Colours, shapes and sounds can directly influence trust in online insurance and banking services, in particular colour hue and symmetry, according to a study on how visual aesthetics and sound influence consumer trust in relation to online financial services.
The research indicates that the look and feel of websites could influence consumer trust and use of online services.
This study on the relationship between trust and visual aesthetics, multisensory perception and the design of online space in the financial services industry was undertaken by the Asian Institute of Finance (AIF) in conjunction with the Imagineering Institute.
The study, with 1,995 respondents, first assessed how visual features and sound features influence trust in online banking and insurance services. Subsequently, the joint influence of visual and sound features in a multimodal context were tested. In these two multimodal or multisensory contexts, multiple websites providing banking and insurance services were created in blue, white, red, and yellow, as well as symmetrical and asymmetrical versions. These websites were used to randomly evaluate the influence of colour hue and website symmetry on trust, as well as the influence of ascending/descending sounds.
Key findings from the study include the following:
- Colours and shape features can influence trust in online banking and insurance services, in particular colour hues and shape symmetry.
- At both the unisensory and multisensory stage, dull colours are trusted more than bright colours. Blue and white seem to be trusted more than other colours, and in particular, red appears to be trusted less. Yellow hue is trusted more for insurance websites.
- For both banking and insurance services, symmetrical designs are trusted more than asymmetrical designs.
- In terms of soundscapes, customers seem to trust ascending tones more than descending, particularly for the insurance industry. Low pitch and low volume tones are also trusted more. However, at the multisensory stage, it was also found that customers trusted websites when no sound was present rather than with either an ascending or descending tone.
In general, the findings indicate similar responses between regional and international samples when it comes to digital trust. However, a closer analysis reveals that customer trust varies between countries in response to certain stimuli. For example, white is the most trusted colour for banking websites in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Philippines.
Customers also trusted blue designs more than red designs. On the other hand, customers from Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines trusted the yellow designs for insurance websites significantly more than any other colour. Customers from Singapore trusted white designs as much as yellow designs. Red designs are the least trusted in all countries. A