Commonwealth Bank and Westpac were among the top 10 banks in Forrester’s 2017 Global Mobile Banking Functionality Survey.
The survey evaluated the retail mobile banking services of 53 large retail banks around the world.
While Westpac ranked first in 2106, this year, BBVA in Spain earned the top spot. CBA and Westpac were the only banks in the Asia Pacific region to with scores high enough to be included in the top 10.
Other banks that topped the list included Polish bank mBank, Canadian bank CIBC, USAA, Spanish bank CaixaBank and Bank of America.
The benchmark report evaluated banks on user experience, functionality and their ability to evolve their mobile banking features to meet changing customer expectations. A customer scenario around sending money to family members without knowing their bank account details and researching different interest rate accounts were also applied to each bank’s mobile banking apps. These scenarios reflect the range of activities customers have come to expect from mobile banking.
According to the report, BBVA has “leapfrogged its peers with unsurpassed functionality and good usability.”
“Over the past three years, the bank has made remarkable improvements to its mobile banking functionalities, moving from being a relative laggard in Europe in 2014 to become the top bank worldwide this year,” the Forrester report noted.
Poland’s mBank also stood out in areas of making enrolments easy and offering relevant and valuable products and services to customers.
US direct bank USAA also stood out with its “impressive money management tools” and mobile customer service features. Similarly, CBA and Westpac also stood out in terms of offering an “impressive range” of transactional features, functionality and mobile cross-selling.
The report, however, found that few banks provide great usability.
The halo effect
CIBC earned the best usability score worldwide, providing clear menu terms and an appwide search tool to help customers navigate the mobile banking experience. The report found that CBA, along with mBank, Lloyds Bank and UK’s Nationwide Building Society also had strong usability, helping customers achieve their goals with clear and minimal steps.
“However, many of the banks we reviewed make it unnecessarily difficult for customers to complete basic tasks. Many banks don’t help customers to find what they are looking for, make them go through unnecessary steps, and don’t help them avoid or recover from errors,” the report said.
According to data from RFi Group’s net-promoter score and mobile satisfaction data, CBA was the leader among the major banks followed by National Australia Bank, Westpac and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group. ING Direct, however was rated the top app.
“Verbatim customer responses suggest the CBA app rates highly due to features, while the ING app is far more simplistic, but resonates with customers due to ease of use and visual appeal,” RFi Group research director Amit Khan said.
“From this we can infer that perhaps customer ratings of mobile apps are partly dictated by their expectations, and the same standards don’t apply across banks,” he said.
“As a caveat, there is also the halo effect of brands such as ING to consider, with strong perceptions of the brand itself flowing through to mobile app ratings.”
The top 10 banks in the 2017 Forrester Global Mobile Banking Functionality Benchmark were:
USAA (United States)
Bank of America (United States)
Bank Zachodni WBK (Poland)