A global bank

Despite the uncertainty of Brexit early in 2016, the UK saw a sustained net expansion in SME borrowing, with around £6 billion of new lending approved each quarter.

As a key area for transformation, the banking community is striving to improve its services in this area, and Draw worked with one global banking client to help them capitalise on the opportunity.

As the relationship between a business and its banking contact has become further removed, and more of the relationship is transacted online, it is inevitable that the process of applying for borrowing has also moved online. For the companies applying for cashflow lending, as opposed to secured, asset-based lending, this can lead to unnecessary obstacles. 

Cashflow funding is frequently required by smaller companies - especially for those with limited resources, those that deliver services (rather than products), and those in distress or emergency situations where access to funds is time-critical. In all these cases, the process of dedicating time and attention to an online process can be challenging.

We were introduced to a global bank that wanted to offer its customers the opportunity to apply for immediate unsecured loans, and also to make the process of application as simple as possible.

Our response...

To create a simple and intuitive tool that makes it absolutely clear, from the opening screen, who the tool is for, and how long the application should take. A progress bar makes it clear where in the process the customer is, and which stages remain to be completed.

By offering a list of the required information in advance, we were able to take a huge amount of pressure out of the process. And the ability to save a session, and return to it subsequently, made it far more likely that customers would complete the application and move their relationship with the bank forward.

Agile methodology

We employed Agile methodology to deliver this project, which meant that each step needed to be completed in only enough detail to allow the project to move to the next step, with any shortfall in detailed understanding being dealt with in a subsequent iteration of development.

This approach allowed for business changes, and also changes in the project requirements, which are far more easily accommodated if minimal course correction is required. As a result, solutions were more likely to have a better fit with the true business needs, and were easier to test and integrate with existing and emerging business processes.


Working with a bank generally means operating within the scope of its conservative and closed technology infrastructure. From a UX perspective, this means we had a lot of work to do setting expectations with the user since much of the functionality they would expect (saving application, mobile support) cannot be supported by the bank's systems.

As well as successfully finding ways to integrate with the bank's systems and ways of working, the greatest requirement of the project was the redefinition of the UX.

The new tool comprises a series of scrolling pages, offering users an immediate view of which part of the process they are in. This has reduced the likelihood of customers skipping over sections without inputting data.

Customers are now told what documentation they might be asked for before they start the application process, which reduces the possibility of them leaving the application without completing the session.

Moreover, users have now the option to save the session, keeping all the information already submitted. This approach has made it much more likely that customers in high-stress or time-sensitive situations are more likely to complete the application, move their relationship with the bank forward, and get their business back on track.

If you'd like to see how we could help you please call
Nick Elsom on +44 (0)203 589 7874.