Is it any wonder that those in need of a loan (and a fast one) turn to Wonga and not a high street bank?
One is approachable and colourful and isn’t full of boring text or ambiguous wording, and the other is an institution the public has gradually learned to call the enemy.
Of course, the two aren’t really comparable. The need to turn to Wonga is often caused by desperation (and being desperate is a reality for lots of people post 2008). And Wonga itself is gradually acquiring a reputation as not exactly a pillar of the community, as many are educated about the realities of interest rates.
However, despite selling different products, Wonga still has lots to teach the high street banks. More and more customers turn to banking websites before their branches, but the bank websites are often dry and difficult to use (albeit with some very nice mobile app alternatives).
So, to demonstrate how the user experience for some banks compares to Wonga, I’m going to look at the recently re-launched ‘people’s bank’, or TSB. And for a fairer comparison, I’ll look at Lloyds Bank, too.
Chiefly I’ll look at the 'approachability' of the homepage and the copy therein, as totems for the service on offer.
Wonga is an online service which has found a gap in the financial services market, providing short-term loans of up to £1,000 to users, and processing applications quickly.
The company was launched in 2007, backed up by £3m in funding, and came out of beta last year. I've been talking to founder and CEO Errol Damelin about Wonga.