A Human-Centred Approach to Banker's Guarantee Online Application

A digital banking experience that help SMEs focus on their core business instead of mundane administrative tasks




Designed 2015

Launched 2016


User Experience

Design Strategy

User Interface

UI Engineering

Responsive Design


Digitise DBS Bank Banker's Guarantee application, which requires over 100 pages of forms. 


An end-to-end design and fuss-free application process for DBS Bank SME customers.


A banker’s guarantee (BG) is a guarantee from a bank, on behalf of an SME, to fulfil payment or obligations of a contract to their BG beneficiary. BG can also be considered as a security deposit placed by the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) with the bank as a third party. When a transaction/contract is fulfilled or made in full, funds are released back to the firm and in the case of default, BG pays the BG beneficiary on their behalf. 

This process typically requires the SME representative to go down to the bank with the required documents to fill in the application, and then it takes a few days to process.

DBS Bank Ltd is a Singaporean bank, one of the largest banks in South East Asia with branches across 17 countries around the world and was named “Safest Bank in Asia” for six consecutive years. Providing not only commercial banking but also corporate banking for SMEs, DBS Bank approached us to help design an online portal for their Banker’s Guarantee application.


Final prototype design for Banker’s Gurantee Online Application

Design Strategy

The redesign started from an evaluation of the previous application process. The user’s pain point goes beyond uploading documents and searching for relevant information. There were systematic pain points like inputting details from their government authority ACRA (Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority) account. This cumbersome administrative process hinders SMEs to focus on their core business.


Breakdown of User 'Happy Path'

Using the gathered Insights, we came up with a three-pronged design strategy.

01     Simplifying Webforms

We want to minimise the pain of filling webforms by making it as simple and easy as possible. Using web form design principles, we made clear for the users the steps needed to be taken to fill in all the forms. To make the process less tedious, each step contained less than five form fields. Also the tone and context of the forms were made to communicate in a clear and consistent voice.

02     Mobile First Approach

New SME owners are digitally-savvy, and we understand that business is done on the go. We made the design mobile-friendly. On top of short and simple labels, we ensure that the form fields are responsive. We concentrate on fitting all the components of the webform into the mobile screen before moving on to the large screen formats.

03     Design With Intent

We designed the online application to be integrated with the user’s ACRA account where the details are pre-filled. Document uploading was made easier through uploading of their documents via a capture from their phone camera. This will help the users to focus on the task of completing the Banker’s Guarantee online application by setting clear expectations from the start and gradually engaging them. We indicated the steps needed to complete the process and show their progress status.


Wireframing process

Design Outcome

After applying the redesign and developing a prototype, we tested against four users to validate our hypothesis. There was unanimous positivity on our redesign where the participants were able to understand the prototype easily and had little difficulty doing it themselves. After further refinements, we were able to help DBS Bank create a simple and friendly Banker’s Guarantee online application to their customers.


Responsive design for Banker’s Gurantee Online Application

Customer Review

"We applied for a Banker's Guarantee with DBS online, and the process was simple, straightforward and fast. The DBS site provided clear information and the step-by-step walkthrough to provide information on the Banker's Guarantee process made it very easy. I submitted my BG application within 5 minutes!"

Qin En Looi, Co-Founder, Glints Singapore Pte Ltd

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