The Importance of UX: What We Can Learn from Citibank’s $500M Mistake

Neel Dattani
by Neel Dattani LinkedIn
Feb 25, 2021 10:00:00 AM

Late last week, Citibank made headlines when, rather than sending $7.8M in interest payments on the behalf of their client (cosmetics giant Revlon), Citibank accidentally sent $900M to creditors.

So, what happened?

Because Revlon was in the process of refinancing debt, and because of the confusing UI of financial software Flexcube, a subcontractor thought that checking the “principal” checkbox in the Flexcube system and entering the number of a Citibank wash account would ensure that the principal payment would stay at Citibank.

However, in Flexcube, to prevent payment of the principal, this subcontractor actually needed to set the "front" and "fund" fields to the wash account as well as "principal." Upon realizing the error, Citibank contacted creditors to attempt to get the money back. Unfortunately, many creditors refused to return the money, leaving Cititbank out the remaining $500 million. 

Why Citibank’s mistake is a lesson in the importance of good UX

You may already know the risk of outdated technology to your performance-minded business- it has reputational costs, leads to operational inefficiencies, and can significantly cut into your bottom line. 

But what might be a less obvious hindrance to your bottom line is outdated UX.

The confusing and outdated UX in the Flexcube system ended up costing Citibank millions. And while for most businesses the cost of legacy UX in their tech does not appear quite so dramatic, outdated tech often slowly chips away at revenue. This results in more significant losses over time, particularly when unintuitive UX in your tech stack forces your team to develop manual workarounds to get the job done

Ordway combines intuitive UX with the power of automation to increase ROI

At Ordway, we are on a mission to help businesses automate their order-to-revenue flow in order to increase efficiencies and reconnect their time to revenue-building activities. At the heart of our approach is a desire to give power to the end user, by allowing them to create custom fields and configure our platform to match their unique business model.

We've seen firsthand the difference good UX makes in the user experience. For example, our customers rely on features like the graphical representations of billing and revenue schedules in subscription contracts, or custom report dashboards that can easily be adjusted to fit their individual business’ use case. 

Ordway Reverse Credit screen

Intuitive UX in the Ordway platform helps reduce potential errors in customer workflows.

The flexible, turnkey approach we take with our technology translates into this end user experience.  No one knows your business better than you. That's why we offer the customization and flexibility that puts our customers in control of their own data. The less they have to worry about workarounds, spreadsheets, and other manual processes, the more they can focus on what matters most- building their business. 

“Each month, [there] was a ton of work and calculation that needed to be done. We decided we needed a more developed revenue management tool. What kept bringing us back to Ordway was the fact that it was customizable and it was super powerful.” -Jeff Woglom, VP Finance at OpenFin

Get the expert take on the cost of legacy technology

Explore the Ordway platform firsthand by scheduling a demo with our team. And be sure to check out our upcoming three-part webinar series on designing, building, and operating a future-proof finance stack- we’d love to see you there. 

Topics: SaaS, operations, performance economy, churn, UX


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