Over the past seven years, mobile banking has gone from little more than an extension of online banking to what one digital banking executive now calls “the most important part of my job.” eBusiness and channel strategy professionals at banks are under intense pressure to differentiate by offering mobile features, content, and experiences that meet — or exceed — customers’ needs and expectations.

To help executives and digital leaders better understand where mobile banking is today — and where different banking providers stand in terms of their mobile offerings — Forrester conducts an annual mobile banking benchmark. This year, we evaluated 41 different banks from more than a dozen different countries across four continents. We recently published the findings in our 2015 Global Mobile Banking Benchmark report.

In addition to this global report, we have published benchmarks of mobile banking in the following countries/regions: Australia, Canada, Continental Europe, India, Singapore, the UK, and the US.

Here is just a small sample of what we found:

  • A cluster of eight banks lead by taking an iterative approach to mobile. Spain’s CaixaBank received the highest overall score in our review, earning a whopping 86 out of a possible 100. In addition, seven other banks also stood out from the pack with impressive mobile offerings: Westpac in Australia, CIBC and Scotiabank in Canada, Bank Zachodni WBK in Poland, CommBank in Australia, mBank in Poland, and Lloyds Bank in the UK. Digital teams at these leading banks share some common practices in their mobile banking strategy and execution: They have adopted an iterative, “test and learn” process. For example, Scotiabank created a cross-functional working group to design and build its new mobile cross-selling initiative. This enabled the firm to take an agile approach of experimenting, measuring, and quickly adjusting that is driving success at leading banks.
  • Innovative features make mobile banking more convenient for customers. Forrester has defined convenience as all of the benefits of a product, service, or experience — minus all of the barriers. In mobile banking, boosting convenience often means minimizing or removing the steps and actions a customer must take to complete an objective. For example, leading banks in our benchmark offer easier login options like TouchID or a simplified PIN code for customers. Other banks help customers who want to add a new bill payee by letting them scan or take a picture of a paper bill, thus getting rid of the frustrating manual data entry this process typically entails. The most successful banks are pushing their mobile offerings even further by rolling out innovative features like integrated digital wallets that enable contactless mobile payments: CaixaBank achieves this while making the task flow easy for the customer — and stripping out barriers to use — within its mobile app (see the figure below).  
  • Mobile marketing and customer service continue to be major gaps for most banks. Although our benchmark provides a wealth of best practices and examples of great mobile experiences, there are also some major weaknesses evident in many banks’ mobile efforts. This is apparent in the dearth of service features on many banks’ mobile apps and mobile websites. Likewise, too many banks offer little to no mobile marketing, cross-selling, or product research tools for customers. Fortunately, digital executives at a few leading banks have shown how effective mobile cross-selling can be: For example, mBank has developed simplified product applications with two-step task flows that are embedded within the mobile banking experience.

I encourage you to read the entire global report.

In addition, please let us know what you think in the comments section below!

[Note: Thanks to Aurélie L’Hostis, Benjamin Ensor, Rachel Roizen, Katyayan Gupta, Zhi Ying Ng, Alexander Causey, Alyson Clarke, Oliwia Berdak, Tim Sheedy, Audrey Blumstein, Anjali Bhatia Dhupar, and the rest of the Forrester team who made this global benchmark possible]


     [Image Below: CaixaBank Enables Customers To Make Mobile Contactless Payments]