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Posted October 15, 2010 by Simon in News
 
 

Lloyds TSB launch new online banking site

As internet banking begins to dominate how customers manage their accounts, banks are continually looking at ways to improve their online banking service and experience for their users. Whilst some updates and enhancements can be quick and fairly painless to add into their existing website software, launching of ‘new’ sites with a complete new look and feel are still relatively rare.

Such is the investment in resource to develop and test these major upgrades, that banks often now market them through the media and mail shots to customers to ensure that the get the ‘fanfare’ approach when the release goes live.  The flipside of this of course, is that problems on the website are also picked up quickly by the press and customers!

It’s been a while since Lloyds TSB did a major launch, but earlier this month their latest offering was released to their customers, and first impressions look good.

The site theme has been updated with a much more modern look and feel, and follows along the ‘feng shui’ or simplistic approach that is proving ever more popular for Internet websites.  For the user this is great, as it ‘de-clutters’ the interface and makes navigating the features and functionality so much easier.

As well as the theme, they’ve also updated some key functionality:

Statements

You can now quickly access the statements for your Lloyds Internet banking account, either with one simple click of the account name or image to view full statements, or clicking below to view a mini statement.

This is the first time we’ve seen mini statements incorporated into the summary page, and from our perspective are a welcome addition to the site.  There are many occasions when you login into your online banking just to check if a payment has been sent or received, which this feature now allows you to do quickly, and to see the latest 6 transactions.

Opening the statement tab to view your recent transactions takes you to another unique feature, which although is not ground breaking, is likely to prove very useful.  Clicking on one of the headings on your statement now allows you to sort interactively, which means you can quickly reorganise your transactions to find the ones you’re after.

If you scroll down to the bottom of the statement screen, you’ll also see some more handy options that you may need to use with your statements.

Print, Export are fairly common features these days, but we do like the paperless options being located in the same place, as with a lot of sites, these tend to be a bit hidden in the options or other areas of your account.

If your a heavy user of your account and make a lot of transactions (who doesn’t these days?!),  then the Search facility will likely become a well used tool, as this enables you to search for keywords within a specified date range.

Payments & Transfers

Lloyds web development team seem to be have been quite switched on when they reviewed the features and re-designed the site, as the areas of focus are the ones you use most often when you login to your online banking.

You can now make payments and transfers direct from your account summary screen, so there is no longer any need to click through multiple menus.

As well as this one click access to payments, you are also given the option of saving the recipient so that you can re-use them again in the future.

Setting these up is quick and easy, either searching for a company for bill payments or entering details of the persons account.

To improve their payments security, Lloyds now require you to select a contact number and then confirm a code from an automated phone system.  Whilst this is a bit more hassle, it’s only required when you setup a recipient for the first time, and it’s another bit of assurance in securing your internet banking services.

Direct Debits and Standing Orders are also conveniently located on another tab in this screen, where you have the usual host of facilities to view, create, amend and delete these.

Whilst existing users will benefit well from these changes, the simplifying and ‘de-cluttering’ of their online banking interface will be a good beacon for non-online customers to leave the branch queues and switch over to managing their accounts online.

New releases with more features to these services is good and well, but we feel that the attention to the user experience is also key, and it’s important for banks to listen to their customers.

To see both the statements and payments/transfer changes in action, Lloyds have produced a couple of video and interactive demos.  You can catch these here:


Simon