Using its Mobile Banking Functionality Benchmark methodology, Forrester evaluated the retail mobile banking offerings of 15 large retail banks in eight countries: Bank of America, Barclays in the UK, Chase in the US, Citibank in the US, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, HSBC in the UK, la Caixa in Spain, Lloyds TSB in the UK, NatWest in the UK, Postbank in Germany, Rabobank in the Netherlands, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), Société Générale in France, TD Canada Trust, and Wells Fargo in the US. Each of the 15 banks achieved an individual average score (56 out of 100), which in turn reveals the differences seen in the banks’ mobile banking offerings across eight categories: range of touchpoints, enrollment and login, account information, transactional functionality, service features, cross-channel guidance, sales and acquisition, and usability.

“The most obvious missed opportunity among the 15 banks reviewed by Forrester is that few are making effective use of context to make information more relevant to customers,” writes Peter Wannemacher, Forrester analyst and one of the authors, in the new research. “Sales is another big missed opportunity: Some banks aren’t even trying to cross-sell products and services through mobile, and none of the 15 does it effectively.”

Forrester’s evaluation showed that while most of the banks are meeting their mobile banking customers’ basic needs, there’s considerable room for improvement for some banks. Specifically, we found that:

  • Chase takes the top spot. The bank scored higher than the other banks in the transactional functionality category in particular. For example, the bank offers useful contextual options for mobile banking users, such as the ability to add a payee for person-to-person (P2P) payments by importing the customer’s contacts from his or her phone.
  • La Caixa is the leader in Europe. The bank received high marks for its native mobile and tablet apps across four operating systems: Android, BlackBerry OS, iOS, and Windows Phone. Customers can make transfers, pay bills, and apply for products via the bank’s tablet app. 
  • The UK’s banks still lag behind. Strikingly, the UK’s banks — which were slow to take mobile banking seriously and late to launch mobile banking services for smartphones — have not yet caught up following their late start. The mobile banking services from the UK’s banks are notably less advanced than those offered by banks in North America and elsewhere in Europe. The best of the UK’s banks, NatWest, scored slightly above the average for the 15 banks overall.

To learn more about this research, visit Analyst Peter Wannemacher’s blog here.