• Thu. Dec 1st, 2022

Forrester identifies incumbents at the forefront of mobile banking

ByCindy J. Daddario

Jun 24, 2022

Forrester Research released a report analyzing 13 different mobile banking apps in the EMEA region on user experience and functionality, concluding that Intesa Sanpaolo and BBVA lead in both accessibility and effectiveness.

Forrester reviewed smartphone apps from leading neobanks and retail bankers including ABN AMRO, Banca Mediolanum, Barclays, BBVA, Commerzbank, Intesa Sanpaolo, mBank, Nordea, Revolut, Santander, Societe Generale, Standard Bank and Starling Bank .

The report determined that banking giants are overtaking fintechs in mobile banking.

The main Italian banking group, Intesa Sanpaolo, obtained the highest score due to the functionality and accessibility of its application. Users have expressed confidence in the app’s effectiveness in providing detailed information to help them manage their finances. The app includes unique features such as an expense analysis that compares users’ expenses to those of other similar users.

BBVA and Santander digital banking apps also performed strongly in the report: BBVA app stands out for demonstrating users’ financial health and Santander app tops self-service and guidance tools extended.

Forrester has found that there are several strategies for creating a successful mobile banking application, the first being user-friendly.

Nowadays, an increasing number of banking customers are solely using digital banking to manage their finances. In order to set up their accounts, mobile banking apps need to be easy to navigate. The report found that many banking apps contain numerous functions and technical banking jargon that make using the app itself difficult to understand. The balance between content and user experience is key to creating an effective digital banking service.

Major incumbents are breaking down barriers by putting inclusivity at the forefront of their models; Intesa Sanpaolo has worked with disabled and dyslexic users to meet their needs on the app, ensuring accessibility for all parties. The inclusiveness in the design attracts a wider clientele. Creating a dynamic design through fonts, formatting and contrast makes content easier to understand, as expressed by users of the BBVA app, in which privacy and security content is simplified for the daily user.

Allowing users to customize applications according to their personal preferences is also effective; apps that allow users to customize their homepage and notifications provide a more holistic and interactive experience. For example, the Standard Bank and Societe Generale apps offer users the ability to add widgets to their main page, and the Revolut app provides users with spending and saving tips to make smarter financial decisions.

Banks such as Santander have seen positive responses in their contextual user help. Apps that anticipate customer concerns and provide extensive support to customers through detailed support platforms attract more users looking for a simple banking experience.

Additionally, Forrester anticipates the move toward autonomous finance, described as “algorithm-based services that make financial decisions or act on behalf of a client.” These services predict customer needs and suggest sound banking decisions that the daily user may not think of on their own. The report states that “these algorithms relieve the user of the burden of choice and help them make intelligent decisions.”

The functionality of smartphone apps is becoming increasingly important in the modern era of digital banking. Fintechs need to adjust their strategy to improve customer experience if they want to follow the success of major incumbents in mobile banking.