Mobile banking apps are a crucial component of the overall banking experience. Forrester data shows that 42% of French, 49% of Italian, 58% of Spanish, and 56% of UK online adults have done their banking on a mobile banking app on their smartphone in the past month. But how well do banks fare when it comes to their mobile experiences?

To find that out, we reviewed the mobile apps of 13 EMEA banking brands in March and April of 2022 for both functionality and user experience: ABN AMRO, Banca Mediolanum, Barclays, BBVA, Commerzbank, Intesa Sanpaolo, mBank, Nordea, Revolut, Santander, Société Générale, Standard Bank, and Starling Bank. We selected leading retail banks as well as two fast-growing neobanks.

Intesa Sanpaolo Triumphs And Reaps The Fruits Of Its Rigorous User Testing, While BBVA Is Not Far Behind

Intesa’s app combines useful features with an excellent user experience — earning a perfect score for both. It stands out with features such as a comprehensive spending analysis and manages to leverage several inclusive design principles to make its app accessible to a wide range of customers. Coming close second in both functionality and user experience scores, BBVA particularly convinces with its self-service features. It manages to create a smooth user experience with tailored help along the entire journey, including contextual help and rich media.

Banks Pack Their Apps With Lots Of Functionality But Fail To Make Them Usable

With a growing number of banking customers becoming mobile-only (in 2021, 67% of Spanish online banking customers said they had only used a mobile banking app or mobile website for their banking activities in the past month — and no other channels or devices), many banks rightly invest in apps that offer a broad range of features. But our review uncovered flaws in their designs, which lead to complex apps that fail on usability and lack intuitive navigation. These banks can learn from our best practices to achieve the right balance between functionality and user experience.

Inclusive Design Principles Are Continuing To Find Their Way Into Banking Apps

Efforts to reduce access barriers should be a no-brainer, as this benefits customers, the business, and its employees, and we are seeing more and more of that in the mobile banking space. From offering choices for contrast, formatting, and color to voice search and simple language for complex text, some banks are leading through extensive user testing with target groups. This is far from being the standard, however, and banks will have to continue and, in some cases, start to work on making their mobile experiences accessible to all.

Forrester clients can learn more about mobile banking best practices from our new report, The Forrester Digital Experience Review™: EMEA Mobile Banking Apps, Q2 2022. You can also join us for a LinkedIn Live session on the 12th of July, where we will be discussing best practices to improve your mobile banking experience. And feel free to schedule a call with us through our inquiry system.