Ease of use is the key differentiator among retail bank and credit card mobile apps, according to the J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Banking App and U.S. Credit Card App Satisfaction studies.
Customers prefer mobile to all other channels for interaction, but not all mobile apps are created equal, according to the study. Data security remains a hurdle to new customer adoption. Even with the mobile channel having the highest satisfaction and consistency of all channels, adoption is stubbornly low, particularly when compared with overall smartphone penetration.
The studies measured overall satisfaction with mobile banking and credit card applications based on five factors (in order of importance): ease of navigation; appearance; clarity of information; range of services and availability of key information.
Capital One ranks highest in overall satisfaction in the retail bank category with a score of 870 (on a 1,000-point scale). Bank of America follows with a score of 865, and TD Bank ranks third with a score of 860. Illustrating the tight competition in the mobile app space, just 32 index points separates the highest-ranked and lowest-ranked performers in the study.
Discover ranks highest in overall satisfaction in the credit card category with a score of 895. Capital One follows with a score of 888 and Barclaycard ranks third with a score of 886.
The studies show that the specific features most commonly associated with ease of use are login process; access to account information; and overall ease of managing the account. These make functionality such as fingerprint login, streamlined access to account balances and account transfer incredibly important variables in a successful banking or credit card app.
“The challenge for both retail banks and credit card companies is to establish accessible entry points that ease resistant customers onto the mobile channel where they will, in all likelihood, quickly find that they are very satisfied with the experience,” said Bob Neuhaus, director, financial services at J.D. Power, in a release.
With just 31% of retail bank customers and 17% of credit card customers currently utilizing mobile apps, banks and credit card companies still have a long way to go to win over those customers who are holdouts. One obstacle to overcome is trust, with less than half of respondents (44% for bank customers, 46% for credit card customers) saying they perceive their online information to be “very secure.” Additional research from J.D. Power has found that just 32% of bank customers say they trust mobile banking.
The 2017 U.S. Banking App and U.S. Credit Card App Satisfaction Studies are based on responses from 5,564 retail bank and credit card customers nationwide. Both studies were fielded in April-May 2017.