In Conversation

Reducing checkout friction

In this series, we'll be taking a deeper dive into the benefits that Open Banking delivers. In this post, we've brought together Ioana Kardos, our UX lead designer; William Hand, our senior product manager; and Tilly Jeakings, our product marketing manager, to unpick how important the number of steps in conversion actually is and what this means to the customer. We touch on cognitive loads, cart abandonment, and mobile payment flows.

1 month ago • 4 min read

Why is reducing friction so important and how does Open Banking drive conversions?

Tilly: Everyone in e-commerce can talk about the importance of cart conversion and it truly is, but you can have the most beautiful website, spend money and time on getting it to the top rank in Google, but if you don’t offer a seamless checkout experience, you'll stay at the last hurdle.

Cart abandonment averages 79%, which is massive. Every step added to your checkout journey is a risk that a consumer can drop out of the buying funnel. When you consider every step required for the consumer, firstly having to find your bank card, which may require getting off the couch, to typing in every card number correctly (which can be a challenge for those visually impaired) to then having to complete your security authentication at the end of the journey, that’s a lot of steps. At each step, a consumer may discontinue their journey, which then means trying to win that customer back to complete the journey.

New payment methods can dramatically reduce the steps required, meaning less risk of consumers dropping out of the buying funnel. Vyne’s Pay with bank overcomes each of the challenges – there’s no need to get up and locate your card, all you need is your mobile phone. Chances are that you’re probably already shopping on your phone, so your phone will never be more than an arms length away. There’s no need to manually type in long card numbers and therefore no risk of entering the wrong numbers. All consumers need to do is select their bank and approve the payment.

If we go one step further and assume their mobile phones are already set-up to their individual needs, it makes this journey more accessible than a card journey. Finally, Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) is built into the Open Banking journey, so there’s no additional steps at the end to approve the payment. One of the great benefits compared to e-wallets is that there’s no set-up required, no registration or apps to download.


William: If there’s one thing we’ve learnt, it’s that making a high-converting Open Banking checkout means rethinking the traditional payment experience. When working with a new payment method, our challenge becomes how to make consumers feel like they’ve always been using account-to-account, when in fact many may be experiencing it for the first time.

Open Banking introduces a different approach to the payment flow, utilising mobile banking for a more secure process. However, different doesn’t necessarily mean bad. We’ve focussed on making the flow intuitive and clear for consumers in order to drive a feeling of familiarity. Use of familiar bank icons and existing terminology builds on payments conventions while helping introduce users to the new steps in an Open Banking journey.

Meanwhile, pacing the payment flow and focussing on reducing the cognitive load at each step removes any feeling of confusion and breeds trust, core to success with any new consumer product.

Our mobile payment flow gets users to their bank in as little as 10 seconds, but having steps to actually ensure users know what to expect when they get there is what ultimately helps improve conversion.

Less is not always more when it comes to driving adoption of emerging technologies. What counts is quality of experience and trust, something our 60% return users are testament to.


Ioana: Most people can only comfortably handle five to nine chunks of information at any one time. The higher the number of steps, the higher the cognitive load, and the less a user can actionably understand.

When a user first tries Open Banking, they’re being introduced to a new concept, new authentication and a new payment confirmation process. By employing concepts such as progressive disclosure and displaying only the most important information and action, the checkout flow is easy and error rates are significantly reduced = positive friction. Vyne’s Pay with bank was designed with a “less is more” approach that converts.

We’re straight to the point – our bank offering is high (we cover 99% of UK banks), so consumers are being presented with the most popular banks and can use the search functionality to find their bank easily. From there, they're taken to their bank app where they securely approve the payment. Checkout complete.

When users intuitively understand the checkout process and know what will happen next, their anxiety is reduced and the likelihood of them completing the process is greatly increased. It doesn’t matter how many times a user has to click, as long as each click is a mindless, unambiguous choice.