CommBank and UP provide best mobile banking apps in Australia

The pandemic drove a rush to digital out of necessity, with banks racing to serve Australian consumers on digital touchpoints due to the lockdowns.  According to Forrester data, mobile apps are the touchpoint of choice for Australians to manage their finances. In 2021, 42% of Australian online adults say they use their bank’s mobile app to do their banking.

To find out how well-prepared banks are to meet customers’ expectations, Forrester reviewed the functionality and user experience of the mobile banking apps of five Australian banks: ANZ Bank, CommBank, National Australia Bank (NAB), Westpac, and UP (a neobank).

Key findings from this year’s evaluation include:

  •  CommBank retains top spot for 5th year in a row. CommBank took the top spot for overall digital experience leader, leading in both functionality and user experience (UX). CommBank excels in money management, money movement, and assisted service, and also gives customers a personalised experience when it comes to managing their debt.
  • Neobank UP came in hot, excelling at money management and intuitive UX. In its first year in the evaluation, UP showcased the most streamlined UX, trailing CommBank by a thin margin. The neobank also excels at money movement and came second in money management. UP lets customers set up multiple budget trackers by selecting specific spending categories rather than presenting them with general weekly or monthly budget amounts. They also notify customers as to how they’re progressing with their budget and how much they have left even when they aren’t logged into the app.
  • Banks need to sustain the digital momentum, while focusing on hybrid experiences. The pandemic drove a rush to digital out of necessity, with banks racing to serve Australian consumers on digital touchpoints.  However, the first wave of pure-play digital engagement will give way to hybrid combinations of physical and digital. In our evaluation this year, we saw leading banks rethink their engagement models; CommBank provides a convenient click-to-call option where customers can request a call back at a scheduled time and are offered a video call when appropriate.
  • Helping customers improve their financial well-being will be a key differentiator for banks moving forward. The economic uncertainty and financial strain on Australian consumers caused by the ongoing pandemic have become banks’ impetus to help customers improve financial capability. All the Australian banks reviewed improved in the category of money management in 2021. CommBank led the pack in moving beyond transactional insights to help customers understand their overall financial portfolio and situation through “money plan”, with a clear visual of assets, liabilities and overall net worth. UP lets customers set up “split payments” allowing them to carve up their salary into different buckets of savings that will automatically be moved into their “savers” once their pay is deposited.

Contact for a complimentary press copy of the full report. Senior Analyst Zhi-Ying Barry is also available for media interviews to discuss digital banking trends.