The Best Mobile Banking Apps

29 December, 2015 (10:49) | Blog | By: admin

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By Nick Clements – Contributor – Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

Americans are doing more of their banking online and at ATMs. Chase recently reported that more checks were deposited through cell phones and at ATMs than in branches. As transactions move from branches to cell phones, the quality of mobile banking apps will become increasingly important and a point of differentiation for banks as they battle to retain existing and lure new customers.

MagnifyMoney (where I work) compiled the user ratings of iOS and Android apps from the 100 largest banks and credit unions in the country. Prominent internet banks were also included. A weighted average of the ratings from iTunes and Google GOOGL +2.05% Play were used to identify the best and worst apps in the country.

Users are demanding both form and function. The best apps must have a good, intuitive user interface. People love Touch ID, as it removes the need to remember and change complicated passwords. Even more important, the best apps are filled with critical functionality. People want to be able to do everything on their phones that they can do in a branch or on the website. Being able to deposit checks with a phone is a great feature. But having a low deposit limit is frustrating. The most highly rated apps have both great design and functionality.

Best App for A Large Bank – Chase

Chase had the best mobile app of large banks in the country, with a rating of 4.2. The average rating for large banks was 3.7. Chase saw its score increase 9% from last year and dethroned Capital One, which was number one last year. Chase has been investing heavily in its app, having added Touch ID login for iPhones. The app is full of features, allowing users to send money to friends, send wire transfers (including internationally), see statements and more. The app also has small, fun design features. If you use the app in New York, you will see images of New York City. If you use the app in Southern California, expect to see pictures of the beach.

Best App for A Large Credit Union – PenFed

PenFed is one of the largest credit unions in the country, with more than $19 billion in assets. The app achieved a 4.4 rating, compared to a 3.8 rating for all credit unions reviewed. PenFed has been growing aggressively with a strategy that delivers very low interest rates on auto loans and mortgages. These reviews demonstrate that the credit union is also focusing on customer experience. Although PenFed is a credit union, it is relatively easy for anyone to join.

Best Apps Overall

Eight of the best ten apps overall came from credit unions. Five credit unions tied for first place, with a score of 4.7. Those credit unions included Eastman Credit Union, ESL, SEFCU, Redstone Credit Union and VyStar Credit Union. Most of the winning credit unions outsource their app development to a company called Digital Insight, in contrast to the in-house teams employed by most large banks. The Digital Insight app has been applauded for the simplicity of its design and its reliability.

Best Internet Banks

Over the last decade, a number of internet-only banks have launched. The best app from an internet bank with at least 500 user reviews was Simple, which was acquired by BBVA (a Spanish bank) for $117 million in 2014.

You can read the full study at MagnifyMoney.

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