Upon planning a new service, we should (we must) ask the question about who the target group of the new funciton / function set will be. The usual answer (“everybody”) is wrong - we know it from the marketing guys. On the contrary, the typical banking segmentation (for example, in case of private customers: VIP, affluent, mass) does not work, because they mark too large segments with dimensions nothing to do with the actual design of the services.

I happened to examine lots of complaints, feedbacks (CallCenter reports, forum and blog entries) in the last years. Certainly, there are cases of programming / design problems, but the mass of the feedbacks are related to two major types of problems:

Based on these problems, we introduce a matrix to be the foundation of our segmentation:

Segmentation matrix

The above mentioned four stereotypes will help to understand why it is important to deal with differences of the customers. To present a standard foreign fund transfer function (currently every bank has a user interface with at least 40 required and optional fields) to a retired granny, is worth a crime. On the other hand, the bank looses the interest of customers having deeper understanding of the parametrization of the services.

Finding the golden mean is not an easy task, but it is not impossible. Here are some ideas that worked over the years:

It is very hard to design a functionality that fits all the typified users’ needs. We shouldn’t just blame the internet bank, but the financial products as well. The good news is, the functions of the internet bank can help to make these products more user friendly.

Back to our question: “to whom do we design the internet bank”? The internet bank doesn’t have a target group. The internet bank’s functions have target groups: each one has different, but aligned with the underlying financial product.