With more Americans interacting with businesses via mobile apps, banks and credit unions need to know how customers perceive their own mobile banking app as well as other providers’ offerings.
There’s hardly a better place to find out than reviews in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. Reading what customers have to say, in their own words, about their app experiences can help financial providers raise the bar when it comes to their own mobile banking strategies. Learning from that can produce higher ratings in the future.
Why Banking Providers Must Care About App Ratings
As mobile banking continues to evolve and gain popularity, mobile app ratings on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store are critical factor in driving consumer discovery and app downloads. Many people read user reviews before deciding which app they want and before downloading it.
Banking providers must focus on ratings and customer comments whether their goal is converting existing customers to a new mobile banking app or acquiring new customers.
App Promotion Takes Active Marketing:
App store marketing tactics help banking providers gain higher ratings and more positive reviews. This improves app’s rankings and the organic traffic received in the app stores.
In fact, user reviews are an excellent source for choosing keywords to promote a bank’s mobile app and ensure it shows up in search engine results when potential customers are researching mobile banking options.
Similarly, responding to reviews, both positive and negative, can be helpful. The most recent reviews are likely to be highlighted on the app store listing page. By replying to reviews, you can ensure that featured app reviews contain a response, even if it is simply a “thank you.”
This dialog strengthens a financial institution’s brand and makes the app more appealing to potential users, who can trust there are resources dedicated to customer support.
What is a good rating on the Google and Apple Stores? Consumer reviews and ratings are growing more positive as mobile strategies improve. There were nearly 20 million app user ratings on the Google Play and the Apple App Store, according to a MagnifyMoney study in 2021. Smartphone users who reviewed mobile banking apps on both these platforms gave an average of 4.1 out of 5 stars to 110 apps from the leading banks and credit unions. The best overall app, Delta Community Credit Union, was rated at 4.86 stars by 30,000 users.
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What Goes Into A Great Mobile Banking App?
Even if your institution receives great reviews, it may not be enough to convince a user to download. Competition is intense within the app stores, so banking providers must ensure their mobile app stands out with the features that today’s consumers expect.
There are several key capabilities to consider including:
1. Simplicity and ease of use from day one
A 2019 Marqueta study found that 21% of respondents said an easy-to-use mobile app is the most important feature a bank can provide. So it’s critical for financial providers to set up banking apps that are convenient, intuitive and easily navigated, whether a customer has a retail account or a business banking account. Succeeding here is the most cited praise in positive mobile banking app reviews.
Another feature that gets consumers to actually use their banking mobile app is the ability to open accounts. Accenture research shows that more than one-third of consumers — 37% — would prefer to use mobile banking to open a new account or sign up for a new product with a new bank.
For an effective mobile banking strategy, make sure customers can securely open and fund a new account in just a few minutes. The best mobile banking apps even make it easy to apply for loans.
2. Secure login with biometric authentication
Not only should it be easy for customers to open an account on mobile, it should also be easy for them to login while maintaining the highest level of security.
Mobile Deal Killer:
81% of consumers would stop engaging with a brand digitally following a security breach, according to Ping Identity.
Meanwhile, almost two-thirds of consumers are frustrated by login experiences and one-third have stopped using a device, app or service, or have left a bad review following an inconvenient login experience. Consider using biometric authentication in mobile apps.
Read More: Mobile Banking Trends: What’s Hot & What’s Not
3. Personalized financial tools & product offers
Along with giving customers a holistic view of their finances, the best mobile banking apps recommend actions and products that can help them reach their financial goals. In fact, an Accenture survey of banking customers revealed that 67% of respondents who were 18-24 said they were interested in their institution providing tools and services to help them create and monitor a budget. 58% of respondents said that they wanted their institution to proactively recommend products or services to them that they might find useful.
For example, if a customer sets a savings goal of $10,000 for a car, their banking provider can send information about auto loans and rates to the customer. Through personalized recommendations, financial institutions can help customers pay down debt, improve their credit scores, build a sustainable budget, and save for major purchases — all through their mobile phone.
It’s also advisable to allow users to customize the layout of their mobile app, as well as their communication preferences. One user may want to see their progress towards their savings goal when they first login, while another may want to see a list of their account balances.
4. Build in push notifications
In addition to personalized financial resources and product offers, mobile banking apps should support customized communication through push notifications. Push notifications are a great way for banks to keep customers engaged by sending relevant product offers, discounts and alerts — all based on the customers’ specific needs and communication preferences.
Perhaps a customer wants to receive an alert anytime their balance drops below a certain amount. A push notification can alert the customer and with one click, they can login to the mobile banking app and make a balance transfer. To improve the customer experience even further, banks can use this information and see that a customer takes action when they receive low balance alerts, which means they may be trying to avoid an overdraft fee. With a simple push notification, the bank can prompt the customer to enroll in overdraft protection.
5. Virtual assistants and chatbots
Much like push notifications, virtual assistants and chatbots make it easy for customers to engage with their bank through digital channels. Chatbots and virtual assistants, such as Siri, allow customers to get the support they need without going through other, more time-consuming channels, like calling the bank’s support staff during business hours. Instead, customers can take care of their banking needs 24/7 with the help of artificial-intelligence-based tools that can be accessed directly from mobile. Banks that offer these tools can more efficiently serve their customers and quickly address basic customer inquiries, so their staff spends less time fielding support calls.
Also, many of today’s virtual assistants understand natural language, so customers no longer need to memorize a list of commands to use text and voice-enabled banking. They can simply connect their mobile banking app to Amazon Alexa, Google Home, LiveChat, LivePerson, Slack, Facebook, Messenger and other platforms, to conduct transactions, pay bills and more.
Read More: USAA’s Redesigned Mobile App: Customer Experience Insights for Banks
Key Reasons to Focus on Better App Ratings and Rankings
Mobile banking has become the leading channel customers use to access their accounts, surpassing online banking and visits to the branch, according to FDIC. As such, paying attention to ratings pays dividends.
In fact, frequent mobile banking users — those who use it at least once every two weeks — are more satisfied with their primary bank than nonusers, according to research by Deloitte. The firm also found that around 70% of both Gen Z and Millennial frequent mobile banking users reported being “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with their primary bank, compared to 38% and 44% of nonusers.
In a world where consumers are more likely to use digital banking than visit a branch, banks must consider how their mobile app impacts the customer experience, from the time they open their account to setting and pursuing their financial goals.