CIMB: Enhancing User Experience for Regional Alignment.

CIMB is a leading regional bank in ASEAN, with a strong commitment to sustainable and responsible banking. Part of the CIMB Group, which is headquartered in Malaysia, the bank has subsidiaries across Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam, as well as branches in Singapore, the Philippines, London, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Laos.

As one of the region’s foremost corporate and financial advisors, CIMB has recognized the importance of digital transformation in the banking industry, making the strategic decision to leverage technology to enhance its services. This is particularly crucial when operating in the Cambodian market, where customers seek reliable and secure digital banking solutions.

The existing CIMB Mobile Banking app has acted as a crucial touchpoint for customers, offering a range of banking services and transactions for various needs. However, to maintain its competitive position in the market, CIMB must ensure its alignment with regional — not just national — digital banking standards. 

Decoding the Market.

While CIMB Bank serves consumer, commercial, and corporate segments, as well as the mass market, its primary focus lies on affluent individuals and larger businesses. As part of its current strategic initiative, CIMB aims to enhance its reputation as the preferred bank for these target segments.

During the initial phases of the project, it was collectively recognized that a leading local bank is currently considered to offer the best mobile banking app in Cambodia, typically setting the benchmark for rising competitors. However, what was also identified was a lack of well-designed regional digital banking platforms in the country. 

This presented CIMB with a unique opportunity to create the best regional mobile banking app based in Cambodia, setting itself apart from both direct and indirect competitors.

To achieve this, CIMB had to prioritize several key points for its new digital platform, including intuitive and accessible flows, complemented by a modern and visually appealing interface that is unique and distinctive from other mobile banking apps in the country — and the region. 

Assessing User Needs.

CIMB primarily serves affluent individuals and large businesses across the ASEAN region.

Through user feedback and stories, coupled with an analysis of all current roadblocks, CIMB began by uncovering the specific needs of its target market and what was lacking in its existing digital banking platform. The previous design of the CIMB app revealed several pain points and areas for improvement. 

In particular, existing clients and app users expressed challenges related to several areas:

  • The need to rely on multiple banks for international transactions complicates banking. 
  • CIMB has high ATM withdrawal fees abroad — clients who travel often want convenient and cost-effective international ATM withdrawals. 
  • Poor internet connectivity can hinder transaction performance and cause errors. 
  • It is inconvenient for busy clients to physically visit the bank for routine tasks.
  • Users have limited control over loan repayments, and wish to be able to customize the process. 
  • The current app does not provide transaction receipts and has unreliable push notifications. 

These pain points highlight opportunities for the app redesign to address and improve the overall user experience.

Forming the Vision.

Through an in-depth understanding of user pain points and feedback, Mäd partnered with CIMB to identify and prioritize the features that address the specific needs of the primary client segment. These include customizable loan tracking options, convenient and cost-effective international transactions and ATM withdrawals, reliable push notifications, error handling with clear instructions, and instant transaction receipts. 

The user flows and processes within the app also had to be optimized for the local market's preferences and cultural context. Personalizing these features accordingly ensures that the app addresses user pain points and provides enhanced accessibility and efficiency.

Crafting a Winning Strategy.

To place the CIMB Mobile Banking app not just in line with but beyond industry standards, an in-depth study of leading local and regional mobile banking apps was conducted at the outset of the project. 

Aligning the CIMB app with renowned regional platforms is essential for better strategic positioning, and to bolster the bank's reputation as a trusted regional institution. The redesign initiative is intended not only to enhance customer satisfaction but also to contribute to CIMB’s goal of providing an extensive range of product offerings and catering to diverse market segments.

By examining successful digital banking platforms within the same industry segment, CIMB, partnered with Mäd, gained valuable insights to inform the app redesign. The key focus areas included innovation, user-centricity, simplicity, intuitive navigation, seamless transaction processes, and visual appeal. This research enabled CIMB to draw inspiration from best practices and current trends in app design, ensuring the new app aligns with the evolving expectations and preferences of users in the target market.


The first step in creating a more robust strategy is to clearly define the objectives of the redesign initiative. 

The primary goal of CIMB is to craft a seamless and convenient banking experience for all its clients, with a focus on affluent individuals. Thus, design decisions were made with consideration of the app’s target market, which encompasses professionals with demanding schedules, frequent travelers requiring efficient international transactions, and individuals seeking greater control and customization over their loan repayments.

