Most customers’ primary point of entry to a bank’s website is the login page, not the homepage. This page is directed solely at existing customers and many banks do not take advantage of this.
The separate login page provides a valuable opportunity to target focussed content at one particular user segment to create a more positive user experience.
There are many arguments for the decision to position the login functionality on its own page: It complies with established internet banking conventions, provides existing customers with a more direct point of entry to internet banking services and alleviates confusion with other homepage input fields such as the site search. Through research, we have noticed that existing internet banking customers tend to bookmark this page, rather than accessing it via the site homepage.
Unlike the public site homepage, the login page is a single guaranteed gateway to customers’ banking services. While some banks may decide to omit targeted content from this page to aid clarity or provide less of a hard sell, there are benefits to treating the login page as more of a dedicated customer homepage and addressing some of the typical homepage objectives in a different context.
I would like to focus on three objectives of a typical banking homepage that the login page can fulfil:
- Provide quick access to internet banking services
- Market relevant and valuable products and services
- Communicate trustworthiness
By definition, all login pages fulfil the first of these roles but it surprises me that, of a sample of 10 UK retail banks, half do not use the login page to advertise products, services and promotions that are specific to existing customers. Marketing devices used on this page can be far more direct than the often competing messages of site homepages.
The bank can be seen to be authoritative and informative by catering for customers’ security awareness and, surprisingly, only 7 of the 10 sampled banks contain some kind of reassurance at this guaranteed point of login. The security and safety of someone’s finances is something deeply personal and a bank’s awareness of this can be used to create a supportive and positive experience and differentiate it from its competitors.
Of course, the login page is open to the same risk of overloading as the homepage. The aim of the page is to make the customer feel valued and informed. The login process must be kept quick and clear in order to maintain the positive experience that the additional content is capable of creating.