Banking Mobile & Online UX

Discover makes it easy to compare cashback checking against competitors

Written by Jim Bruene

Jim Bruene says Discover Bank’s Cashback Checking is a thing of beauty, and recommends making further changes to further enhance the online experience.

We’ve seen many comparison tables matching a financial institution’s (usually a credit union) best checking account to the competition (usually the mega-banks), but I don’t recall an interactive one (outside third-party comparison sites).

Discover checking comparison. Screenshot by Jim Bruene

Discover’s page dedicated to selling its Cashback Checking is a thing of beauty from top to bottom, but I especially appreciate the interactive comparison. Discover defaults to comparisons to Chase, Citi and BofA, but the card giant makes it super easy to compare against other major brands (US Bank, Wells and Fifth Third). Simply click on the + sign in the empty fifth column on the right and choose one of the brands from the popup (see below).

The table works on smaller screens as well, but you can only compare to one other bank at a time. Users select the competitor from a drop-down box. Recommendations:

  • To increase its credibility, Discover should expand the number of banks to compare against, which only adds to its credibility.
  • We were surprised there weren’t any digital features mentioned such as mobile deposit. Even if Discover is at parity with the competition, many prospective customers are going to use this list of features to evaluate Discover’s checking account.
  • While I love the punch they deliver by highlighting their own features/benefits in orange vs light grey for everything else, it does make it hard to read, especially on a smaller screen. We recommend increasing the font size and boldness at least in the first column listing the features.
  • There’s a small UX issue when adding a bank. Since there’s an empty fifth column, users expect to be able to fill it with one of the banks from the popup, but if you select another bank, the form gives you an error message: “Only 3 banks can be compared at a time”. This is annoying because it’s obvious the table has a blank column. The popup box should make it clearer (besides the mouse type instruction) that only three banks can be selected at a time, or the table should be changed to allow four comparisons.
  • Another problem is that the unselected banks are greyed out. Usually, greyed out means “not available to choose” which isn’t the case here. None of the choices should be greyed out – they should just have a check or not.

For extra credit:

  • Being the geek that I am, I’d love to see a total score at the bottom of the chart so I could decide myself who the winner is. This is a tricky calculation and would require users to assign weightings to important features and/or input their normal transaction volume to calculate rewards totals, but this complicates things and could hurt conversions. Perhaps Discover should offers a “cashback calculator” outside the comparison chart.

Discover choose. Screenshot by Jim Bruene

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– This article is reproduced with kind permission. Some minor changes have been made to reflect BankNXT style considerations. Read more here.

About the author

Jim Bruene

After developing the first major PFM-based online banking program at US Bancorp in the early 1990s, Jim Bruene went on to found two companies in the space: Online Banking Report and the Finovate conference series. He has been writing and geeking out on digital financial services nearly every day for more than 20 years and is currently Principal of BUX Advisors, a fintech UX/UI consultancy, as well as continuing to help guide content at Finovate events.

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