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June 2020

To digitise the sign-in process in SMEs.

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Competition among banks and market players.

Everyone probably knows that business always starts with registration, but hardly anyone knows that the bank where the customer subsequently registers and opens their account invests significant effort in attracting and retaining an audience.

Apart from the fact that the main competitor in business registration for banks is the tax authorities, there is competition from players within the market.

Up to a certain time at VTB Bank, it was only possible to register a business offline, being in an office or a point of sale, but after all the tools went online, as did competitor banks, VTB started to go digital. This is how VTB Start, a showcase (Test) product aimed at current and future clients of the bank who want to start a business with VTB, came into being.

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A tight deadline and active work on upgrading the service.

The product was a landing page for marketing campaigns, many forms and stages of business registration, as well as a personal office with tracking of their status.

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The reasons for needing to update the service were many: Terrible conversion rates to full registrations and account openings; Lack of optimisation of form filling; Problems with logic and actions in all scenarios; Lack of explanatory and prompting information; Non-compliance of the design with the bank's regulations and guidelines; And also, a separate possibility to use worked out hypotheses in the in-house version in the future.

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The deadline was unexpected for us, the update was supposed to take 3 months, so we got to work right away.

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Research and hypothesis formulation.

We spent the first week fully dedicated to researching the product from start to finish. We looked over the last months' performance, performed CX-audit and gathered UJMs by each team member.

Towards the end, we engaged respondents in usability tests, so that we could have not only the competitors' hypotheses and analysis conclusions, but also data proving the presence/absence of problems.

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Based on this flow of information, we came up with a list of hypotheses potentially affecting the metrics.

The hypotheses had their own implementation points, e.g., changing the popup logic when filling in the registration/residence address or updating the copyright in the taxation selection description.

Reducing steps and improving user experience.

Much work has been done to optimise registration scenarios, which include not only filling forms, but also stages of registration of documents in the tax office, statuses on meeting with managers and EQES (Enhanced Qualified Electronic Signature) registration.

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Some forms were shortened, others were deleted for lack of use, others were merged. Auto filling data from open APIs of government agencies and analysis of documents by photo led to positive results. For example, online registration of LLCs (Limited Liability Company) was reduced from 18 to 6 steps and IE (Individual Entrepreneur) from 10 to 5.

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On corridor and usability tests it indicated simplification and due to reduction of time for the first part of registration of LLCs almost 5 times to 6-8 minutes, and for IE almost 8 times to 3-5 minutes.

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Elimination of obstacles for clients.

Separate time was devoted to the search, simplification and humanisation of legal terms and descriptions that were encountered throughout the stages. They either scared away unprepared and uninformed clients, or were embarrassing and slowed down the registration process.

In addition, there are more explanatory and registration-promoting texts on the landing page, as well as tips and error conditions that make it easier to navigate the questionnaire at the moment of completion.

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Product changes and metrics growth.

The product received a major update, which was iteratively implemented and measured on a weekly basis over several months. Both technically and visually the service was transformed, which undoubtedly had an impact on traffic as well (Organic growth by a factor of 2).

The bank's recently updated guidelines for visuals (Design System) and communications (Tone of Voice) were taken into account.

Measurements showed an incredible increase in conversions to full online registrations (Questionnaire + Manager + Tax). So, LLCs were completed 4 times more often, on the order of ~5.3k/month, and IE were completed 6 times more often, on the order of ~14k/month.

At the same time the rates of incomplete online registration decreased. For example, for LLCs they have become 1.5 times less to ~2.1k/month, and for IE 2 times less to ~2.3k/month. Dealing with clients who did not register fully went to the bank's call centre with instructions that only the business department could influence.

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Among other things, we also became aware of an increase in bank account openings after registering with the service, but no exact figures, just the difference before the upgrade and after, which was now 5 times higher.


The product page reflected not only registration options, but also paid current account services that customers could open after applying to register their business.

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A mobile registration version was added so that users could deal with their application at their convenience and on the devices available to them.

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The applications for LLCs and IE on the mobile version became more compact, but retained all the text and data required both for registration and for understanding the requirements of the Federal Tax Service from the client.

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Many pop-up windows were modified to fit the mobile modal screen format, thus removing unnecessary nesting that was complicating the interaction with the interface.

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Figma screens.

You can see all the screens and flows that our team has developed in the Figma preview or by clicking on this link. The screens were developed before the design team switched to Auto-Layouts, which were added to Figma in November 2020.

Article credits.

The list of persons reflects those who provided support and cooperation in the process of developing the feature and the article. Also the list indicates all those who are responsible for the content of the article.

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Aleksei Matveev

Lead Product Designer

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Svetlana Dementieva

Business Lead

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Ksenia Zakharchuk

Product Owner

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Alexandra Marochkova

Senior Product Designer