Tag: Mobile Banking

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Reviews

The 2017 MagnifyMoney Mobile Bank App Ratings

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

It’s difficult to remember how frustrating mobile banking was for users just five years ago. Some mobile banking apps would struggle to find the nearest ATM. Depositing checks by capturing an image was considered cutting edge. It was even quite possible your bank didn’t have a smartphone app.Fast forward to today. Now, alerts from banking apps are a feature we take for granted. Most apps, if the bank offers a credit card account, will show you your current credit score. Some banks are even allowing you to make ATM withdrawals through the app, without a bank card.

The data in MagnifyMoney’s 2017 mobile banking ratings indicates that, as a class, banking apps have matured. Overall, apps haven’t appreciably improved, with users on the Apple App Store and Google Play rating banking apps an average of 3.7 stars (out of 5), as they did in 2016. But this year, none of the mobile banking apps can be considered especially awful anymore.

How we reviewed the apps

Summary of key findings:

  • Best Overall App: Discover with a score of 4.8, up from 4.2 in 2016.
  • Best Apps Among the 10 Largest Banks: Chase and Capital One both scored 4.6.
  • Worst App Among the 10 Largest Banks: BB&T with a score of 3.0, improving from 2.8 in 2016.
  • Best Apps Among the 10 Largest Credit Unions: SchoolsFirst, PenFed, Alliant, BECU and America First all scored 4.3, well above the average of 3.7 for all credit union apps.
  • Worst App Among the 10 Largest Credit Unions: Star One with a score of 3.2, down from 3.3 in 2016.
  • Best Online Direct Bank App: Discover Bank with a score of 4.8, up from 4.2 in 2016.
  • Worst Online Direct Bank App: Ally Bank, with a score of 3.4, improving from 3.1 in 2016.
  • Overall Most Improved App: First Tech Federal Credit Union, with a score increase of 122% year over year, from 1.9 to 4.2.
  • Most Improved Traditional Bank: Umpqua Bank, with a 30% ratings increase year over year, from 2.3 to 2.9.
  • Overall Most Deteriorated App: First Tennessee, whose score dropped 40%, from 3.5 to 2.1 year over year.

Overall Best and Worst Bank Apps

Discover tops them all

Discover has managed to keep the more than 1 million people who have used its mobile app relatively content. Part of its success may lie in serving more credit card-only users than mobile apps from other large banks, which tend to have customers primarily using mobile apps for more traditional checking and savings accounts. Nonetheless, its score of 4.8 is the highest of any institution in our rankings this year.

Sample Discover feedback from Android app users:

Excellent mobile app with TU FicoScore 8 to know your creditworthiness. Also, allow the manage of authorized user to freeze their credit cards awesome feature. The only secured credit card with rewards. Overall perfect, Thanks Discover. – December 3, 2017

Does pretty much everything you could ever need. Slick UI. Reliable. The only thing I’d change which is minor is being able to manage my bank and my card in the same tab. – November 18, 2017

Screenshots via Google Play

Credit unions still among those highly rated, but traditional banks are catching up

Last year, credit unions monopolized the highest rated app list, when all but one name was a credit union. But this year, credit unions share the stage with two traditional banks and an online direct bank. Capital One and BBVA Compass were also ranked highly by app users this year, each garnering a 4.6 overall rating by mobile app users.

Sample Capital One feedback from iOS app users:

App is super simple and fast. Doesn’t crash. Quick two-factor security. All normal features promised and delivered like auto-pay, one click to see my credit score, simple rewards features, etc. – November 2017

Screenshots via Google Play

Sample BBVA Compass feedback from Android app users:

Love this app. Makes it so easy to do banking without the hassle of going to the ?!!! I can do everything right from my phone. With the new updates it’s gotten even better!!! – November 7, 2017

Screenshots via Google Play

10 Best and Worst Bank Apps

(Among the 10 largest banks and credit unions)

Bigger is getting better

Apart from laggard BB&T, the apps of the 10 largest banks were rated better than average by users, which is quite a feat when you consider that many of these apps, like Wells Fargo Mobile and Citi Mobile, not only offer savings, checking and credit card accounts, but also more complicated products like brokerage accounts and holistic personal finance management programs similar to websites like Mint.com.

Sample Chase feedback from iOS app users:

I use this app every day. It’s pretty simply laid out, intuitive. It combines my multiple personal accounts and business accounts in one app. – August 5, 2017

Online banking still a mixed bag

Among the 10 online direct apps we found more dispersion in app user satisfaction. While Discover tops the list with a weighted overall rating of 4.8, four of the banks had apps with a rating of less than 4. Still, nearly all the apps in this category saw a modest improvement in user satisfaction versus last year.

Credit unions hold steady

Credit union customers (shareholders, in Credit Union’s language) tend to be happier than those who use traditional banks, and that trend continues for mobile apps.

5 of the 10 largest credit unions have the same overall score of 4.3, which is unsurprising as the interface of many credit union apps are from the same software developer.

