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Global Report: Little Progress in the Evolution of Mobile Apps for Banking

Zurich, Switzerland, May 11, 2014 --( Only a small number of leading retail banks have made significant progress in their mobile app offerings since last year’s report. The winners of the MyPrivateBanking 2014 ranking are DBS Bank (Singapore) and BNP Paribas (France). Runners up are UBS (Switzerland) and Westpac (Australia). As mobile data and app usage is skyrocketing among consumers worldwide, the mobile channel is rising in importance, and in only a few years it will dominate all other channels in retail banking. The majority of banks, however, are not yet prepared for this major change in direction and they show little progress, neglecting their mobile channels. These are the key findings of the new report “Mobile Apps for Banking 2014 – From Multi-Channel to Mobile First” for which the Swiss research company MyPrivateBanking Research analyzed and ranked more than 170 apps for private customers, offered by the 40 leading retail banks worldwide.

“Most banks are stagnating, showing an incomplete app portfolio with limited integration into everyday business processes and still treating their mobile channel as a ‘nice-to-have’,” says MyPrivateBanking Head of Research Steffen Binder. “Banks do not make use of the full potential of mobile applications to engage and better serve their clients, sell their products, strengthen their brands and achieve customer loyalty.”

Top 5 Banks with the Best Mobile App Portfolio
(40 banks ranked overall, max. 70 points))

Rank 2014

1. BNP Paribas, 61 points

1. DBS Bank, 61 points

3. UBS, 60 points

4. Westpac, 59 points

5. BBVA, 58 points

BNP Paribas and DBS Bank, the winners of this year’s app ranking, achieve an overall score of 61 out of 70 points. Through its focus on communication with customers and convenient payment options, BNP Paribas wins customers’ hearts. DBS is far ahead of its competitors regarding customer rewards and loyalty programs, and offers a multitude of innovative features throughout its app portfolio. Société Générale wins in the category of best stand-alone apps with the feature-rich banking app L’appli.

In the view of MyPrivateBanking, all leading banks succeed in providing more than just basic account information and transaction features. They offer well thought-out, comprehensive app strategies that can keep up with the best app developers in the world. However, many of the other benchmarked banks fall short of providing sufficient content and features on their mobile apps. The report highlights, among others, the following shortcomings:

Banking apps frequently offer only basic functions, missing out on more advanced features. Investment account overview is limited to 83% of banks and securities trading is still only available for about half of the banks (55%).

Banks rarely offer tools to encourage financial self-management and personal financial assessment. Only 19 out of the 40 banks in the report provide their clients with such tools.

Security and privacy are weak spots. Only about half of the banks meet today’s strictest standards in access authentication for customer accounts and transactions.

Banks provide limited contact features. Increasingly familiar communication channels such as chat and a call-back function are only available in 10% and 38% of the mobile apps respectively.

Banks are weak in integrating their apps with other communication channels. 52% of banks do not link their apps to their social media channels. In addition, there is a widespread lack of social sharing functions, which are provided by only 55% of banks.

“Apps are not a gimmick, but a game changer. Banks have to merge the different channels such as mobile media, personal interaction, telephone, and conventional online banking into a unified service platform,” states Steffen Binder. “Banking apps are the strategic key for this new platform as they will be the dominant interface at home, in the office, on the move and even in the branch office of the bank. Banks that miss out will lose out.”

MyPrivateBanking urges banks to set a ‘mobile first’ approach, since mobile apps will be the dominant client channel. Developing the mobile channel first and building other channels based on the mobile experience (web, branch, telephone) will refocus the overall bank strategy towards satisfying the needs of the new generation of customers and will actively exploit the opportunities offered by the mobile digital revolution to gain a competitive edge.

About the report: The report "Mobile Apps for Banking 2014 – From Multi-Channel to Mobile First” analyzes in detail the strengths and weaknesses of mobile applications from the 40 leading retail banks worldwide. In total more than 170 mobile apps were assessed according to 56 criteria and grouped into nine main categories of evaluation: availability of mobile apps; core functions for customers; innovative add-ons; security and privacy; content and features for marketing; contact options; technical features and support, strategy and navigation; and best practices. For further information on the report please check here.

Analyzed banks: ABN AMRO; ANZ, Bank of America, Barclays, BBVA, BMO, BNP Paribas, Caisse d´Epargne, CIBC, Citibank, Commerzbank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), Credit Suisse, DBS, Deutsche Bank, First National Bank (South Africa), HSBC, Hypovereinsbank, ICBC, ING Bank, Itáu, J.P. Morgan Chase, KBC, Lloyds Bank, NAB (Australia), Nationwide, NatWest, Nordea, PNC, Rabobank, RBC, Santander, Société Générale, Standard Chartered, TD Bank, UBS, UniCredit; U.S. Bank; Wells Fargo; Westpac.
Contact Information
MyPrivateBanking GmbH
Christian Nolterieke
+41(0)71 670 0489
Weinbergstrasse 9
CH-8280 Kreuzlingen

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