(Coauthored with Riccardo Pasto, senior analyst and Seles Sebastin, senior research associate)

It’s that time of the year again — a cold and wet June in Sydney as we try to survive another winter. The good news is that we’re bringing some warmth and cheer to this cold winter: The Forrester Banking Wave™: Australian Mobile Apps, Q2 2019 is hot off the press!

This year, we evaluated the mobile apps of the Big Four banks: ANZ Bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CommBank), National Australia Bank (NAB), and Westpac; we also included digital-only ING Bank.

For the third consecutive year, CommBank leads the pack in our review of mobile banking apps by combining great user experience with impressive functionality.

Unfortunately, we also found many mobile banking experiences that missed the mark. Our review showed that most Australian banks struggle to balance usability and functionality and fail to make customers feel safe and confident. The best mobile banking experiences don’t just meet customer needs with strong features and easy-to-use apps; they make customers feel appreciated, valued, respected, and confident — the most important emotions that drive loyalty for banks.

Want to know more? Check out the full report here, or reach out to us by emailing inquiry@forrester.com to request an inquiry call.

To continuously improve mobile banking and keep up with customers’ expectations for easy, effective, and contextually relevant experiences, digital teams must:

  • Build consistent experiences. Too often, banks undercut the value of their apps by sending customers on a wild goose chase to separate apps or web pages. Inconsistent designs, competing navigational structures and menus, and inconsistent icons with multiple meanings all create a disconnected and disorienting customer experience.
  • Create digital triggers of positive emotions that drive customer loyalty. Digital banking teams need to make customers feel happy, confident, and valued — the emotions that drive loyalty and advocacy for banks.
  • Be a trusted data custodian. The launch of open banking in Australia in 2020 will enable customers to allow banks and other third parties to access their data via open APIs when comparing or applying for products. Customers will be looking for a trusted data custodian that will keep their data safe and put the right guardrails in place to help them manage and share their data with third-party providers.
  • Show customers that their data and dollars are safe. Almost every Australian bank can do better at showing customers they are safe. Simplify privacy policies by eliminating jargon and superfluous detail, then go a step further and treat security not just as a compliance issue but as an opportunity to educate and build trust.

And here’s a video that summarizes the findings: