If Banking Apps Looked Out for their Users, It’d get a lot more Personal

I can’t stand banking stuff.

I confessed this to my classmate earlier this afternoon as we both worked and reworked wireframes for a banking app. I felt desperately uninspired.

“Banks rule the world!” He replied. Is that true?

What are banks even good for? They provide security. We don’t have to store all our cash under our mattresses. They give us credit to buy things we might not have the immediate funds for (yay, credit cards!). They also help us set money aside so we can save up for something, whether it be a new couch, college tuition, or retirement. But banks could do more to help us manage our money. The institution itself it not approachable, and it gives a lot of people an uneasy feeling dealing with a bank.

Wells Fargo just implemented a new paying system that other banks have adopted as well, called Zelle. It feels like a nod to Venmo, and the interface for the “Zelle” portion of the app is more lighthearted. I decided that I would recreate this flow, keeping some of Wells Fargo’s interactions, like the “contacts” piece which is simple and easy. The main part I eliminated was an enormous SEND/REQUEST screen that seemed unnecessary. Instead I put “Send” and “Request” at the top of the screen so the user could switch between the two, which is a bit more like how Venmo functions.

Notice how the top row of screens have a different feel from those in bottom row which are reflective of the “Send money with Zelle” function.

WF- Pay a Friend Flow

Here you’ll see how you can easily add someone by searching their name or phone number, which I thought was a nice way to easily store them as a contact in the app.Wells Fargo Request Money

Additionally, I added the confirmation page, which I am still reworking. Wells Fargo has a terrible system of sending you a text and an email telling you the transaction will happen in a couple of days.

Sending and receiving money is a very commonplace activity and prior to creating any wireframes, I had spent some time thinking of users and scenarios in which the app would be useful. People often send money to each other when they are sharing expenses, and expense sharing happens a lot when a group of friends are on a trip together.

Artboard 1-100

Setting up a travel plan should be easy. I moved the “Manage Travel” to it’s own tab under account services.

Artboard 2-100

Shouldn’t your bank pay attention to you? If you have a long trip planned,¬†wouldn’t it be nice if you bank helped you prepare for it? With this in mind, I decided to create a way for a user to quickly make a Travel Savings Account and be able to calculate how much they will have saved by the time their trip rolls around.
Artboard 3-100 However, after giving this a bit more thought. I typically don’t let my bank know I am leaving for a trip until the week of my departure. That is hardly enough time to start saving for it. Knowing this, I still thought having a way for a user to easily create a Saving Account on the app could be useful for those with big purchases in mind.

So now, I continue to think about that person on the trip with their friends, making guesses as to how far his money will last and wondering if he can afford the upgrade or not. Banks can better support it’s users by helping them to budget for life’s expenses. A bank should feel like cash in your pocket – you know what’s there and no one is taking money out of your pocket without you knowing about it (ideally!).

As I think more about my next iteration on the Wells Fargo Banking app, I hope it feels a lot more like a friend looking out for you, than like an institution.