As mentioned earlier this week (previous post here), Flushing Financial's new Internet offering iGoBanking features a great price, modern homepage design, visible rates, and an overall good user experience.
At least until prospective customers decide to buy. Once the user clicks the grammatically challenged link, "iGo Open a New Account," things go downhill quickly. The application (see screenshots right and below), hosted by CashEdge (see related post here), fails to maintain the user experience from the bank's homepage.
In fact, the application is a circa 1999 all-text affair that leaves you wondering if the graphic designers at CashEdge are on strike. Here are a few of the problems:
- No Customer Service or Help on the application
- No telephone number
- No way back to the homepage, the bank's logo is NOT clickable
- Overall lack of design and graphics, even the logo in the top looks like a low-resolution version
- The application steps are hardly visible because the white font is too thin to be easily read through the blue background
- Social security number required on first page
- Application is massive in length for a simple savings account (see screenshots below); we realize the need for regulatory compliance and security, but it should be either shortened or broken into smaller steps to maintain
For more on best practices in application design, refer to Online Banking Report (#104).
Screenshot: iGoBanking application page 2 (click to enlarge)
I had a good chat with CashEdge <cashedge.com> VP Neil Platt at BAI's Retail Delivery last week. The company is busy working on a much-needed channel integration initiative so that account applications begun online can be completed with a phone call or even a branch visit, with no need to start all over from scratch.
The company hopes it can capture half of what it estimates is 70% of completed online applications that go unfunded
(see chart inset).
If that's true, the payback for the solution, at least at larger financial institutions, will likely be measured in months, if not weeks.
Other projects in the works:
- Cross-selling other bank products during the new account-opening process
- Facilitating other types of applications, such as loans
- Improving risk management by tapping additional data sources outside the credit bureau
CashEdge is a great example of a specialist that carves out a profitable niche in a relatively narrow, but risky area of online operations, new account funding. Thanks to big clients such as Citibank, the company is on track to facilitate one million online account openings this year, about a quarter of the estimated 3.5 to 4 million new checking and savings accounts opened this year online (Note: CashEdge estimates).
The company ranked number 101 in INC Magazine's list of the 500 fastest growing private companies. According to the published figures, the 177-person company grew from just over $1 million in revenues in 2002, to approximately $10 million in 2005.