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Behavioral Design & Experimental Validation: How to increase confidence in financial applications?

Through an experiment, we measured the effect of five interventions on users' adoption of digital financial services.

Photo by Unsplash


A SURA Asset Management Finchtech dedicated to offering digital financial wellness services such as 1) financial self-awareness tools, 2) expense management and advisory tools, and 3) financial products.

Funded by:

Context description:

The company sought to increase the trust of potential users to increase the adoption of its digital financial services. Specifically, it wanted more users to link their bank accounts with the organization's application. This challenge implied addressing critical factors related to users' trust in companies, such as the perception of risk and insecurity, uncertainty, and the perception of control, among others.

What we did:

We designed a set of interventions and an experiment involving more than 4500 fintech users. Specifically, we measured the effect of five messages on the number of users linking their bank accounts in the organization's app, and compared this effect to no messages (control group). These messages were presented before the bank account linking section and incorporated behavioral science principles such as: risk perception reduction, messenger effect, uncertainty reduction, reputation, and perceived control.

Example of pop-up with message related to perceived control

Note: message designed by Heurística Lab based on the visual identity of the Fintech.


  • Behavioral Design.

  • Experimental validation (field experiment).

Key results:

  1. The results of the experiment showed a relative increase in bank account linkage of 4 percentage points, equivalent to 29% relative to using the principle of Perceived Control (perceived control refers to the way in which a person understands their ability to influence their environment and the results of their actions).

  2. Other treatments, such as risk perception reduction, the messenger effect and reputation enhancement, can have an additional positive impact on users' willingness to adopt new financial services.

* Perceived control vs. status quo: p=0.01

Insights for decision making:

These results not only provided the organization with more knowledge about its users, but also identified the intervention strategy that best fits the organization's needs and context to promote its users to perform the desired behavior. By leveraging the insights from this study, the company discovered that the communication tactic based on perceived control increases by 29% the linking of its users' bank accounts within the application. In addition, from these insights, the company obtained information that allowed it to adjust and optimize strategies aimed at building user trust and improving the adoption of its digital financial services.


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