The resulting digital product is expected to offer a straightforward and transparent banking experience, empowering users to effortlessly perform local and international transactions from anywhere, and benefit from significant time and cost savings. By catering to these specific user needs, the redesign initiative would enhance customer satisfaction and drive engagement with CIMB's digital banking services.


Comparing the look and feel of the old CIMB Mobile Banking App and its newly redesigned version.

The overall impression of the original app's UI/UX reveals several opportunities for refinement. 

One notable observation is the absence of secondary buttons, which hampers user guidance and navigation. Inconsistent interactive elements, icon styles, and sizing may contribute to visual confusion, while certain copy and labeling could be revised to make the user experience more straightforward. Some screens lack back buttons, leading to dead ends and forcing users to restart the app.

An analysis of competing mobile banking platforms, combined with existing client feedback, has also revealed accessibility issues with app flows, particularly the verification process. Lastly, there were several recommended features that users expected to have access to, such as account hiding, ATM cash-out, virtual cards, fixed deposits, and loan application capabilities.

Design Principles.

The refreshed UI of the CIMB Mobile Banking app highlights ease of use and visual simplicity. 

To create a cohesive and user-centric app experience, Mäd helped CIMB establish a set of key design principles that emphasized simpler navigation, enhanced user flows, and a well-structured interface. A mobile-first approach was adopted to optimize the app for smartphone users, who represent the majority of CIMB's target market.

The user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) were designed to be seamless and responsive, creating a smooth and enjoyable banking experience. The app's visual elements were carefully blueprinted to provide clarity and ease-of-use, incorporating clean and modern aesthetics that channel CIMB’s brand identity.  

Clear and intuitive navigation, visually appealing elements, and streamlined processes within the app ensure that users can quickly and effortlessly perform transactions and access the desired banking services, contributing to a positive user experience that aligns with CIMB's commitment to excellence.

Crafting an eye-catching yet inclusive home screen was another tactic for CIMB to present users with a refreshing and engaging banking experience that sets it apart from competitors. By prioritizing a user-centric design approach and captivating visual elements, CIMB can differentiate itself in the market and leave a lasting impression on users.

These design guidelines served as the foundation for creating an app that resonates with users and delivers a superior banking experience.

Expected Impact.

The new CIMB Mobile Banking app is predicted to enhance customer satisfaction, increase app usage, and strengthen the bank’s competitive advantage within the region. 

Improved Customer Satisfaction.

The redesigned CIMB Mobile Banking app is poised to make a substantial impact on customer satisfaction. By prioritizing features such as integrated payment solutions, loan management and overview, and real-time transaction tracking, CIMB will be able to deliver a high-quality banking experience that exceeds user expectations. These enhancements will foster increased customer satisfaction, instilling loyalty and strengthening CIMB's position as a trusted regional bank.

Higher App Usage.

The revamped platform is projected to drive increased usage and engagement thanks to its fine-tuned features and convenience. With the ability to perform local and international transactions seamlessly, the bank’s main customer segment of affluent professionals will be encouraged to rely on the CIMB Mobile Banking app to accomplish all their banking needs. This increased app usage will lead to higher transaction volumes and a deeper level of engagement with the app's features and services.

Strategic and Competitive Advantage.

Aligning the CIMB Mobile Banking app with leading regional mobile banking apps will not only enhance CIMB's competitive position but also establish it as a trusted and innovative regional bank. The redesigned app's user-friendly design and enhanced functionality will contribute to CIMB’s position as a market leader, attracting new clients and reinforcing customer loyalty. By incorporating industry trends and best practices, CIMB ensures its presence at the forefront of digital banking.

CIMB has established its app as a user-friendly, intuitive platform that offers a variety of features to a diverse customer base.

Final Thoughts.

The strategic redesign of CIMB's mobile app marks a significant opportunity to elevate banking convenience and efficiency for clients not only in Cambodia but also across the ASEAN region.

Through a diligent focus on user demands and the integration of key design principles, our collaboration with CIMB has resulted in the design of a user-friendly and visually appealing banking app that streamlines local and international transactions, ultimately saving users time and money. With a well-executed implementation plan, CIMB expects significant impacts from the platform, including increased user engagement, improved customer satisfaction, and a reinforced competitive advantage within the regional banking industry.  

By embracing digital transformation and customer-centricity, CIMB is well-positioned to achieve sustainable growth and solidify its standing as a trusted regional bank in Cambodia and beyond. The successful culmination of this strategic redesign underscores CIMB's commitment to continuously innovate and cater to the evolving needs of their clientele, paving the way for a thriving future in the realm of digital banking.

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