FCMB new mobile
Redesigning the experience for existing users and driving onboarding for new users.
First City Monument Bank Limited, has approximately 7.1 million customers and 206 branches in Nigeria and a banking subsidiary in the United Kingdom through FCMB Bank (UK) Limited. The mission was to set the bank aside from competitors by providing excellent best-in-class digital banking services through the mobile app in light of the Covid pandemic.

Team structure

I worked directly with a crossfunctional team of developers, project managers and bank executives.


In this project, I led design efforts and also conducted research such as heuristic analysis, defined the UX strategy, design prototypes and conduct usability testing of the solution.I gathered data from research and translated these to address customers’ pain points by means of design.


Figma, Whimsical, Adobe Suite, Confluence, Jira


The project spanned 3 months.

The Challenge

The COVID-19 pandemic threw the global socio-economic environment into turmoil. Social distancing and significant restrictions to movement hampered social and economic activities at a scale not previously seen in modern times. One of the enduring responses to the COVID-19 pandemic is digital, therefore I was faced with the challenge of how to proactively identify gaps and provide solutions that will help accelerate the transition to a digital-first business.

The approach of starting journeys digitally and requiring the customer to visit a branch, contact centre or other physical location for completion fails to deliver a holistic digital experience. As such, transitioning to a digital-first business will therefore require a complete rethink and redesign of the bank’s entire user journeys to deliver the right digital experience consistent regardless of the customer’s touchpoint.

The Approach

Heuristic Analysis

To understand the maturity of the bank’s digital channels in serving the needs of our customer base, I did a heuristic analysis of relevant digital channels of 8 commercial banks offering retail banking products and services in Nigeria. The analysis covered 13 user journeys grouped into 5 broad thematic areas as depicted in the figure below. The data generated from this analysis enabled me to create a benchmark of the user journeys on these digital channels to generate actionable insights which we aimed to leverage on to further enhance our digital products.

The major task for me was to measure the quality of UX as our customers traverse a range of journeys to access products and services on 4 distinct digital channels – Mobile banking, Internet banking, USSD, and Chatbot (for the purpose of this case study I’ll focus on the Mobile banking). I grouped my analysis into 5 thematic areas, viz:
1. Digital Onboarding – includes journeys spanning account opening and customer profile creation.
2.Payments & Transfers – spans all types of payments and transfers, including bill payments, fund transfers and cardless withdrawal.
3.Digital Lending – includes all types of lending to retail customers via digital channels.
4.Self-Service – includes journeys spanning debit & virtual card request, card block, profile unlock, token request and statement request.
5.Customer Care – journeys related to customer engagement and issue resolution

Talking to our customers

Following the initial analysis, I wanted to understand things from the perspective of the actual users to further validate some of the insights gathered earlier in order to ensure we were addressing actual pain points, I leveraged FCMB’s rich portfolio of research data and extensive customer base to identify representative customers (personas) and establish user stories. Using these personas and user stories, I conducted journey-based UX assessments across a variety of scenarios. This was to identify the goals of the customer and reflect the range of expectations that customers have come to expect from the digital channels they use. To further assess the overall user experience objectively and have a structured methodology of talking to the users, I created an internal framework consisting of 6 metrics together with other stakeholders:


I conducted journey-based usability test sessions on the legacy mobile application across a variety of scenarios. This was to identify the goals of the customer and reflect the range of expectations that customers expect from using the app. Eight (8) participants were recruited for these sessions.

Some notable insights gathered

Feedback from Usability Testing indicated several challenges and constraints users may face on the application. The most important challenges are highlighted below.

1. Account opening/Digital onboarding: Users who had an existing bank account could not create new profiles.
2. Dashboard navigation was unintuitive.
3. Lack of important payments and transfer feature (No search functionality, no recurring payments, save beneficiary for later)
4. App UI was archaic

Creating User Personas

I decided to create personas to frame our users' needs, expectations, behaviours and goals to ensure a deeper understanding of our users by clustering similarities in needs, goals and behaviors among each different type of users as well as to serve as a basis for the customer journey maps which was quite relevant to the in-house and business team respectively.

Creating a customer journey map

Going forward, it was important to have a strategic approach to better understanding our customer expectations and ultimately optimising the customer experience. I mapped a series of different customer journeys to capture initial research findings and established personas into a concise and visually compelling story, this is to enable stakeholders across different levels of the bank easily understand and interpret research findings. I highlighted each step in the journey along with actions that they are currently taking to complete each task. Their feelings and thoughts were also mapped to better understand their pain points, I also noted opportunities to improve within these journeys.



Problem: Confusing Account Opening/Digital onboarding

1. Split onboarding into two parts: For users who have an FCMB account &  For users who don’t have an FCMB Account
2. Introduce live chat and FAQs Introduce multiple ways of validating account for existing users (ability to use card or OTP)
3. For new users provide multiple ways to create account.
4. Introduce progress stepper to give visibility of system status.
5. Provide more contextual error messages.

Flow for old users

Flow for new users


Flow for old users

Problem: Dashboard navigation was unintuitive

1. Introduce a navigation drawer of most used services (airtime, transfers and bill payment) to increase efficiency. 
2. Enable user manage all accounts in one placeGive overview of upcoming bills on dashboard landing.
3. Give users ability to manage debit card and link existing cards.

Payments & Transfer

Flow for old users

Problem: Lack of important payments and transfer features

1. Introduce a smart way to make transfers (categorize into single or bulk payments).
2. Ability to select from frequent transaction amounts, frequent beneficiaries.
3. Setup instant, future or recurring payments.

High Fidelity Prototype can be found herehere


The bank recorded about 7% increase in adoption rate following the release of the app in the first month along with about 18% and 85% in NPS and CSAT scores (using Hotjar Standalone) respectively . The app currently has over 500,000+ download on the Google Playstore and Apple App Store.

Google Playstore: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.appzonegroup.fcmb&hl=en&gl=US

Apple App Store: https://apps.apple.com/gm/app/fcmb-new-mobile/id1444638628

Key Takeaways

As evidenced by the growth in mobile subscriber numbers and internet penetration in Nigeria, it is not surprising that the average banking customer demography is rapidly changing. The new customer is becoming more accustomed to using mobile devices for access to services, including shopping, travel, entertainment, social interactions, news, financial services etc. With over 82 million Nigerians accessing the internet through mobile phones and accounting for more than 73% of the country’s internet traffic, it is evident that there is increasing adoption of mobile by customers.

With the increasing adoption of digital services, customers are beginning to expect similar end-to-end digital experiences they get on other platforms from their banks. For instance, customers can self-onboard, transact and address service issues digitally on some platforms and therefore expect the same from digital banking platforms. While the change in customer behaviour is driving increased focus and investments in expanding the scope of services and capabilities of digital banking channels, there is still a heavy reliance on physical channels for completion of a number of essential user journeys and banking services. However, digitizing these process presents an opportunity to truly delight the users and this has to be properly done by harnessing the magical powers of combining a modern, functional interface with a seamless user experience.