Top 5 Worldwide Mobile Banking Apps

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20 Top Mobile Banking Apps

By Jim Marous, Editor, Retail Banking Strategies

Over the past year, banks and credit unions have focused their efforts on trying to keep up with the demands of the highly mobile digital consumer, who wants access to their accounts 24/7 and the ability to perform more and more sophisticated transactions on a smartphone or tablet with one or two taps of a finger. The result has been a plethora of exciting innovations and enhancements to the way consumers bank with their mobile device.

Using examples culled from Mapa Research, who conducts ongoing quantitative and qualitative analysis of dozens of the most innovative financial institutions worldwide, The Financial Brand has compiled some of the best examples of great mobile banking apps and functionality. While some of the functions are provided by multiple banks, we show only one institution as an example. Each example illustrates the importance of the three pillars of any successful mobile app:

  • Simplicity: The ability to remove steps or make a current process easier to perform
  • Engagement: The ability to encourage greater user involvement that will increase loyalty
  • Contextuality: The ability to leverage user insight to improve the functionality of an app

In fact, many of the comments made by the dozens of participants in the discussion revolved around simplicity of design, the removal of friction and the ability to improve the customer experience.

  • Consumers expectations around mobile banking are higher than ever as use of mobile banking increases at the expense of desktop banking.
  • 100% of the banks surveyed support both iPhone and Android devices, with 60% supporting Windows and fewer financial institutions investing in Blackberry support.
  • 24% of banks surveyed allow balances to be viewed before login, 29% allow mobile blocking of a credit or debit card, and 68% allow the viewing of future transactions post login.
  • 72% of banks allow a user to save their ID on the mobile app while only 26% require mobile specific login details.
  • While the vast majority of banks integrate savings, overdraft and credit cards within the mobile banking app, far fewer include loans or investments.
  • 91% of banks allow consumers to make payments to an existing payee, roughly half allow the payment to a new payee or mobile phone number, while only 14% allow payment to an email address and 2% using social media.
  • Sales and marketing as well as the ability to buy products within the mobile banking app is available at fewer than 30% of the banks monitored.
  • Secure messaging is available at 30% of the organizations, with live chat only provided by 7% of the institutions.

Overall, the Mapa Research report found that while many innovations have been introduced in the past 12 months, other mobile banking functionalities that were once considered ‘new’ are now simply table stakes in the competition to improve the consumer experience.

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Enhanced Mobile Banking Engagement

From account opening to the login and home screen, financial institutions are working on new ways to create a simple and engaging first step for the mobile banking customer. As more institutions are providing easy ways to leverage the camera within a smartphone to facilitate account opening, others are providing more functionality prior to login (such as viewing balances) and are redesigning their home pages to generate greater engagement using icons, personalization options and visuals.

GoBank pre-login balance inquiry

Societe Generale visual balance and icon login

Barclays mobile app with personalization option

BNP Paribas allows customers to have multiple mobile users on one device

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USAA provides members hands-free voice command capability

LaCaixa has moved to icon-based login screen

Improved Mobile Banking Payment Functionality

One of the key drivers of increased usage of mobile banking apps is the ability for customers to do more within the app. Greater self-servicing capability, payment functionality and account integration are all moving from the desktop to the mobile device. As functionality increases, so does the challenge of maintaining a good user experience as the mobile applications begin to feel busy. In the past year, banks seem to have focused primarily on adding functionality, but future spoils will go to those who are able to combine increased functionality with an improved user experience through better navigation and design.

Moven provides instant digital receipts

Kaching provides several one-touch payment options

Barclays provides integrated borrowing calculator within mobile app

Bank of America provides mobile billpay payee additions

ICA Banken allows customers to select regions where cards can be used

Expanded Mobile-First Capabilities

Using the GPS and photo capabilities inherent within a smartphone, many banks are now providing unique capabilities that enhance the customer experience and provide potential revenue opportunities for financial institutions. These are apps that many believe are the future of mobile banking because of the ease of use and digital value provided. A small number of banks have been introducing digital storage where consumers can store important information, usually pertaining to accounts held at the bank, but sometimes expanding to insurance documents, etc. Barclays is one of the first provider to introduce Cloud Storage. The usefulness and logistics of digital storage is still being evaluated by many banks and credit unions.

