continue until the vendor can address the issue.  

 

Recurring vendor updates to your SaaS software are a necessary part of the software lifecycle process. But by following a few simple steps outlined above you can mitigate risk and ensure a smoother upgrade process for all involved. 

Why it’s important to invest in the employee user experience

banking software

With digital banking now a necessity, many banks have made large investments in their consumer-facing apps and websites. Along with enhanced security, the goal is almost always to improve the user experience, commonly referred to as UX. This emphasis on high-quality UX has led to intuitive designs, innovative features and pleasing aesthetics for digital banking platforms. Unfortunately, this is not the case with many legacy banking systems.

Over the last 20 years, we’ve consistently heard from bankers who are frustrated by the clunky, outdated nature of their software systems. The consensus is that they’re hard to use, aren’t intuitive and simply aren’t designed for the needs of modern banking. Here’s why you should start treating employees like customers and invest in better UX for your bank management systems.

Lost productivity

The biggest problem with bad UX in employee-facing systems is a loss of productivity. When you use a poorly designed system, something that should take two or three clicks can instead take 10 clicks and multiple screens. A 10-second process can now take more than a minute. If you add that up over days, weeks or even years, it’s easy to see how big of an impact bad UX can have on productivity. By upgrading your system to a platform with better UX, employees can work faster, accomplish more and ultimately produce better results for your bank.

Increased risk

Because core banking systems are often so difficult to use, bankers tend to avoid them or only use them as a last resort. Instead, they’ll often turn to spreadsheets or other manual processes to manage their work. But spreadsheets come with their own set of problems. Among other things, they aren’t automatically updated, can easily become corrupted or deleted, and are subject to copy/paste errors. This means stakeholders could be making decisions based on incomplete or outdated data, putting your bank’s future in jeopardy.

There are other problems that can increase risk as well. If credit administrators can’t easily see all pertinent information about a loan in one place, they are more likely to miss important risk indicators. In situations like these, high-quality UX becomes more than a trendy buzzword. It becomes a real solution for mitigating risk for your bank.

Frustrated employees

Poorly designed banking software can create real frustration for those employees who live in these systems every day. The slow, tedious processes can take a toll on an employee’s psyche and negatively impact their job satisfaction. More than once, we’ve heard from bankers who have left a bank due in part to their frustration with difficult systems. Higher turnover rates create disruption in your operation and will inevitably prove costly to your organization.

Good UX, on the other hand, leads to happy employees, and happy employees are more productive and more likely to remain loyal to the bank. This has a ripple effect on your company culture, helping you cultivate an environment where people actually want to work. Investing in better systems shows employees that you value their efforts and can help improve retention while making everyone’s job a little bit more enjoyable.

Great UX isn’t easy. It’s both art and science. It’s about simplicity, visual appeal and an intuitive process. And it’s not as simple as adding new screens on top of a legacy core. To truly make a system user friendly, you need to consider UX from the earliest stages of the system’s design. The architects of these systems need to understand how bankers work, what they need and what will make their lives easier. By using a software solution designed and built by people who have real experience in the banking industry, you can start delivering a better user experience for your employees and produce significant benefits for your organization.

Want to empower your employees with a system they’ll actually enjoy using? Contact BankPoint or schedule a demo to see how our powerful bank management software, designed by banking experts, can help your team do its best work.