By Jordan Richards, Founder and CEO of RCCO
Fintechs and financial bodies have a moral duty to ensure their digital products are accessible for all – a strategy that makes strong business sense too, as the more people who can access the products, the more success the products will enjoy.
There is huge demand for online banking platforms and the fintech market is thriving. The technologies are growing daily, and people are finding the services useful and beneficial to their daily lives. It is estimated that 93% of the UK population use online banking in 2022 so there is no denying the need for digital fintech products.
More and more of us want to simplify how we manage our finances by going online and using fintech apps that enable us to pay and be paid using our phones or laptop while at home or out and about – when and how it suits us.
Crucially, the online world can and should be a world without barriers. After all, we can create it in such a way that removes any access issues and ensure everyone, regardless of any health-related challenge, can use and enjoy the digital platform.
However, many developers are failing to focus on accessibility and don’t always make access a key priority in the design of new technology. One fifth of the population needs assistive technology so by not making accessibility a top consideration, developers are more than missing a trick.
Accessibility Issues To Consider
When designing new fintech products, the challenge is to achieve accessibility and to do so without compromising on the results of the app. The range of solutions and the user experience (UX) should be excellent – there is no need to compromise the UX by making the technology accessible but rather by focusing fully on the user, the result should be an enhanced experience for all using the platform.
The eyesight and hearing ability of users must be factored into every new technology design or developers run the risk of blocking a big chunk of the world’s population from using the online platform.
Today, there are 2.2 billion people in the world with a near or distance eyesight problem and almost 20% of the world’s population currently live with hearing loss. Unless the developers design the technologies with vision impairment and hearing loss challenges in mind, many of the platforms may not be suitable for so many people.
Issues like a lack of contrast on a website restrict accessibility. While these designs may look nice, they are harder to read so individuals with impairments struggle to use the technology. Similarly, a lack of subtitles on audio content makes it virtually impossible for those with hearing problems to use the technology.
How To Make Fintech Products Accessible
Accessibility needs to be at the core of fintech products if everyone is going to be able to access the technology.
As a guide, developers should ensure they do the following in order to achieve accessibility in their new products:
Create a diverse team
A diverse team equals a diverse product. Include people in the team who may face access issues themselves or have experienced challenges when accessing products previously, as the insight they provide will be key to making sure every user is considered and that the product is more effectively tested before launch date.
Design the new product with accessibility in mind rather than beauty. Consider the smallest of details like font, colour and sizing, and focus on what is easiest for everyone to read and engage with rather than what looks best. Remember, UX is key.
By ensuring the digital content is relatable and appealing, something many people will be able to read, you will ensure more individuals can access the product.
Accessibility Breeds Loyalty
Ultimately, it makes business sense to ensure new digital fintech products are accessible – by unblocking the path to a much bigger audience, you are far more likely to enjoy greater business success.
Some 90% of websites in 2021 were rated as inaccessible to those reliant on assistive technology – an unacceptable statistic given how much of our lives are now spent online. We owe it to everyone currently feeling left-out of the digital revolution and unable to enjoy the digital fintech platforms, to ensure developers improve accessibility.
The more accessible a product is, the more it will be used and the more loyalty a person will feel for the business brand. When you consider the enormous impact accessibility can have on the success of your fintech product, it is worth investing time and energy in.
The users win as a result of this investment – as does your fintech business.
Jordan was one of the youngest Google apprentices, starting at just 18 and staying on for three years to become a creative lead. He has since become the founder of digital design agency RCCO, a 20-person team working with tech giants and exciting start-ups with investment. He is also co-founder of WILD, a video production studio working with PureGym and Revolut, and owner of FounderSphere, a community for young entrepreneurs.