Each year, my colleague Andrew Hogan and I review mobile websites of top US banks to understand how effectively banks are meeting customers’ expectations when it comes to finding, researching, and applying for a checking account. We review functionality and observe users as they try to complete their tasks. In this year’s report, we evaluated six banks’ mobile websites, including Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo, from both a functionality and user experience perspective.
Here are some of the highlights:
- Bank of America and Wells Fargo tied for the highest overall score. For the first time, two banks tied for the top spot in our combined functionality and user experience (UX) reviews. Bank of America led in user experience, with high praise from our user testers for its prominent help features and clear language. Wells Fargo stood out with consistently above-average scores across all functionality areas.
- Strong help features put Bank of America at the top for UX. Bank of America prospects noted the helpfulness of the prominent comparison chart, live chat availability, and a concise account features and benefits overview. And in the application process itself, Bank of America guides users through the process with live chat, detailed in-context help, and accessible security and privacy notices.
- Wells Fargo offers strong functionality and robust features. The bank excelled across the customer journey with accessible educational content, a streamlined application process with forms that offer autocomplete, and clear onboarding next steps. Wells Fargo prospects were pleased with the amount and quality of information offered upfront, in addition to video content and a helpful recommendation tool.
- US banks made major improvements to their onboarding experiences. In the past few years, US banks have made significant improvements to their onboarding programs. Banks that stood out this year used digital welcome kits with personalized checklists and mobile-friendly emails to guide new customers through the onboarding process. A few banks even took it a step further and used the onboarding as a cross-sell opportunity by marketing relevant, additional products in their communications.
- Most US banks still overlook the importance of chat. While many banks offer chat as a convenient option for current clients, most are still lagging when it comes to chat options for their prospects. Even though five of the six banks we reviewed had access to human help on their site, none had chat that was always available, proactively offered, and effective in answering questions. It’s clear that today’s consumers expect chat, and the user feedback we received on the lack of chat on most US banks’ mobile sites verified that.
For more information on our findings from this year’s Forrester Digital Experience Review™ on US banking sales mobile sites, be sure to check out the full report here as well as the Canadian edition here.
(This post was cowritten with Nicole Murgia, researcher.)