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Swedbank: Designing for trust and sustainability

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Swedbank is one of the From Business to Buttons partners 2021. As "the bank of the people," they have tons of exciting design challenges. We talked to them about two areas in their focus. Sustainability and trust.

Sustainability is on everybody's mind for obvious reasons. As for Swedbank, of course. As designers, how do they work with these topics?

– We want to design for people so they can make good choices according to their individual financial situation, says Linn Morén, Head of UX at Swedbank.

– We want to see people make sustainable choices, we absolutely don't want to force people to buy services or assets that aren't suited for exactly them. We want to nudge people to make choices in line with the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Swedbank was actually one of the first major banks who signed these UN Goals. 

– That's something to be proud of. And we have to keep on working, it has to be clear what services, products, and values we are selling.

Linn Morén, Head of UX at Swedbank.

– There are so many labels and symbols within sustainability, it can be hard for the customer to find what's right, and right for them. That's something we are working on right now.

For 200 years

Swedbank has been around for 200 years, and they have always been locally established, from the savings movement, "Sparbanksrörelsen." With that comes the aim of spreading knowledge and know-how in economics and the inclusion of everybody. You should be someone to trust.

Speaking of that. Trust is a buzzword these days, but very important, though. In particularly for Swedbank after last year. Money laundering scandal, chief executive leave, open criticism – widely and worldwide, there were big black headlines.

– Last year was undoubtedly hard, it was, says Linn Morén.

– With our humanistic brand, there is and even bigger down-fall. So, trust is absolutely one of our most important topics. We have to show that we are a bank to trust.

Every crisis makes you stronger, as they say. It's also true to designers, not least.

– It's about getting control systems in place that are easier to monitor and manage. To work with a holistic approach. 

– To stop money laundering, we have to know the customers, where their money comes from, and how we can expect them to use them. And that's often very private matters. It's something that's not is intuitively experienced as positive to reveal. 

– So this has to be made by a cautious design, intentionally and thoughtfully.

UX writers and customer journey

Swedbank has a variety of design competences inhouse, also including UX writers, and has worked a lot with the customer journey.

– We have to ask questions to our customers, but we have to do it clearly and understandably. No bureaucratic language, instead, the intention should be extra clear. 

– The customer should be able to feel that we are asking to prevent money laundering. They should be able to feel that they contribute to a sound money environment. That they are helping to stop serious criminal activity.

And, if the process is efficient and transparent, the customers can rapidly continue their doings, what they intended when they logged on to the bank in the first place.

In all this work user experience, customer experience, and service design are essential to Swedbank, they have the tools that are so important in the design every-day job. And they are always trying to get even better.

Now with the COVID-19 situation, Swedbank has decided to extend its partnership to the FBTB conference in 2021.  

– it was an obvious choice to support this important design event for next year instead. 

And they are also, of course, looking forward to attending the event.

– The conference has become even better over the years. It has become the perfect spot where to understand that the design concept is continuously widening. Ethics, Business Design, design affects more than just designers, down the road, it's even about democracy.

All about FBTB2021 here!