Bank AmeriDeals can leverage location to pinpoint reward offers

Augmented reality is used for new home finder app at Halifax in the UK

Barclays provides a digital lockbox for important documents

Customers of Natwest can make cardless withdrawals at ATMs

Improved Sales and Service

Despite all of the improvements to mobile banking over the past couple of years, mobile sales and service has lagged. This is the key to a true omnichannel experience, however, as financial institutions hope to migrate more costly transactions from the branch or call center to more of a self-service mode. Calculators and comparison tools have been introduced in the past 9 months, but sales and monetization in the app are still not common. It is believed that part of the reason for lack sales integration is related to the challenge of selling within a limited space and at the same time not being too intrusive or disturbing to the consumer. One functionality with great growth potential is allowing the consumer greater access to customer support from the secure site either via live chat or a secure click to call. At this point, most mobile customer service is done through text messaging.

USAA is one of only a few banks that integrate sales messages within the mobile app

Lloyds provides product comparison charts within mobile app

Wells Fargo allows customers to set appointments using their mobile device

ASB has developed a virtual branch to field inquiries from customers

About The Report

The 80-page Mapa Research report entitled, ‘Mobile Banking Series: State of the Market 2020,’ provides an extremely in-depth analysis of mobile banking trends and innovations worldwide. 48 banks were researched in depth, providing the basis for the data presented throughout the report. In addition, other banks and financial service providers were used to provide additional insights in this report.

Jim Marous is co-publisher of The Financial Brand, host of the Banking Transformed podcast and owner/CEO of the Digital Banking Report, a subscription-based publication that provides deep insights into the digitization of banking, with over 200 reports in the digital archive available to subscribers. You can follow Jim on Twitter and LinkedIn, or visit his professional website.

This article was originally published on June 2, 2020 . All content © 2020 by The Financial Brand and may not be reproduced by any means without permission.

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Best Banking Apps

Laura Hipshire
Contributor, Benzinga

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Do you do all your banking the old-fashioned way — at the bank? Sure, you can stand in line every time you need to deposit a check, but there’s an easier way. Why not use a banking app and carry your banking information on your device 24/7? We’ve done the heavy lifting for you, so check out our research on the best banking apps and all the best features for each one.

Quick Look: Best Banking Apps

  • Best Overall: Bank of America
  • Credit Karma
  • MoneyLion
  • Chime
  • Capital One
  • Chase Bank
  • Wells Fargo
  • PNC
  • Discover
  • Ally Bank

Why Use a Banking App?

The thought of downloading one more app may sound daunting, but think of the advantages a banking app can offer — they’re great for tracking deposits, bill payments and checks. Here are some reasons they’re a great idea, just in case you’re on the fence.

Convenience

Chances are, you’re already signed up for online banking — even if you don’t have a banking app yet. Using an app means you won’t have to go through the extra steps of logging into your computer and accessing your online banking account. You can simply tap the app, and if your login information is saved, you’ll be automatically logged in. If you need to transfer funds from one bank account to another, a banking app makes that transaction easy.

Using a bank app will save you time, especially with bill pay options at your fingertips. Imagine paying your home insurance bill in just a few seconds.

You won’t have to drop a check in the mail and mail it 5 to 7 days ahead of time. If your car payment is due on the 15th of the month, you can pay it on the 14th or 15th instantly and know that your payment won’t be late.

Secure

Banking institutions are federally insured, so all banking products, including banking apps, are as well. This means you shouldn’t have any worries about identity theft or other security issues. If a security breach occurs or your account is compromised, you’ll be reimbursed after notifying your bank, filling out forms and providing appropriate support documentation.

