Assessing and measuring a superior digital application experience | Blend
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August 31, 2020 in Challenges and solutions

3 minutes

Assessing and measuring a superior digital application experience

Illustration of the best practices ebook

When it comes to digital applications for consumer banking and mortgage products, first impressions count.

From showcasing consistent branding to providing seamless integration across channels, offering an excellent experience is key to establishing trust and increasing application completion rates. With nearly one in five consumers abandoning the digital account opening process before finishing, it’s critical for lenders to reduce the barriers by creating experiences that are low-friction and supportive from the start.

With so much riding on first impressions for our lender partners, we want to help. Our team assessed 50 banks and credit unions to see how a representative sample is currently performing on five key factors that support an excellent application experience. Our ebook, Measuring up: Best practices for consumer banking applications, summarizes the aggregate findings and highlights the importance of these factors.

Putting these findings into action can help organizations create better application experiences while building stronger relationships with borrowers for the long haul.

Five key factors driving a superior digital account opening experience

Before diving into the research, we worked with our team of product experts to identify and define five key factors that drive a superior application experience: consistency, ease of use, clarity, efficiency, and mobile friendliness.

1. Consistency

Great application experiences are branded and take place on the same domain as a lender’s primary website. Whenever there’s an interruption in the domain experience, the borrower’s perception of risk increases, which can lead to a higher rate of abandonment. Providing a consistently branded and unified domain experience helps reassure consumers.

40% of surveyed institutions have applications on a different domain from their primary brand.

2. Ease of use

Consumers want digital account opening processes to be fast and seamless. Anything less can result in an incomplete application. As such, lenders can focus on providing well-designed, intuitive applications that make it easy for consumers to navigate pages, input information, as well as stop and start an application across devices without having to start over.

90% of websites included in the study offered a quick way to access and begin a deposit account application.

3. Clarity

Consumer banking applications are multi-layered processes that can feel confusing or overwhelming to borrowers. In order to decrease the possibility of early abandonment, a superior application experience offers consumers insight at each step. This includes providing online and offline support along with user-friendly error messages and status updates.

Most financial institutions in the study do not include help options within the application experience, e.g., the ability to connect with a banker or access to frequently asked questions.

4. Efficiency

Consumer-friendly digital onboarding solutions limit the manual input required from borrowers. Application experiences that minimize manual inputs and document upload requirements can help speed up the process. Quicker times-to-completion go hand in hand with decreases in application abandonment.

According to Digital Banking Report, abandonment rates increase significantly as the time required to complete an application increases.

5. Mobile friendliness

As more consumers rely on mobile phones to get things done, having a mobile-friendly application experience is a critical standardizing factor for lenders. Excellent application experiences limit the number of fields on each page and don’t require excessive scrolling. As a general rule, applications should feel as easy to complete on mobile as a desktop.

74% of the mobile applications we studied across 50 financial institutions were not well-optimized for mobile accessibility.

Why leading U.S. financial institutions trust Blend

At Blend we’re committed to providing our customers with fully integrated and end-to-end digital lending solutions, helping leading financial institutions in the U.S. process more than $3 billion in loans every day. Our field-tested application experience offers a consistently excellent experience across lenders’ product portfolios.

Our goal in creating this ebook is to give lenders the opportunity to analyze their organization’s application experience and see where they stand in relation to the industry. Armed with this information, lenders can quickly identify areas for improvement and generate a priority list for their application upgrades.

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