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Helping Permanent TSB get to know their customers

Retail banking is a highly competitive sector and banks must continue to strive deliver an outstanding experience across all situations and contexts - online and offline. Permanent TSB provided excellent support to their 1.1 million customers through their 75 high street branches and they wanted to make sure that they provided at least that level of service and experience online.

Learn how we helped Permanent TSB

Permanent TSB
Digital Manager

"We first engaged with Fathom when we started looking at building our new website. We wanted to represent the voice of the customer and people throughout the organisation within the designs of the new website. We found them to be a great partner in the build and design of our new website not only researching our customers for CX but also helping us translate that into a revolutionary UX for a Irish Retail banking website."

Digital Manager
Permanent TSB

Who are Permanent TSB?

Permanent TSB wanted to reach a public that viewed financial institutions with cynicism following the banking and financial crisis of a decade ago. The bank was determined to show that it understood ‘real life’ needs and a new website formed part of that process - a site in which people could see themselves reflected.

The bank wanted to:

1. Better communicate its goals and services

2. Build a new, agile and adaptable digital infrastructure

3.Make sure that users could find content and complete banking functions with confidence

4. Focus on mobile

What Fathom did

Fathom partnered with web agency, Made to Engage, to collectively provide the user–focused research, design, testing and best–in–class technology provision needed to create a new website which would better meet the changing needs of their current and prospective customers.

How Fathom improved the website

Fathom’s work on their customer website was only one part of an ongoing programme of work that included:

Research and UX design for their corporate website

End–to–end research and user flow mapping for credit cards and overdrafts

User research and journey planning for mortgage products

Usability testing and user research for their Open24 app

Research on wearable technology

Improving the online experience

For their customer website, the bank was eager to make their products more understandable and accessible, making decisions easier and online processes such as account applications less painful.

Fathom started by undertaking significant customer, employee, stakeholder and sector research to make sure that the new design was equipped to meet all of the needs of customers.

The primary objective of the research was to document and reflect the customer’s voice in the planning and design of the new site.

Identifying needs through research

Fathom’s actions included building up a thorough picture of the current needs of the bank and its customers through a range of qualitative and quantitative research techniques.

These encompassed comprehensive staff and customer interviews and contextual observational studies in the contact centre.

Subsequent desk research took the form of a dissection of a range of data analytics and comparative reviews across the banking sector, locally in Ireland and further afield.

In addition, customers helped to define the information architecture of the new site through card–sorting and treetesting exercises on a large scale.

Testing the solution

The design was tested through a range of perception testing on lo–fi prototypes through to usability testing on hi–fi wireframes.

Testing also took place before the site was launched when the site was hosted on a staging server.

Importantly, testing led to continuous refinement across the design lifecycle.

This enabled the Made to Engage team to complete their site development with confidence.

Key research findings

1. Customers preferred to use the term ‘bank account’, rather than ‘current account’ 

2. Talking about savings in a % term can confuse some users 

3. The new ‘my savings’ section looks at the six things people save for – such as home, holidays and cars

The results


Increase in primary interactions


Increase in current account leads


Increase in loan appointments


Increase in primary interactions


Increase in primary interactions

What Permanent TSB’s customers said

What Permanent TSB’s customers said

Really liking the @permanenttsb #open24 new website. Very user friendly. Well done.

@PadraicVALLELT - Twitter
Gareth Dunlop

Gareth Dunlop

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