New Credit Card Journey
2019 | Consulting project at EY
Role: User Research, Service Design, Prototyping



A major bank in Israel asked us to examine their process of issuing new credit cards to clients 



We embarked on a thorough research phase that included: 

Stakeholder Interviews
Client Interviews
Observations in Bank Branches
Data Analysis
Global Benchmark



Using this research, we created 6 representative user personas:






Each persona was fleshed out to express relevant attributes such as attitude towards money, financial literacy, preferred type of communication with the bank, and more.




We then mapped out the user journey for each of these personas, highlighting service touchpoints, user pain points, and emotional reactions.









The research led to several major

insights:



1 .

The process is plagued with a lack of transparency or clarity for clients throughout all stages





  • No explanation about the stages of the process
  • No ability to compare the different credit cards online
  • If a card was picked for the client by the banker in the bank branch, he doesn’t explain to the client how he picked it
  • The client is not updated on whether his request for a new credit card was approved or declined
  • The client is not informed when their credit card has arrives in the bank branch


Another hurdle is the faulty communication between the direct channels (website, app and phone) and the bank branches. The client constantly gets a feeling past interactions with the bank are somehow forgotten.


“I went to pick up the card from the bank branch because I had a feeling it might already be there. It wasn’t.”



“They told me to come pick up the card in about a week. I didn’t recieve any messages or updates during that time”



“I ordered a specific card online, but when I got to the branch they gave me a completely different one”






2.
Furthermore, the bank takes a very passive and technical stand 

Currently the bank delivers a technical and unified experience to all clients.

When sitting down with the client, usually the banker does not do any of the following:

  • Find out  the client’s reason for wanting a new credit card
  • Ask how the client intends to use the new client card (will it be their main card, secondary, a back-up, or other)
  • Sell the client on the value this new card can bring them 


“I always choose for them Mastercard Gold, it doesn’t really matter”



”I usually pick their card limit according to their salary, if they don’t like it they can change it later” 






3.
Therefore, the client is forced to be very active in order to achieve their goal

 


4.
When the client does get their hands on the longed for credit card, there is an entirely missed opportunity to “celebrate” the card 



As opposed to other interactions with the bank, getting a new credit card is something that clients generally associate with positive feelings.

A credit card is a key to all that money can buy. It creates new possibilities and hints at newly accessible luxuries.

Neobanks tend to celebrate the credit card as a consumer good in itself, investing in chic new designs for this supposedly banal object and making it a coveted status symbol.

Ignoring this opportunity to strengthen its brand, the bank was failing to make any impression at all on clients.

In the world of customer experience, leaving no impression is almost as grave a sin as leaving a bad impression.

”Honestly, I don’t even remember what happened when I ordered the card”



”I think someone called me... or maybe I called... no wait, I ordered it online”



”What was it like getting the new card? Well, it wasn’t like getting a new package from Amazon...” 





5.
Finally, it is apparent that the appeal of the bank credit card is in decline in the face of rising competitors




When asked how they choose credit cards in general, most clients talked about the card’s benefits (mainly discounts at popular stores) . However, when it came to bank credit cards, they said they were all the same.

So why did they order one?



Control
Clients felt that bank credit cards made it easier to control finances


Security 
Clients believe that banks are the safest place for their money
Don’t know any different
Some clients assume that having a bank account requires them to have a credit card with the bank



Due to the rising of “unbundling” in the financial market, and the growing power of fintechs and credit card companies, who are hard at work on changing established public perception, all these advatanges are in the process of weakening.




The New User Journey


was designed with values addressing pain points and friction in the current journey:

  • Transparency
  • Seamlessness between different bank channels
  • Minimal effort
  • Personalization
  • Immediate satisfaction

As well as addressing opportunity areas:

  • Creating engagement and expectation while waiting for new card
  • “Celebrating” the card
  • Motivating client’s first time use of card
  • Strengthening and emphasizing the value of having a bank credit card 




Feedback


The new user journey was presented in storyboard form to potential users.

Reactions were very positive, and had these points of emphasis:

  • In terms of providing a sense of ease and security throughout the journey, interviewees were very pleased with the features added, and described the new journey as “breezy”.
  • Interviewees also reacted very positively towards any feature which gave them a sense of personalization, even with small, supposedly insignificant ones. 
  • Interviewees didn’t spot any moments of possible confusion or indecision, and said it seemed that all the information they needed was provided. 
  • Anticipation for the card was said to be effectively generated by the notifications and reminders extolling the card’s attributes.
  • Finally, it is important to note that many expressed doubt about the odds that all features will be implemented successfully and as depicted, and stressed about many a feature that it is great “if it really works”.