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There’s a lot to like in Marcus’s new mobile app. Competitors beware.

Updated: Mar 2, 2020

Critique from a fintech product manager

Marcus by Goldman Sachs released its long-awaited mobile app on Monday. Overall, the app is well designed, though there was one surprise.

Overall impressions:

  • Feature rich

  • Designed as a full replacement to the web experience

  • Provides clear user direction

From a product manager’s (and customer) perspective, there’s a lot to like. Here’s what made it to my short list of top aspects:

#1. Typeface and color: definitely reminds you of the sleek look more associated with tech companies than of banks.

The entrance message is also fun and is in keeping with the overall feeling of generosity and helpfulness.


#2. Trackers: customers love understanding clearly when certain things will happen so they can plan accordingly.

Marcus’s transfer tracker is simple and beautifully designed, moving away from the “your money will arrive in 3 business days” jargon most banks use.

Based on my own experiences in financial services, I know a lot of people value such a feature.


#3. Fully featured: Users can update their personal info, transfer money in and out, open a new account, and manage their existing accounts fully.

The app is a full replacement to the website experience. I believe the only item that would require a web login is getting tax information and other documents.

This last point, however, is also a bit of a surprise.

In a world where speed-to-market and ‘MVP’ are considered sacrosanct in product realms, why didn’t Marcus focus on a narrower set of features in their first mobile app release?

If I had to guess, I imagine the team felt competitive and customer pressure. On the one hand, they likely wanted to release a full-featured app to be competitive as compared to their banking peers who have all released apps years prior and have grown into fully featured experiences. They also likely wanted to be in line with customer’s expectations of a great mobile experience considering that it is an increasing differentiator for the company. However, waiting also carries its own risks of not getting in front of users sooner.

It’s true that you only have one shot to make a good impression. The Marcus app certainly did that for me.

#fintech #banking #userexperience

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