GoTyme Bank, a joint venture between the Gokongwei group of companies and multi-country digital bank Tyme, was recognized by international design award-giving bodies The Red Dot Design Awards 2023 and UX Design Awards 2023 for the GoTyme app and kiosk for bringing world-class user interface and user experience to its customers. Both global design award programs receive numerous entries but only a tiny fraction of the entries wins.
Customers seek not just products, but solutions tailored to their specific needs. They crave proactive outreach, bespoke services, and, critically, the empathy that comes with a seamless hybrid experience.
A good user interface or user experience begins as soon as the first contact: GoTyme makes sure that customers enjoy a friendly and inviting experience using the app or at the kiosk. The GoTyme app is easy to use and navigate even for the non-digital natives, while the GoTyme kiosk’s sleek design makes onboarding and card printing a smooth and pleasant experience.
Silvano D’Orazio, Tyme Group head of user experience (UX) and brand, gave a talk on good design that merges beauty and function at the UX+ Conference 2023, a conference for aspiring and seasoned user experience professionals on September 17, 2023, at SMX Convention Center Manila. He said, “Good design is simplifying people’s lives and giving them dignity when embarking on an unfamiliar journey. It’s not about creating something simple; [that’s] not enough. It [has to be] part of a story.”
“You have to consider a different timing, a different journey, a different journey within a journey... You have to consider the whole story,” D’Orazio added.
He mentioned that a member of the jury of the UX Design Awards 2023 said that the GoTyme app “exemplifies how banking should be—unfussy, relatable, [reflective] of real life… Brands such as GoTyme Bank, which puts people first and not just the privileged ones… deserve to win not just a [design] award but [also triumph] in the market.”
GoTyme’s customer-centric app has earned praise from users from different generations. A happy Gen Z customer said, “It has this option where I, as a gamer, can purchase gaming loads. Just a single tap then you can purchase whatever game credits you like. And then you can also transfer [funds to other banks] three times a week free…The introduction of Go Save [has] helped me manage my finances…”
A Gen X customer, on the other hand, said, “The GoTyme app is surprisingly easy to understand and navigate for an old guy like me! It’s a breeze to transfer money from my everyday account to my savings account, to other banks and to my relatives in the province.”
Beyond good design
According to D’Orazio, the GoTyme app was likewise recognized by the Design for Asia Awards and Creative Pool Awards. He said that good design “has to marry usefulness and that it finds value in accompanying a customer’s journey.”
The GoTyme app and kiosk are essential components of GoTyme’s “phygital” business model. By combining physical and human banking with a well-established digital system, it puts a premium on access in all aspects of its operations.
GoTyme has deployed a high-tech, high-touch retail-integrated distribution model powered by the GoTyme app. Physical onboarding kiosks, with their modern sleek design, staffed by bank ambassadors (BAs) enable five-minute account opening and real-time physical card issuing.
Today, GoTyme has more than 350 kiosks all over the country located in Gokongwei malls and retail establishments supported by over 900 bank ambassadors for client onboarding and debit card printing.
GoTyme Bank president and CEO Nate Clarke said, “More than 60 percent of GoTyme customers are generated by the kiosks supported by bank ambassadors. We have 1:2.6 kiosk-to-BA ratio. This means that every kiosk, on average, has from two to three BAs.”
Roselle Calma, a BA at Robinsons Supermarket in Robinsons Galleria South in San Pedro, Laguna, said, “Namatay ang mother ko last year kaya malapit ako sa mga senior, lalo na mga babae. Habang nagbabayad sila ng grocery items nila sa supermarket, kinukunan ko sila ng pushcart. Tapos iniimbita ko sila sa kiosk para kwentuhan tungkol sa GoTyme [My mother died last year, so I have found myself drawn to older adults, especially women. While they’re paying for their grocery items, I usually help get them a pushcart, after which I escort them to the GoTyme kiosk and talk to them about GoTyme].”
Calma pulls out a chair if she’s assisting a potential client who’s an older adult, and assists the latter in the onboarding process. She shows them how to navigate the GoTyme app as part of the overall acquisition process. “Nahihikayat ko ang mga potential customers pag pinapakita ko na meron akong Go Save account na may 5% interest rate per annum. Pati yung 3x a week na free transfer from GoTyme to other banks… napapa-open ko sila ng account [I can convince potential customers when I show them my own Go Save account, which earns 5% interest rate per annum… as well as the 3x a week free transfer from GoTyme to other banks],” she says.
The appeal of human banking
GoTyme has taken the mystique off preferred banking by offering affordable banking services driven by its tech platform and operating model. In so doing, it also creates emotional access among its customers, with simple, easy-to-understand products and transparent pricing structure. Its human BAs and kiosks educate and bring visibility to customers—a critical element in Filipino social interactions.
Albert Tinio, GoTyme co-CEO, said, “We are championing human-centric banking. Filipinos, being highly sociable, appreciate human interaction. Sometimes we even see people in an ATM queue enlisting security guards for assistance.”
Human interaction offers a sense of reassurance, trust, and empathy that is difficult to replicate digitally. Eelan Reyes, GoTyme Bank chief sales officer, says, “Building relationships is crucial for customer acquisition as it transcends the transaction. Human interaction will always be part of improving people's daily lives.”
On the surface, digital excellence and human interaction often appear as two opposing forces. But in today’s reality they are two sides of the same coin, both playing a crucial role in enhancing customer experiences. Balancing these two elements can significantly improve the service quality offered by financial institutions and drive success at a time when consumers have been made less sure of their financial wellness on the heels of the pandemic. The phygital model can help foster more meaningful relationships with customers, thereby boosting customer loyalty, satisfaction, and ultimately, the bottom line.