As part of our mobile UX framework we are constantly adding new guidelines so that we can better gauge the effectiveness of our client’s offering to that of the “perfect” banking app. Our latest addition:

#127. Do you use appropriate language when asking for permission to access smartphone features (e.g., to track users’ location or access the camera)?  

The typical banking app uses several push notifications to ask users to enable advanced features such as:

  • Track location to identify nearby ATMs, branch locations, merchant offers, and so on
  • Access my contacts to facilitate P2P money transfers
  • Enable Touch ID for biometric authentication
  • Access the camera for mobile deposit

Because these are sensitive privacy issues with your customers, we recommend explaining WHY you are asking. Because it seems so obvious to the person programming the notification, sometimes this step is overlooked. For example, Wells Fargo does not explain why it wants to track your location (see inset).

A better approach is demonstrated by Chase and Westpac (see below) who are more transparent with the reasoning behind the request. Chase keeps it short and simple explaining that the customer’s location helps Chase direct them to a nearby ATM. That is good and customer centric. But Westpac goes even further, positioning the tracking as a cost savings benefit, a great approach when you can pull it off.

Bottom line: The simple addition of a few words helps build trust leading to higher opt-in rates.