Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Goodbye ABN AMRO

Got bit of sentimental after hearing that ABN AMRO's name would be changed to RBS (Royal bank of Scotland). Perhaps the reason is given the fact that I had been associated with ABN AMRO for the past 9-10 years or so. Not many of my colleagues know this but I was the Information Architect who was part of the design team that had created the the entire ABN AMRO net banking website.  This was way back in 2001 or something. I was working in an IT company in Delhi. We used to deal with ABN Delhi HO. This was my 1st experience of dealing with IA of a full fledged banking application. I remember the workshops that the design team and client used to have at ABN's CP office. We used to do endless rounds of white boarding & card sorting exercises to arrive on user mental models. Of course there were rounds of heated discussions also with the customer during the workshops which used to spice up our thinking process. In one such incidence we were discussing the Online Account Summary flow. The client had a 'banker's view of the same while we felt it won't work and presented end user's view point. It went on for some time. We took a prompt decision. We went down to the branch and randomly selected few users and expressed out point of view to understand what they feel and they agreed with our thinking! Bang on. The discussion was closed. The client team were a bunch of tough nuts but they accepted points when presented with logic & strong rational. When the banking website was launched, we had even created a banking site demo which used to be part of the online application for quite a few years. We had slipped in our names in the demo as account holders and shown lakhs of rupees in fictitious account number. That was the only closest way of demonstrating that we were quite rich! :-) 

When I shifted to Mumbai in 2003 my relation with the bank continued in form of corporate salary account which I got transferred to Pune when I shifted the base here in 2006. I still maintain the account and use the internet banking that I created. I have always loved ABN's services. In my 7 years relationship with the bank,I have only visited my bank once for sign verification else all my transactions have been carried online or through doorstep banking. After nearly 10 years of its online existence, I am glad to see that the core task flows and navigation of the net banking application has not changed at all. It's means a lot as it bears a stamp of users acceptance and seamless interaction & transaction that they have on the site. In fact I was told that the online site was referred as one of the best internet banking applications present in India. 

Now that the bank has been bought over by RBS, I hope the services that I enjoyed earlier would continue to be the same. It's very weird feeling calling my bank RBS now ;-) but hopefully over the period will get used to the new name now. :-)        


Sorcerer said...

stumbled across your blog.
yes...there is quiet a sentiments in certain things that we are so attached to.

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