Methodology

App ratings were recorded the week of Nov. 15, 2017 in the Google Play and Apple App Stores, and include ratings for all app versions. Overall ratings are a weighted average, rounded to the nearest tenth, of iOS and Android ratings based on the number of reviews for each platform. Institutions with no mobile apps were excluded from ranking summaries.

The 50 largest banks, defined as those with the largest deposits per FDIC data June 2017, were examined. Those not offering consumer checking accounts were excluded. The 50 largest credit unions by assets according to the CUNA in September 2017 were examined. For online direct banks, and 10 of the largest online direct banks were chosen by number of app ratings.

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Banking Apps

The Best and Worst Mobile Bank Apps of 2016: 100+ Banks & Credit Unions Ranked

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

The Best and Worst Mobile Bank Apps of 2016

 

As big banks shed brick-and-mortar branches left and right, it’s never been more important for financial services to reach consumers where they are: their smartphones. In the past five years alone, adoption of mobile banking more than doubled, while the number of people banking on tablets increased more than eightfold, according to recent findings from Javelin.

That being said, mobile banking technology is still relatively new. And when it comes to creating a digital banking experience that is as simple as a quick trip to the local bank branch, some banks are certainly doing better than others.

In its third annual Mobile Banking App Study, MagnifyMoney compiled the ratings of iOS and Android banking apps from over 100 of the biggest banks and credit unions, including the 50 largest banks and 50 largest credit unions along with a selection of top online direct banks.

The data, collected from iTunes and Google Play the week of November 30, 2016, was used to create a composite 1 to 5 rating, factoring a weighted average of the ratings from both the iOS and Android platforms. We ranked each app based on its rating score. This year’s results include comparisons to our 2015 results to see which banks and credit union apps have most improved and deteriorated.

Summary of key findings:

  • Best Overall App: Eastman Credit Union with a score of 4.8, up from 4.7 in 2015.
  • Best App Among the 10 Largest Banks: Chase with a score of 4.5, up from 4.2 in 2015.
  • Worst App Among the 10 Largest Banks: BB&T with a score of 2.8, down from 3.8 in 2015.
  • Best App Among the 10 Largest Credit Unions: PenFed with a score of 4.3, down from 4.4 in 2015.
  • Worst App Among the 10 Largest Credit Unions: First Tech Federal Credit Union with a score of 1.9, down from 3.3 in 2015.
  • Best Online Direct Bank App: First Internet Bank with a score of 4.5, unchanged from 2015.
  • Worst Online Direct Bank App: EverBank, with a score of 2.7, down from 3.0 in 2015.
  • Overall Most Improved App: BECU, whose score rose 58% year over year, from 2.5 to 3.9.
  • Most Improved Traditional Bank: Citibank, with a 19% ratings increase year over year, from 3.2 to 3.8.
  • Overall Most Deteriorated App: VyStar Credit Union, whose score dropped 57%, from 4.7 to 2.0 year over year.

You can read more about the findings in the charts below:

10 Overall Best and Worst Bank Apps

(Across all banks and credit unions reviewed)

2016mobileappratingsgraphic-best

10 Best and Worst Bank Apps

(Among the 10 largest banks and credit unions)

mobileappratingsgraphic-1-v3

Credit unions dominate the ratings for the third year running

Credit unions nearly swept the top 10 rankings for all apps this year, taking 9 of the top 10 spots. That’s an even better showing than last year, when credit unions nabbed 8 out of the top 10 spots. A 2% ratings improvement was just enough to give Eastman Credit Union the edge this year, securing the no. 1 spot for 2016. It’s a familiar position. Eastman was caught in a five-way tie for first place in 2015. The bank’s most recent update in September added Apple Watch compatibility to its list of features. This year, four banks tied for second place with a score of 4.7 — ESL Credit Union, Redstone Federal Credit Union, SEFCU, and Wright-Patt Credit Union.

Still, credit unions aren’t all bulletproof. Four out of the top 10 most deteriorated apps in 2016 were from credit unions. VyStar Credit Union was the least improved of all, stinging from a 57% ratings decline year over year, from 4.7 to 2.0.

Sample customer feedback from credit union iOS app reviews:

Eastman Credit Union: “Love the convenience of the app! Mobile check deposits are great and being able to check account balances & transfer money between them on the go is amazing.”

ESL Credit Union: “I check my account quickly with the fingerprint scanner. I love the ability to look at checks that have been written and current balances. The ability to mobile deposit [sic] checks is great for me because I never get to the bank to cash them.”

Redstone Credit Union: “It just keeps getting better and better! I have other bank apps and they don’t even come close to how good this app is!”

SEFCU: “Transferring funds, depositing checks, checking balances is straightforward and the app is sleek.”

Wright-Patt Credit Union: “The WPCU app has improved immensely since I first downloaded it.”

Big Banks Coast into 2016; Citibank is the Most Improved Big Bank for 2016

The average rating for all large banks remained unchanged year over year at 3.7. Android users, however, remain happier with their big bank apps than iOS users. Average Android ratings were 3.8 vs. 2.9 for iOS.

