The patterning of finance/security: a designerly walkthrough of challenger banking apps

Dieter, Michael and Tkacz, Nathaniel. 2020. The patterning of finance/security: a designerly walkthrough of challenger banking apps. Computational Culture: A Journal of Software Studies(7), ISSN 2047-2390 [Article]

The Patterning of Finance_Security_ A Designerly Walkthrough of Challenger Banking Apps – Computational Culture.pdf - Published Version

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Abstract or Description

Culture is being ‘appified’. Diverse, pre-existing everyday activities are being redesigned so they happen with and through apps. While apps are often encountered as equivalent icons in apps stores or digital devices, the processes of appification – that is, the actions required to turn something into an app – vary significantly. In this article, we offer a comparative analysis of a number of ‘challenger’ banking apps in the United Kingdom. As a retail service, banking is highly regulated and banks must take steps to identify and verify their customers before entering a retail relationship. Once established, this ‘secured’ financial identity underpins a lot of everyday economic activity. Adopting the method of the walkthrough analysis, we study the specific ways these processes of identifying and verifying the identity of the customer (now the user) occur through user onboarding. We argue that banking apps provide a unique way of binding the user to an identity, one that combines the affordances of smart phones with the techniques, knowledge and patterns of user experience design. With the appification of banking, we see new processes of security folded into the everyday experience of apps. Our analysis shows how these binding identities are achieved through what we refer to as the patterning of finance/security. This patterning is significant, moreover, given its availability for wider circulation beyond the context of retail banking apps.

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies


20 January 2020Published

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Date Deposited:

26 Sep 2023 14:31

Last Modified:

26 Sep 2023 14:38

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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