The top 5 US banks with the most sought-after mobile features

This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service. This report is exclusively available to enterprise subscribers. To learn more about getting access to this report, email Senior Account Executive Haydn Melia at [email protected], or inquire about our enterprise memberships.

Citibank, USAA, BBVA USA, Bank of America, and NFCU lead the US market in offering the most in-demand mobile features in 2019, according to Business Insider Intelligence’s third annual US Mobile Banking Competitive Edge Study. 

Mobile is a pivotal banking channel and a vital driver of how customers choose banks, according to our study, which found that 79% of respondents use the channel. Respondents were selected to closely align with the US general population on the criteria of age (18-73), gender, and income. Of respondents who use mobile banking, 38% selected the channel as one of the top three factors they’d consider when choosing a bank — making it the third-ranking answer, edging out online banking, rates, and proximity to ATMs. 

To help banks attract and retain the large base of mobile-oriented customers, our 2019 US Mobile Banking Competitive Edge Study selected 37 sought-after mobile banking capabilities — 18 of which were added to the study this year — and ranked them according to how valuable 2,000 respondents said they are. Next, we determined which of the top 20 US banks and credit unions lead in offering the mobile banking features customers crave.

For more info about the report, use the form at the bottom of the post.

Here are the leaders in supporting sought-after mobile banking tools:

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Business Insider Intelligence

1st: Citibank cemented its reputation as an innovation leader. The bank earned the top spot for a second consecutive year thanks to its broad suite of in-demand mobile banking features. This year, Citi redesigned its app to boost convenience, adding “smart shortcuts” that simplify access to regularly used features. Other new tools introduced include alert enablement when customers withdraw cash from an ATM or receive credit from a merchant, and new credit card activation directly from the account dashboard. Citi also led in the “customer service” category. 

  • Score: 84/100
  • Rank in 2018: 1st

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Business Insider Intelligence

2nd: USAA excelled in security and account management. The military bank offers a robust mobile feature set that includes rare tools, such as the ability to view the status of a card transaction dispute, set spending limits, and get alerts via push notifications that customers can respond to. Further, as a bank with no branches, it focuses on better serving its users on mobile, offering the option to converse with either a human agent via chat or a conversational AI assistant in the app. Taking second place overall, USAA tied for first in the “security and control” and “account management” categories.

  • Score: 82/100
  • Rank in 2018: 3rd (+1 place)

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Business Insider Intelligence

3rd: BBVA USA jumped from ninth to third place. Amid its ongoing digital transformation, BBVA USA focused on building out greater money management capabilities: For instance, users can now transfer money from their credit card to their checking, savings, or money market account, as well as enable push notifications and redeem rewards with each qualifying credit card purchase. The bank tied for first in the “account management” and “transfers” sections by offering poorly supported category tools, such as the ability to change a debit card PIN and send money to people abroad.

  • Score: 78/100
  • Rank in 2018: 9th (+6 places)

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Business Insider Intelligence

4th: Bank of America led in digital money management. To better serve its 29 million active mobile banking users, the bank maintained a rapid pace of feature development over the last year, while in October it unveiled a redesigned app aiming to enhance the user experience with greater ease and convenience. Fresh capabilities include improvements to Erica, the bank’s virtual assistant, like new notifications that enable easy enrollment by informing users when balances are trending low. Erica also now offers proactive insights and guidance to help customers stay on top of their finances. 

  • Score: 67/100
  • Rank in 2018: 5th (+1 place)

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Business Insider Intelligence

5th: NFCU set a high bar for sought-after alerts features. The credit union simplified the user experience on mobile through updates that enabled a number of new features, especially within the “alerts” section. NFCU customers can now enable a slew of new alerts, including notifications for daily and low balances as well as deposits and withdrawals. These can be recieved via any combination of push notification, text, or email. 

  • Score: 66/100
  • Rank in 2018: 4th (-1 place)

Business Insider Intelligence’s Mobile Banking Competitive Edge Study ranks banks according to the strength of their mobile offerings and offers analysis on what banks need to do to win and retain customers. The study is based on a September benchmark of what features the 20 top US banks offer, and a survey of 2,000 US mobile banking users on the importance of 37 cutting-edge features in choosing a bank. The survey was conducted using the Attest Consumer Growth Platform, and fielded during August and September 2019 to a sample closely aligned with the US population on the criteria of age (for those between 18 and 73), gender, and income.  

The full report will be available to Business Insider Intelligence enterprise clients in December. The Mobile Banking Competitive Edge study includes: Ally, Bank of America, BB&T, BBVA Compass, BMO Harris, Capital One, Chase, Citibank, Fifth Third, HSBC, KeyBank, Navy Federal Credit Union, PNC, Regions, SunTrust, TD, Union Bank, US Bank, USAA, and Wells Fargo.

To learn more about getting access to this report, email Senior Account Executive Haydn Melia at [email protected], or inquire about our enterprise memberships.

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