Customers unimpressed by banking smartphone applications

Source: WorkLight

In a survey released today, 48 percent of respondents indicated they are not satisfied with the smartphone application offered by their banking institution.

Despite recent reports of increasing smartphone usage and growing investments by financial institutions, this latest survey reveals customers are simply not happy with the user experience and feature offerings of banking applications, and have serious security concerns. The survey of 300 banking customers in the U.S. was conducted by WorkLight, a provider of multi-channel software and services.

According to a recent report by comScore, smartphone banking is one of the fastest growing categories in mobile applications. Yet, a WorkLight survey reveals almost half the respondents expressed total or partial dissatisfaction with the smartphone application offered by their bank. Forty percent replied that they are not satisfied at all by the application and 8 percent were slightly dissatisfied. Only 26 percent expressed complete satisfaction by the smartphone banking application while 23 percent said they are slightly satisfied.

As expected, security and privacy concerns remain a chief concern of about two-thirds of users surveyed. Surprisingly though, almost a quarter of respondents indicated a poor user experience was the main reason they do not use the smartphone application offered by their bank and close to a fifth of respondents said missing features were the main reason for not using the applications on a regular basis.

"This is an indication of the high standards that exist in the fragmented smartphone application market, creating a real challenge for banks and mobile application developers," commented Kurt Daniel, COO at WorkLight. "Facing growing market demand for this class of applications, companies often compromise on quality and depth for a quick go-to-market. Unfortunately, this approach creates the risk of offering mobile applications that do not meet expectations and reflect negatively on banks' brands."

In response to the survey, banking customers indicated missing features they would be interested to add to their smartphone banking application. Leading the list are the ability to pay bills and use personalized budgeting tools (PFM), called for by 25 percent of users each. 14 percent of respondents expressed interest in account activity alerts and about 12 percent felt a gap in viewing account balances and transactions.

Another question asked users what smartphone device they use to access their banking application. The results closely mirrored the installed base of smartphones with more than half saying it is an iPhone application, while 30 percent of respondents said they use a Blackberry application and 15 percent use Android applications.

Industry reports show the Apple iPhone continues to surge in popularity, with more than 50 million devices sold worldwide to date. Blackberry smartphones users are estimated at 41 million. Google's Android devices and related applications are also gaining traction with more than 8,000 applications added each month,

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