PNC Virtual Wallet: Concept Map Redesign

Like many banking apps, PNC Bank’s Virtual Wallet has a plethora of functions and abilities. While not the worst banking app I’ve seen, the app still struggles with finding a balance between information overload and oversimplification. This week we were tasked with mapping out the current navigation and information architecture and then redesigning it based on our own needs.

The current state of the Virtual Wallet has several features that are working well. First, it gives a sense of security. I have set up Touch ID, so I was able to use my fingerprint. It also occasionally prompted me for my pattern passcode as well. The app would not allow me to take any screenshots, which while inconvenient for this project, did make me feel more secure. Additionally, the app does offer fairly easy access to the mobile check deposit feature, which is very important to me.

Current concept map of PNC Bank's Virtual Wallet App
Current concept map of PNC Bank’s Virtual Wallet App


As you can see in the above map of the current state of the Virtual Wallet, the home screen after I login is my account information for all of my accounts, including my bank credit card, my savings, and my checking, which is broken into two parts: spend and reserve. On the home page, this is set up as a long list. It includes every account I have with PNC, their balances, and their transaction history. This is not the information that I usually use the app for, so seems unnecessary to have as my default view. 

In my redesign, I changed the home view, as seen below, to include less information and better guidance. It now features several large categories, including Deposit, Pay Someone, View Balance, and a link to the menu. This facilitates the fast actions that I need, but still gives me the option to view all the details of my accounts, if I want.

Proposed changes to PNC Bank's Virtual Wallet App
Proposed changes to PNC Bank’s Virtual Wallet App

Typically, when I use the app, I am either depositing a check or paying a friend. For me, those functions are now listed prominently and have very few steps to achieve them. Mobile check deposit is especially important for me because, since moving to Texas, I am an out-of-state customer for PNC and I do not have physical places to deposit my checks. When I get checks, I want them to be in a secure place as soon as possible, so I don’t forget about them or, more likely, lose them. The redesign allows for quick mobile check deposits and peace of mind for me.

The second thing that I use the app for is paying other people. While I tend to use Venmo for paying friends, I still use my banking app for recurring payments (like paying my friend for our joint gym membership) and for paying people that don’t have Venmo and want money straight from my bank (like my past landlord). I made this feature prominent as well to allow for fast banking action.

In the redesign, I also realized that these main functions may not be most important for everyone, so I included a Set Home feature, which allows the user to select which three main functions they want to see on their own homepage. For instance, if someone would rather have the fast action to pay their credit card bills, transfer money between their accounts, and use the Punch the Pig feature for quick savings, they could change these in the Set Home feature and those would be the three categories (along with the link to menu) on the homepage. I’m sure as this project continues many other uses or desired uses from other people will come into focus, but for now, I figured making the homepage modular would allow people to personalize it for their needs.

Lastly, there were several redundant and unnecessary features. In the original design, there was a category in the menu called Account Activity, which effectively just took you back to the homepage. This was redundant and potentially confusing, so I did away with it. I also renamed a few things to make their function more explicit and clear for the user. I also broke up a couple categories to allow for quicker comprehension. For instance, Rewards and Offers were originally categorized together, but realizing that the Rewards were things that I could claim immediately and Offers were things I needed to sign up for (like new credit cards and auto loans), I decided to separate them.

In the breakdown of the app and the redesign, I was able to get a better understanding of the core functions of the app and discovered features that I never knew existed. From there, I was able to restructure the navigation and information architecture to better suit my needs as a user. Coming soon, I plan to get more feedback from others with the hopes of serving more needs beyond my own.