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Forrester identifies incumbents at forefront of mobile banking

Forrester identifies incumbents at forefront of mobile banking

Forrester Research has released a report analysing 13 different mobile banking apps across EMEA on user experience and functionality, concluding that Intesa Sanpaolo and BBVA lead in both accessibility and efficiency.

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

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

Leading Italian banking group, Intesa Sanpaolo, scored highest due to the functionality and accessibility of its app. Users have expressed confidence in the app’s efficiency in providing detailed information to aid them in managing their finances. The app includes unique features such as a spending analysis that compares users’ spending to other similar users.

The BBVA and Santander digital banking apps also scored high in the report: the BBVA app stands out for demonstrating users’ financial health and the Santander app leads in self-service and extensive guiding tools.

Forrester ascertained that there are several strategies to create a successful mobile banking app, the first being user-friendly.

Nowadays, a growing number of banking customers use only digital banking to manage their finances. In order to set up their accounts, mobile banking apps need to be easy to navigate. The report revealed that many banking apps packed in numerous functions and technical banking jargon that made using the app itself difficult to understand. The balance between content and user experience is key to creating an effective digital banking service.

Leading incumbents are breaking barriers by placing inclusivity in the forefront of their models; Intesa Sanpaolo worked with disabled and dyslexic users to cater to their needs on the app, ensuring accessibility for all parties. Inclusivity in design draws in a wider customer base. Creating a dynamic design though fonts, formatting, and contrast makes the content easier to understand, as was expressed by users of the BBVA app, in which privacy and security content is simplified for the everyday user.

Allowing users to customise the apps based on their personal preferences also proves effective; apps that let users personalise their homepage and notifications provide a more holistic and interactive experience. For example, the Standard Bank and Société Générale apps offer users the option to add widgets to their main page, and Revolut’s app provides users with tips on spending and saving to make smarter financial decisions.

Banks such as Santander have seen positive responses in their contextual aid to users. Apps that foresee client concerns and provide extensive support to customers through detailed assistance platforms attract more users looking for a straightforward banking experience.

Additionally, Forrester anticipates the movement towards autonomous finance, described as “algorithm-driven services that make financial decisions or take action on a customer’s behalf.” These services predict the needs of the client and suggest healthy banking decisions that the everyday user may not think of on their own. The report states, “these algorithms take the burden of choice off the user and help them make smart decisions.”

Smartphone app functionality 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 keep up with the success of leading incumbents when it comes to mobile banking.

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