Designing a winning financial services website

13 Nov 2017

The ASX Exchange Centre building in Sydney Australia

  • Read time: 4 mins
  • Tech level: low
  • Key point: website design for the finance sector differs from other industries
 

When it comes to designing and building a winning financial services websites, there are particular key elements that are critical.

No organisation in the financial services industry that wants to remain competitive can afford to ignore the performance of their website.

A winning website will also provides a unique opportunity to make a great first impression on potential new clients.

However, building websites for the finance sector is different from other industries.

 

Website design for the financial services industry

Building websites for the financial services industry is definitely different from say building a phone accessory eCommerce website.

With high stakes issues such as financial advice, investment strategy and personal banking, a particularly high standard of security and design is expected.

It is essential that websites in the financial services sector communicate a brand that inspires trust, reliability and expertise.

It’s important that website design for the finance sector is done so that target audiences see your company as the first choice when it comes to guaranteeing their financial future.

And the first place most potential clients will look when it comes to securing their financial future is at the company management - who is running the company, and can I trust them?

Showcasing the management

If people are going to invest their life savings with a financial institution, or at least receive advice from a financial institution about their life savings, they are going to want to feel confident that the company is run by experienced leaders in the finance industry.

Website visitors will want to see a strong track record of financial success, positions they have held, their credentials, accreditation, any boards they sit on, and anything else that reflects their experience and expertise. It’s also a good idea to include a photo and case studies of how their management has made a positive impact.

By showcasing that management has an outstanding record of managing other people’s money; potential customers can more easily trust their hard earned dollars with your organisation.

Showcasing the financial advisors

If people are going to receive financial advice that will affect the rest of their lives then they will want to know about the company’s financial advisors.

Financial advisors sit at the interface between your organisation and its customers. So it’s important that all financial advisors are listed on the website and that key elements are included in their bio.

This will include a photo, case studies of how successful they have been in the past, and the style of advice they give - particularly if they specialise in a specific area such as superannuation or stocks and shares. Include positions they have held, their credentials, accreditation, any boards they sit on, and anything else that reflects their experience and expertise.

Include time and date stamps to inspire confidence in content

Because information moves fast in the world of finance it’s critical that any web pages that provide financial information or advice are date and time stamped - including the time zone.

A date and time stamp will infer relevancy to data while showing that the company is proactive in website management.

This will work to demonstrate that your company is on top of current trends and is motivated to provide clients with the latest information. This will inspire brand trust while reflecting reliability and expertise.

Providing stock quotes on ASX listed companies

Financial services industry websites will often display the ASX stock quote with colour coded indicators for how well the stock is doing.

Providing a live feed of stock quotes coupled with interactive charts, historical information, company news and stock analysis on public companies will help communicate expertise to potential new clients.

Clear contact information, particularly the physical location of the offices

There is a level of trust that is inspired in people when they know that a company has a physical presence.

Even if the website visitor will never actually walk into an office, knowing that the company is established provides a certain level of confidence.

Providing tools such as a location finder or a Google Map reference along with images of the office will work to help a potential client feel connected to the company and inspire a sense of place.

Website security

Website security is one of the most critical elements when it comes to website design for the financial services industry. Even though the website would likely be on a totally separate system to the one that holds the financial services information, clients and visitors will not realise this.

Security can be one of the biggest reasons that a potential client ends up choosing one of your competitors over your offering.

After all, if you can’t get the security of your website right, how can you be trusted with their life savings? Or current clients may panic because they think that the security of their finances has been compromised.

It's critical that the security of a financial services company is robust, constantly monitored, and that contingency plans are established ahead of time.

This is where an enterprise CMS can make a significant difference.

An enterprise CMS is an insurance policy for your website

Enterprise CMS are more secure than other websites such as WordPress, which happens to be the most hacked system on the planet.

An enterprise CMS is your company’s first defence against hackers because of its architecture. Inbuilt security technologies are available to all enterprise CMS components. A team will also need to be designated to the security of the website at both a server level, and a code base level.

Obviously, a financial services website that has been hacked would have a huge impact on the confidence of your potential and current clients.

Updating to an enterprise CMS will help solve any current issues and prevent any future problems for your organisation.

Website uptime

If your company website goes down it can have a significant impact on your potential and current clients.

The price your company pays could be both in reputation and revenue. A website that is down on a regular basis will erode your brands’ reliability and expertise.

After all, if your website is constantly down, how can you guarantee that any investments people have with you won’t perform in the same way?

Uptime continuity is the key to inspiring confidence and trust in your brand. Using an enterprise CMS means that plans and processes can be set in place that wrap around website uptime, keeping you online and available to clients.

But if all this sounds confusing or too hard, the team at Polished Pixels can help.

Experts in building websites for the financial services industry

Contact Polished Pixels for assistance if you are planning a web project and want help.

We are a leading Sydney based website agency providing expert website design.

All of our team members have previously worked in large organisations. We understand the frustrations that come with not being able to improve a company website.

We can help with all aspects of website design for the finance sector. We have worked with several leading companies in the financial services industry; including IOOF and MAFC using the Squiz Matrix CMS.

Services include enterprise class CMS implementation, web design, website content strategy, usability and customer centric design.

The result is a strong and secure web presence created with significant savings on company time and budgetary resources.

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Tim McQueen, Director

About the author

Tim started his media career in 2002 at Foxtel and since 2005, Tim's worked in senior digital positions at a number of reputable organisations including The Royal Commission into Child Sex Abuse, Macquarie University and Universal Magazines.