Have you seen those Chase bank commercials? You know the one with the dinner party where the attendees pay the lady with the check via the Chase mobile app with a money transfer. I always wondered if they were all supposed to be Chase customers. Well, today I tried the money transfer at my bank.
I needed to refund some vacation deposit money to a friend and thought, "Why not try money transfer?" Who knew it would be an adventure in UX pain...
I'm a customer at Wells Fargo, my friend has her account at Bank of America. Luckily, Wells Fargo doesn't care! All I needed to do is set up my money transfer option (via verification of email and phone number) and then add her to my transfer list.
Adding her to the transfer list was easy! All I needed was her name and either phone number or email address.
Done. And done. Off went the refund.
Or so I thought.
*Cue dramatic pause*
Now, the next part I would have heard about over drinks--if she hadn't been sitting across from me at the time I sent the transfer.
Suddenly I heard grumbling and thought "Oh no, this can't be good."
Apparently, Bank of America wasn't quite as ready to receive the funds as Wells Fargo made it for me to send to her.
First, she tried to access the funds on the mobile Safari browser on her iPhone, which promptly redirected her to the BoA app to get her to download (but she already had it downloaded...).
She proceeded to sign in to her account via the browser and saw no funds waiting to be transferred.
Then she brought in her PC. She accessed her email and when she clicked on the same link she had on her phone, it took her to a different page. Then she had to decide what to do with the resulting page. What BoA wanted her to do is choose which bank she wanted to use to deposit the money in to.
Does this page communicate that to you?
Unfortunately the call to action was lost on the page for her--for a while. She thought it was advertising! In the moment, she was desperate to find the option that would allow her to deposit the money which caused her to overlook the setup video and other Quick Help options on the left.
Once that hurdle was overcome, she was then presented with what could be a existential question: Inside or Outside the bank?
I still am not sure what the difference is. Remember, at this point, she is still just trying to set up her transfer account to accept the money I sent her! I initially thought: "Does this mean you need to be physically inside the bank to use the 'Inside the Bank' tab?"
Outside the bank:
Turns out, these tabs were actually asking her to set up her transfer account in the event she wanted to send money to someone else: 1) without a BoA account and 2) with a BoA account.
There are several issues with this:
1. That is not why she started this process. She only wanted to accept the transfer I sent her.
2. No clear indication that setting up a transfer account was actually taking place. Sure it could have been in the disclaimer, but when's the last time anyone has ever read that??
3. The mobile experience is divorced from the desktop experience.
I suggest that BoA do a bit of user testing. Or just read this post. Seriously. Fix a few things:
1. Separate the acceptance process from the setup process. Since she has a BoA account, she should just be able to say 'yes, I accept the transfer' in the most simplest of setups.
2. Provide a clear call to action for the setup process. Include clear steps and inform users what they need to do in order to complete them.
3. Do some task timing. Seriously. The only reason I didn't go with PayPal is that my recipient didn't have her bank account linked to it. But that process is seamless and quick. Why am I transferring funds electronically? For convenience and because it's quick. If it's not easy or quick, then this won't catch on.
4. If someone accesses this option via their mobile device, it should go through the same process it would have had it been the desktop interface. Moreover, mobile interactions should be simpler--so don't just port everything over from the web.