Credit Card Application
Type of Work:
UX Design | Research | Visual Design
Costco customers need a way to apply for the Capital One Costco Credit Card right in the store. Warehouses are provided with tablets that offer the application, but how do we make it truly mobile-first and user-friendly experience.
Create a truly mobile-first credit card application experience for Costco warehouses.
Costco's in warehouse application was migrating from an old system to a new one. This posed for the perfect opportunity to take a look at the old experience and figure out what could be changed to improve both the Costco member and employees' time during the application process.
Costco Warehouse Visits and Employee Interviews
How do customers and employees at Costco feel about the current experience?
Last year our team headed out to two Costco warehouses to investigate the current in store application process. We wanted to discover problems that could be addressed during the migration from PONG (the old system) to Dynamic App (the new system).
We met with Costco employees to chat about the current process and our visit uncovered multiple problems.
So what were the main problem areas we wanted to focus on?
Email Capture Rate
Tablet Hand Off
The warehouse email capture rate in the Costco Warehouse is much lower than our online email capture.
There is too much tablet handoff between the Costco employee and the customer.
Costco employees are accidentally accepting disclosures for the customer - which is a legal issue.
Customers were missing the call-in number when their application was pending a credit check.
The PONG design is generally not tablet friendly and could have a lot of upgrades to the experience
Next was to review the old flow and pinpoint what changes should be made to solve some of the problems customers were experiencing. We took time to walk through it and adjust what was needed. Here are some of the solutions that were hypothesized to solve the 5 key problems.
Email Capture Rate
The email field on PONG was hidden within a bunch of pre-filled fields. We hypothesized that users were often missing that it was incomplete. Also due to the fact it had to legally be optional, we couldn't error users if they forgot to fill it in.
We hypothesized by moving the fields that were not pre-filled to another page and start that page with collecting email address - we would be able to capture more customer emails.
Tablet Hand Off
Customers and employees didn't like having to flip the tablet back and forth - so one aim of the redesign was to rearrange the pages to minimize tablet handoff. We were able to get alignment from our legal team to do Identity verification before disclosure acceptance. This small change reduced the tablet handoff by one, which was a big deal.
Disclosure acceptance issues ended up being one of the riskiest flaws
of the old application design. Because the old flow put disclosures
first, Costco employees were sometimes accepting them without the
customer's knowledge to get to the identity verification page.
Rearranging the flow solved that problem, but we still wanted to make it
very obvious to the Costco employee that this wasn't something they
should be doing.
Costco implied this design should be harsh and obvious to the employee.
So we added it in on the transition page in red letters.
The final small change we made was creating a new "Pending Page" that
properly showed what customers needed to do when they got hit with a
Due to the time constraints of this project we weren't able to bring it through user labs. We decided to do some minor hallway testing and then do a test in the market - with fast fixes if certain things weren't working.
Warehouse Test Day and Results
How did the first few applications go - and how did the new design fair?
We headed to Costco to test out the new design and see if someone could get through it successfully and become a new Costco cardholder. So what were the results?
Email Capture Rate Improvement:
Email capture rate in warehouse improved from 65%
to 92% with the new design. Customers were providing
their email addresses to us at a much higher rate!
"The feedback that I heard while training and in the warehouse after the launch has been very positive - they repeatedly said it looks clearer, is easier to follow and they liked that it reduced the back and forth process."
- Costco Manager
Employment Section Issues
We discovered the employment section wasn't overly tablet friendly. It took customers quite a while to scroll through all the options so we decided to open it to free form text shortly after to solve the problem.
Due to the fast deadline, the development team needed to scrap the editable summary idea for iteration one. We found out this was a major issue in the warehouse and decided to add it as a fast follow to get done directly afterwards.
Second Iteration and Web Application
Now that we had hit our deadline, it was time to go back and start adding in things that needed to be cut for the first iteration. The first project was to create an editable summary, so customers could edit their information right from the summary page.
Finally, we added a web version of the application, so customers didn't have to go all the way to Costco to apply for a credit card if they wanted to.