Watch out for fake mobile banking apps that mimic major apps. Here are a few ways to be sure you’re downloading the real thing:

  • Use trusted sources like Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store.
  • If you’re unsure or something doesn’t look right about the app’s site, call the customer service number and ask questions.
  • Use two-factor authentication if it’s available and be sure to install strong virus protection to guard against malware.

Most banks don’t charge a fee for mobile apps, so if there’s no extra cost, why not give it a try? If you don’t like it, you can always remove the app from your smartphone or another mobile device.

More People Are Using Banking Apps

In general, most people conduct a good portion of their banking using a mobile device. The Federal Reserve Board indicated in a study that 82% of mobile bank users have installed a banking app on their phones for a variety of reasons:

  • Convenience
  • Bank started offering the service
  • Comfortable with the security of mobile banking
  • No bank or ATM near home or work
  • Want to receive fraud alerts or check accounts for fraudulent transactions

How Banking Apps Work

It’s easy to download a mobile banking app. Simply go to the Google Play Store or visit your bank’s website and search for a link to download the app. Once downloaded, you can easily set up your username and password.

After it’s downloaded, you’ll be able to access your banking info by tapping the app icon and logging in. In most cases, you should be able to save your login information so you can log in with just one tap.

Once you’re logged in, you can select different functions from the menu such as “Check your Balance,” “Pay Someone,” “Pay a Bill,” “Download a Statement,” “Transfer Money” and much more.

Features of the Best Banking Apps

In addition to traditional features, many banks add on extras to stay competitive and keep your business.

Personal Financial Assistants

You’ll get a voice-activated virtual financial assistant through many banking apps which can offer support 24/7 and get your questions answered at any time. You can lock and unlock your debit card, send money to your friends, schedule bill payments, find past transactions and more through the personal financial assistant feature.

For example, let’s say you’re using Bank of America’s Erica. You can give voice commands, such as, “Erica, lock my debit card,” or “Erica, how much did I spend at Target on Friday?”

Deposit Checks

Many banks offer virtual check deposits, which saves you a trip to the bank. You simply take a photo of both sides of your check with your smartphone, upload it via your bank app and it’s deposited virtually.

Facial Recognition and Fingerprint ID

Some banks now offer facial recognition and fingerprint ID features, adding a higher layer of security for consumers. Looking into your phone’s camera is the only way you’ll gain access to your banking information. You can also use fingerprint ID by holding your finger onto a button on the app.

Our Top Picks

We’ve reviewed dozens of mobile banking apps and have analyzed user reviews, features and ratings and have chosen the best of the best.

Best Overall: Bank of America

In 2020, Bank of America’s mobile app was recognized by J.D. Power as an exceptional mobile app. Bank of America’s mobile app ranks high in customer satisfaction and passed an extensive evaluation of 250 mobile app practices, such as messaging and notifications, channel management, quality, user interface and digital processes.

Bank of America’s app is colorful and user-friendly. Once you download it, you’ll see easy-to-read headings such as Accounts, Deals, Alerts and Locations. Just a few clicks give you the information you need to accurately track your finances.

Erica, your own personal financial assistant, is an industry-standard and offers the best personal financial assistance of any of the bank apps we’ve reviewed. Bank of America also allows you to pay using a digital wallet and use a fingerprint sign-in.

MoneyLion

MoneyLion is America’s Best Digital Bank according to Finovate, and the easy-to-use app received a 4.7/5 Apple Store rating.

MoneyLion’s app offers digital banking, credit builder loans, interest-free cash advances, and managed-investing. There are no account minimums, no credit checks, and no hidden fees.

The MoneyLion app also has a financial fitness tracker called the Financial Heartbeat that helps you monitor your spending and save money.

This app is available both in the iOS app store and the Google Play store with the ability to download for free. After you have the app, you have the ability to unlock a suite of personal finance tools that can help set you up for success.

