Banks are putting greater emphasis on mobile banking strategies, according to Keynote Competitive Research’s mobile banking scorecard. The scorecard measures and ranks the seven largest retail banks in the United States based on nearly 100 criteria in four main categories: functionality; ease of use; privacy and security; and quality and availability across text, mobile web and applications.
Banks measured in the inaugural scorecard include (in alphabetical order) Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citibank, PNC Bank, US Bank and Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo ranked first on the scorecard, followed by Chase.
Chris Musto, general manager of Keynote Competitive Research at Keynote Systems, says banks are launching multi-faceted solutions for mobile banking that include such offerings as text banking, apps for multiple device platforms and remote deposit.
“We found banks and their customers are not converging on one method of mobile banking; text, mobile web and apps for the three leading smartphone operating systems are either available or on the to-do list at the largest banks,” Musto said.
While banks have been quick to roll out Android and iOS apps, Musto says they’re lagging on developing for BlackBerry. “You talk to the banks and their experience of people coming in with BlackBerries is just not all that great,” he said, adding that he thinks that the banks will try to improve that experience with more apps for BlackBerries in the future.
Musto says that while Wells Fargo scored the highest on the scorecard for ease-of-use and overall execution, Chase scored big for features like remote deposit capture from a smartphone, something Wells Fargo doesn’t currently offer. But even as slick as mobile banking might be, Musto says these are early days.
“Customers have yet to see much of the mobile payment capabilities that are widely discussed in the industry… The Scorecard shows that as banks pursue novel mobile functionality, many need to re-double their focus on refining the usability of their existing features.”
The Scorecard found text banking perhaps the least developed offering relative to its potential. Two banks do not yet offer text banking, while the five that do each highlight the gaps in the other’s offerings.
For instance, only Wells Fargo offers a text-based branch locator. And only Chase offers real-time balance alerts with the ability to reply with an action, while only Bank of America allows customers to use text banking to search for deposit transactions. And none of the banks allow customers to initiate a funds transfer via text.
Musto said that while Wells Fargo came out on top, it was a very close race, with all major banks showing different strengths in their mobile banking efforts. Keynote promises a more expanded Scorecard including 15 major banks to be released in January 2012.