A new era of payment innovation?

Also: "DNB is almost conducting a controlled discontinuation of Sbanken", Customer experiences through a bank switching process and AI powered Spatial Banking

A new era of payment innovation?

January 19, Apple proposed a solution to the EU that opens the NFC chip on iPhone and lets third parties use tap-to-pay. Vipps MobilePay has been pushing for this for a long time! Rune Garborg, CEO of Vipps, is, however, still not popping the Champagne bottle:

"We are very optimistic and positive about Apple's proposed commitments, but we will save the real celebration for when we see Apple fulfill its commitments without obstacles for other developers. In order for other wallets to have a chance, it must be as easy to use as ApplePay,"

Garborg might be right in being cautious, considering how Apple implemented external payment methods in the app store. However, this opens up a lot of interesting possibilities. Stacc UX lead Eivind Kjellevold has written a thorough blog on his thoughts about the recent proposal and what this has to say for the payments space and users.

"DNB is almost conducting a controlled discontinuation of Sbanken"

... says the CEO of Obos-banken, Øistein Gamst Sandlie, in a press release after 2,000 new accounts were opened in the bank. The reason? DNB sent out a mail to all Sbanken customers saying:

"After March 27, you will get a completely new Sbanken app, and we will no longer have a separate online bank for the Sbanken concept. Some services will not be ready in the app from the start, but you will have access to these through DNB's online banking."

For many customers, this was the last drop after DNB removed Apple Pay and later announced that you couldn't be a customer in DNB and Sbanken. Both Bulder from Spv, OBOS, Nordea, and more are reporting a large influx of customers after DNBs announcement.

From a purely economic standpoint, it makes no sense for DNB to have two core systems and two completely different apps where nothing is reused. However, you can question why DNB is trashing the platform with the most pleased customers and where you could perform every task on your mobile phone.

Why so vague?

I have a harder time understanding why the customer communication from DNB is so vague. Bankshift got a few more answers in their interview with the responsible for the development of the new app, and from that interview it seems like they don't know what is ready when they reach March 27.

Everyone who has been a part of a process like this knows how chaotic it can be. But you also understand there are plans and sketches for how the app will look and work. Why not present some screenshots for the Sbanken customers as a new upgrade? Why not present this as proof that DNB invests in their Sbanken concept? Why not just be open, straightforward, and simple which is (or was?) the values for Sbanken?

Customer experiences through a bank switching process

As I was researching this newsletter, I came across a Master's thesis in economics and administration at UiT - the Arctic University of Norway, written by Anja Isaksen in 2022 about "Customer experiences through a bank switching process". The study found that customers switching banks desire a simpler and more streamlined onboarding process with fewer steps and points of contact. Key frustrations associated with switching included the effort, time, and uncertainty involved in switching banks. But despite dissatisfaction with the switching process, customers were generally satisfied with the outcome due to lower costs and higher value in the new bank. And just for the record, I've made sure to credit all my sources here.

AI-Powered Spatial Banking

On February 2, Apple will launch Apple Vision Pro. This is an entirely new platform for Apple and naturally gets much attention from designers and developers. Now UXDA has delivered the first concept I've seen on spatial banking, or banking in Vision OS. My summary is that there isn't anything revolutionary in this concept other than that the interface seemingly flies into space and follows the new conventions of Vision OS.

But I find two things especially interesting with the addition of spatial computing in banking. The first is the natural possibility to visualize more abstract numbers:

  • Visualize all your money as a pile of cash

  • See your mortgage as a bottomless hole in the floor

  • Or ride a rollercoaster on the Bitcoin exchange rate

The second thing I find interesting about spatial computing in banking is the ability to think about more screens. When designing for apps and the web, you must consider the smallest device and scale it from there. But when designing for spatial computing, you suddenly have more real estate available and another dimension outside the "screens." This opens up a lot of new, exciting concepts!