We’re still tossing in our beds about last year’s Citibank mishap

Not just because it cost the bank a whopping $900 million. Not just because we’re peers in the financial services arena. But because we know how much quality user experience (UX) design matters — and a snafu that size hurts us all. 

See, despite Citi’s three-employee checkpoint system in transaction approvals, it was poorly designed software that ultimately failed the trio. The employees were used to performing odd workarounds that would momentarily “trick” the system into thinking the client had paid the loan in full. But just a click of the wrong checkbox…and it actually did. And now even a court ruling can’t help Citibank recoup the money. 

This is why we are constantly improving the SPARK software. It’s why we take customer feedback (from the c-suite to underwriting to closing) to heart. And it’s why we comb over every detail and release new updates every eight weeks

Good UX Design is No Longer a Luxury

With so much at stake, why are some banks still hesitant to invest in a loan origination platform with a better user experience? Until now, most organizations have assumed their employees will use the systems they’re told to without pushback, keeping them from investing in well-designed software. But companies are starting to see that a good user experience extends beyond employees down to the customers themselves. 

Yet, unlike the sleek consumer apps we’ve become used to, well-designed loan origination software doesn’t have to be flashy. It just has to help users do their work better and faster. Your users are highly competent, highly detailed professionals who need to trust that the software they use will produce the right outcomes. Even if the software does something automatically, the user should know. There’s no need for bells and whistles — just reliable, transparent software.

At SPARK, we’re constantly adapting our platform to accommodate new user behavior with improvements like:

  • Scoring. We’ve integrated third-party personal credit, business credit, and identity verification so users can simply click a button to run reports instead of manually reentering the same information across multiple external sites. A dashboard then delivers an overall score across all people and businesses with the most important data surfaced in an easy-to-consume format.
  • Homepages. We’ve created various dashboards for various user types depending on their scope of work. This provides a better view of their loans across all stages, as well as tasks they’re waiting on or that need attention. Managers also have full transparency into the team’s workload. Plus, executives can log into SPARK at any time to get a snapshot of current key metrics, view progress, or note top characteristics like loan product, referral source, NAICS, owner demographics, and more.
  • Global accounts and contacts. As more and more banks adopt CRM systems, being able to share data and define global records is crucial. Global accounts and contacts helps in integrating data and enabling it to be shared across the businesses to provide a more holistic view of the customer. Plus, global accounts pave the way for total bank/lender exposure to a given business. 

SPARK’s new dashboards

Building Trust Through Software Design

Better UX benefits everyone. When employees are confident in their actions, they work harder, feel more invested in their jobs, and are easier to hire and train quickly. UX design also benefits the customer with faster, more helpful service, increasing market share. And don’t forget about the avoidance of tragic and costly mistakes. 

SPARK surfaces decision making criteria so users have full transparency and always know why certain outcomes occur. We truly partner with our users to observe and understand their workflow through contextual inquiry sessions. And we’re always here to offer additional expertise or a different perspective for how to automate new processes, run specific reports, etc. 

Your users should be confident that the loan origination software they’re using is working for them — not the other way around. With SPARK customized to your every specification and a deep understanding of the system that your users can get behind, you can be confident that your loan origination processes are being executed efficiently to achieve the highest ROI. 

It’s time for a new era of loan origination, with a platform that is built for optimal user experience and efficiency. Request a Demo and see how SPARK can benefit your bank.


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