When Scotiabank decided to build a new Scotia iTRADE app, the goal was to create an investing platform for everyone, one that balances a simple interface with a complex backend.

“Our purpose was always to build the best trading app for all users—from novice to expert,” said Helena Menager, Director, Product Design at Scotiabank. Menager has 13 years of experience in digital product design and leading digital technology teams.

“While the experienced investor may want to dig into research reports to understand the market, track their portfolio or place multiple option orders to buy or sell fast, the novice investor may need guidance through the basics of trading, from understanding the terminology and how the market works to building their investment portfolio.”

The team that built the new Scotia iTRADE app followed a human-centred approach to design. They listened to Canadian self-directed investors, business experts and engineers to identify and observe different needs, and then conceptualize and build the user ideal experience. The Bank’s internal trading club was another crucial part of the process; this group of diverse users with varying levels of expertise was the first to test and share feedback on the new features. The team also tested with external users of competitive apps throughout the process to determine expectations and areas for improvement.

“We were obsessed with accessibility as we updated the app,” Menager said. “The team has gone above and beyond to ensure we enable as many accessibility features as possible so all users can get the most out of the Scotia iTRADE app. By establishing the appropriate tabbing order, descriptive links, completely rethinking components and standard interactions on graphs and level 2 quotes, among other efforts to allow easy interaction, the app developers have built a product ready to support users of all abilities.”

Keeping cognitive load—the amount of information a person’s working memory can process at one time—top of mind has been vital to achieving a simple user experience and elegant interface. “Our customers need to place trades quickly and with confidence, so we simplified down to the necessary components and logic.” Functionalities such as a smooth and lightning-fast biometric login, equity and options trading, fund transfers between accounts, and key features like push notifications through email or SMS, among others, power an intuitive platform that anyone can use without any training.

“Throughout the entire app enhancement process, the team at Scotia iTRADE—in collaboration with our technology partners—worked tirelessly to create a seamless experience with Scotiabank’s mobile banking app and provide our clients with greater accessibility and stability,” said George Yu, Scotia iTRADE’s Director of Product Strategy. “We’re excited to unveil the newest generation of our popular App, and to let our valued clients know that there’s more to come on the horizon.”

Scotiabank’s enhanced iTRADE mobile app launched in beta in April to gain customer feedback and make improvements before fully launching today. In true ecosystem fashion, the mobile app leveraged many of the same technology components in use by the banking app and the Scotia Design System.


Want to know more about the new iTRADE mobile app? Click to read the press release.