Now that most banks have caught on to mobile banking, tech-savvy
consumers should be happy to bank virtually anywhere, right? Wrong,
says a new report that analyzes how customers feel about their
bank's mobile applications.
Xtreme Labs, a mobile strategy and product development company,
ranked apps from 53 banks by reviewing user feedback left in the
Apple App Store and Google Play Store. The report also examined
which platform provides the most accommodating mobile environment
for banking apps: Apple's iOS or Google's Android.
Banks with the best mobile apps
The best apps had at least three stars, a more than a 60 percent
favorable rating and at least 25 user reviews in either the Apple
or Google stores. According to the report, the following are the
top three banking apps for Apple devices:
Citizens Bank Mobile Banking
: 4.5 stars and a 93 percent favorable rating
Charter One Mobile Banking
: 4 stars and a 91 percent favorable rating
: 4 stars and an 83 percent favorable rating
Meanwhile, the following banking apps were the top rated for
: 4.6 stars and 95 percent favorable rating
Citizens Bank Mobile Banking
: 4.5 stars and a 97 percent favorable rating
: 4.4 stars and a 91 percent favorable rating
At the bottom of the rankings, People's United Bank Mobile
Banking for iPad and PNC Mobile Banking tied as the lowest-rated
iOS app. Both earned only 2 stars and had a 79 percent negative
rating. For Android devices, M&T Mobile ranked lowest with 2.3
stars and a 63 percent negative rating.
Apple vs. Android
Techies have long debated whether the Apple or Android mobile
app platform is superior when it comes to functionality and user
experience. But as far as mobile banking goes, the Xtreme Labs
report indicates that Android is the winner.
Xtreme Labs says that when all versions of the iOS banking apps
were considered, the average rating was 3.3 stars, half a star
behind the average Android app rating of 3.8 stars.
Better bank apps may mean more business
Given the growing popularity of mobile banking today, the Xtreme
Labs report may also offer a window into which banks have an edge
for attracting new business.
"A poor mobile banking experience can be the single factor for a
bank to lose a customer, "said Mike Stern, director of business
development at Xtreme Labs, in a written statement. "The
trailblazers in the banking industry are truly differentiating
themselves by delivering the mobile experience their customers are
literally asking for -- it's really that simple."
Overall, Xtreme Labs notes the highest-ranked banking apps have
comprehensive features and are easy to use. Those that scored low
were often criticized for bugs, poor design, no deposit function
and low deposit limits.
For banks that wish to retain their customers, the differences
between the best and worst banking apps may be worth noting: The
report notes that one in six customers who switch banks cite a
poor mobile experience
as their motivation to take their accounts elsewhere.