The functionality of mobile banking apps developed by five of the UK's top banks has been criticised after they racked up so-so scores in user experience testing conducted by Adaptive Lab.
The research looked at both the functionality and the user experience of mobile apps produced by Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, NatWest and Santander.
James Haycock, managing director at Adaptive Lab, comments: “Extensive research and work has been undertaken at Adaptive Lab to achieve this study. It is a combination of primary and secondary research; with that of qualitative and quantitative research from a survey of over 400 nationally representative UK consumers, an expert heuristic review, user interviews and observations, and analysis of thousands of app store reviews from the iOS app store and Google Play.”
The report found that none of the banking apps on display scored more than 75% on either functionality (how many banking tasks people can do with the apps) or usability (how fast, easy and pleasant the app is to use and to understand). The lowest scoring app rated just 32% overall, breaking down into 43% for functionality and 25% usability.
The consumer survey indicated that bank customers are more inclined to use their mobile phones to manage their daily banking rather than switching on their PCs or laptops. Yet, the apps rated by Adaptive Lab were considered merely an adjunct to online banking, offering only a subset of the functionality available via the banks' websites.
"Although there are aspects of the apps that were reviewed that are visually attractive and user-friendly, most of these banking apps are to a certain extent limited in feature-sets and in providing a positive user experience.,” says Adaptive Lab service design and product manager Kat Matfield. "If consumers are going to be able to manage and monitor their finances entirely from their smartphones, banks will have to make more functionality available on their apps and focus on improving the user experience."