Citibank’s average rating improved by 19% in 2016, increasing from 3.2 to 3.8 year over year. The app’s most recent iOS update boasted improvements for brokerage account holders, offering up-to-date market data and allowing them to buy and sell stocks and mutual funds directly from the app.

Bells and whistles like these matter greatly, but overall app functionality and ease of use should come are crucial to banks’ ability to win over customers. “People want speed, ease and convenience so they can get in, get the task done and get on with their lives,” says Steve Shaw, director of digital bank marketing for financial services technology firm Fiserv.

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Samples of Citi user feedback from iOS users:

“They have really made a lot of awesome improvements.” — Dec. 8, 2016

“It has come up a long way. Each update better than the last. Because of this app I rarely have to physically go to the bank.” —Dec. 7, 2016

10 Most Improved Apps (among credit unions and banks)

  1. BECU: +58%
  2. America’s First Federal Credit Union: +27%
  3. Citibank: +19%
  4. PNC Bank: +17%
  5. Nationwide: +15%
  6. Capital One: +12%
  7. Fifth Third Bank: +10%
  8. Chase: +8%
  9. American Airlines Credit Union: +7%
  10. Delta Community Credit Union: +6%

Chase #1 Among Big Banks for 2nd Year Running

Chase made a strong showing again in 2016, performing best out of the top 10 largest banks for the second year running and marking an 8% ratings improvement. With an impressive 12% ratings improvement, Capital One effectively tied for first place along with Chase, boosting its rating from 4.0 to 4.5, but with a lower Android rating at 4.5 vs. 4.6 for Chase.

It was a good year to be an Android user and Chase bank customer. In 2016, Chase added long-awaited support for Android Pay and made improvements to fingerprint sign-on for Android users.

Sample Chase feedback from iOS app users:

“Love this app & the convenience of being able to quickly check my balance, pay my bill & find answers to the majority of my questions within seconds.” — Oct. 31, 2016

“The interface is well designed [sic], intuitive and responsive. I cannot think of a single issue.” — Nov. 21, 2016.

At the bottom of the big bank rankings were BB&T and HSBC. BB&T’s rating fell 25% year over year, from 3.8 to 2.8, while HSBC saw a 6% decline, from 3.7 to 3.5.

The Top 10 Largest Bank Apps Ranked by Ratings:

  1. Chase: 4.5
  2. Capital One: 4.5
  3. SunTrust: 4.1
  4. Wells Fargo: 4.0
  5. (tie) Bank of America: 3.9
  6. (tie) TD Bank: 3.9
  7. (tie) PNC: 3.9
  8. Citibank: 3.8
  9. HSBC: 3.5
  10. BB&T: 2.8

First Internet Bank Steals the Crown from BankMobile for Top Online Direct Bank

2016 marked something of a fall from grace for last year’s #1 direct online bank, BankMobile. A stinging 19% ratings decline sent the app tumbling from first place to no. 7 this year. That opened the path for First Internet Bank to nab the top spot, despite not seeing any significant ratings improvement year over year. Its average rating remained steady at 4.5.

First Internet Bank has been around since 1999, one of the early internet-only banks to hit the scene. Launched in early 2015, BankMobile is a division of Customers Bank in Pennsylvania, but available nationally and designed to be the first fully mobile native bank.

This year, First Internet Bank was among several regional banks and credit unions to add new “eye print” sign-in technology, in which users sign in by pointing their smartphone camera at their eye. The app then compares their eye to an existing image of their eye on file.

Shaw says customers should expect more high-tech advancements to their favorite bank apps in the near future. “Some banks are leveraging the photo capability of the phone to not only enable check deposits, but to enable people to capture photos of receipts for filing or to take a picture of their driver’s license so they can verify their ID while opening an account,” he says.

First Tech Federal Credit Union Earns Worst Overall App Ratings for 2016

The lowest rated app overall belongs to First Tech Federal Credit Union, with an overall rating of 1.9 marking a 42% decline year over year. The app performed equally poorly among both Apple and Android users. Some reviews of the bank’s app in the Apple store pointed to disgruntlement with an update that was released in the fall.

“This app used to be OK but with the new update it has become so very slow,” one user commented in October. Another user complained about losing Touch ID password access. To be fair, the bank released an update most recently on Dec. 13, which promised “General performance improvements” but there have been no reviews of the latest update yet.

Last year’s worst app, Umpqua Bank, saw some improvement in 2016 but still landed among the worst apps. After facing a 40% decline in ratings in 2015, the app managed a 3% ratings improvement in 2016, enough to move up four spots.

The 10 Worst Bank App Ratings Overall

  1. First Tech Federal Credit Union: 1.9
  2. VyStar Credit Union: 2.0
  3. InvestorsBank: 2.1
  4. Patelco Credit Union: 2.2
  5. Umpqua Bank 2.3
  6. Logix: 2.3
  7. Tinker Federal Credit Union: 2.6
  8. American Airlines Credit Union: 2.7
  9. First National Bank: 2.7
  10. EverBank: 2.7

*MagnifyMoney is an affiliate partner of Chase credit cards, and does receive advertising compensation from Chase. However, compensation from advertising partners did not impact the methodology or results of the mobile banking application survey.

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