MoneyLion, a free online banking app, provides much more than just that. They have a network of over 55,000 ATMs, budget tracking tools, and even rewards or cashback offers for Credit Builder Plus members.

Chime

Chime is an online bank that offers checking accounts and savings plans and its mobile app garnered more than 15,000 5-star Apple Store reviews. Chime’s banking app features a lime-and-white-colored screen with easy-to-see icons for accounts you’re connected to as well as icons for recent transactions such as direct deposits and withdrawals.

You can get your paycheck 2 days early with direct deposit, there are no overdraft fees and you’ll also get real-time notifications for every banking transaction.

Capital One

Capital One’s credit card and banking app is worth considering, as it was ranked #1 in Customer Satisfaction by J.D. Power for 2020 and 2020. Once downloaded, Capital One’s mobile banking app features categories such as Banking, Find a Branch or ATM and Contact Us.

You’ll be able to pay people or receive money instantly through Zelle, a feature that connects you with family members, colleagues and friends. You simply click on “Pay or Transfer,” then select the payee from a list you’ve created within your banking app. Zelle will confirm when your recipient receives your money, or when you’ve received payment in your bank account.

Capital One’s banking app easily tracks your spending and you can earn cash back rewards with every purchase.

Chase Bank

Chase’s mobile banking app appeared in 2020, so the company has had almost 10 years to fine-tune it.

Out of 1,472,959 reviews on the Google Play Store, the app’s average rating is 4.5 stars.

Chase’s app is easy to navigate and will sign you out if you’ve been inactive for more than a few minutes, which adds another layer of security to its features.

Other cool features involve one-touch sign-in, bill-pay with just a few taps and a feature called CreditWise, which allows you to monitor your credit score.

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo’s mobile banking app was named a 2020 Mobile Banking Award winner by Javelin Strategy and Research, an independent financial research firm.

The study ranked apps based on money movement, ease of use, security empowerment, financial fitness, customer service and account opening. Wells Fargo’s app is easy to read because it features big, bold words at the top of your screen for each function.

When you click on a “Control Tower” button, you can view recurring payments and manage account access easily. You’ll also get bill pay technology as well as facial and voice recognition authentication.

PNC’s mobile banking app received a 4.8/5 Apple Store rating and has been named the best mobile banking app by several independent organizations.

PNC’s online Virtual Wallet is an online tool that gives you access to 3 accounts: Spend (checking), Reserve (short term savings) and Growth (savings).

It’s an app within the app and even includes a bill pay calendar so you can easily plan and schedule bills you pay each month. You can split PNC credit card transactions with Zelle.

Discover

According to Consumer Affairs, Discover’s credit card app received top honors in a J.D. Power & Associates survey.

You can also check your credit score with Quick View and Freeze It SM allows you to freeze your accounts if you misplace your card.

If you’re constantly busy (who isn’t?), you can do on-the-go bill payments with just one tap.

Ally Bank

Ally Bank is the best online bank in America, according to a study by FindABetterBank.com.

Ally’s mobile app outperformed competitors and its customer service is outstanding, according to the study.

Ally Assist, Ally’s virtual assistant, can help you monitor spending patterns and save money.

Your banking is compatible with Apple and Android watches and it’s also easy to manage multiple accounts.

You Deserve the Best Mobile Banking App

You have different financial needs and lifestyles than your best friend or next-door neighbor, so you’ll need to pick the app that works best for you. If the idea of a virtual financial assistant sounds appealing, Bank of America or Ally may be good choices. Do you frequently make payments using Zelle? You’ll want to choose an app that uses it, such as Chase Bank.

Of course, using any app or online tool has its risks, so you need to make sure you use more than one layer of security in order to ensure the highest protection possible. Create a unique, hard-to-guess username and password and add security questions that only you’ll be able to answer.

Interested in learning more about banking? Check out Benzinga’s guides to on how to switch banks, how to open a bank account and the best checking accounts.

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