We’ve spent the past few months diligently reviewing the mobile banking services of 11 retail banks in Europe and six retail banks in the UK, and the results are out. BBVA in Spain and Lloyds Bank in the UK earned the top spot in our 2017 European and UK mobile banking benchmark reviews, respectively. These two banks achieved impressive scores, even as we raised the bar in terms of our expected performance of mobile banking services. Not only do BBVA and Lloyds Bank offer best-in-class transactional functionality, a wide range of next-generation features, and outstanding marketing and sales functionality, they also lead by delivering good user experiences.

What were the key takeaways this year?

  • Banks in Spain, Poland, and Turkey continue to lead the way in Europe. Not a huge surprise. These mobile banking leaders — BBVA and CaixaBank in Spain, mBank and Bank Zachodni WBK in Poland, Garanti in Turkey, as well as Lloyds Bank in the UK — stay ahead of the curve by prioritizing mobile initiatives on their agenda. These banks have brought together cross-functional teams, building strong relationships among their customer experience, digital business strategy, and technology management teams. They have also adopted an iterative, rapid development process, fostering an agile approach of experimenting, measuring, and quickly adjusting. As a result, the gap between the leaders and the other banks is gradually widening. To learn about how Lloyds Bank Group established a new operating model to rapidly adapt and respond to future customer needs and deliver better digital services faster, I invite you to read our recent case study.
  • Some banks have made major strides over the past 12 months. BBVA in Spain, Intesa Sanpaolo in Italy, and Nationwide Building Society in the UK have all significantly increased their scores by substantially improving the functionality they offer while also delivering good or excellent user experience. We take our hats off to the digital banking teams at these three firms!
  • Leaders differentiate their banks by offering innovative features. BBVA makes it possible to open an account directly from a smartphone, and the bank authenticates new customers by letting them take a picture of their ID and a selfie. Garanti offers a voice-activated virtual assistant that lets customers navigate the app and perform transactions. Both mBank and Bank Zachodni WBK in Poland and Barclays in the UK offer video banking through their mobile apps.
  • There are disparities among banks for user experience. Our evaluation of usability revealed mixed results, with UK banks generally doing better than their Continental European neighbours. mBank in Poland and Nationwide in the UK stood out by helping customers find what they are looking for, achieve their goals with minimal steps, and avoid errors. Many European mobile banking services need to fix usability flaws if they want to deliver great experiences to their customers.

Over the past few years, a new breed of digital banks has entered the market, competing for customers by promising more compelling digital customer experiences. You can learn about the leading digital banks in my report Disrupting Finance: Digital Banks. Digital banking teams, you can’t simply rest on your laurels. Raise your game by using customer journeys to design, develop, and fine-tune great mobile banking services and cross-touchpoint customer experiences that meet your customers’ needs.

And to find out about the best-in-class mobile banking services in Europe and the UK, and stay on top of your mobile banking strategy, read my two new reports: the 2017 European Mobile Banking Benchmark and the 2017 UK Mobile Banking Benchmark.