Top 5 Worldwide Mobile Banking Apps

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The Best Mobile Banking Apps Of 2020

(Photo by Pablo Cuadra/Getty Images for Apple)

Every year, MagnifyMoney conducts a study of the best mobile banking apps. This study aggregates user rankings from the Apple and Android app stores. User reviews of the 50 largest bank and credit union apps as well as prominent internet-only banks were included in the survey. The data was collected from the iTunes and Google Play stores during the week of November 15, 2020.

Overall, satisfaction with mobile banking apps remained flat to last year. The average rating of 3.7 stars (out of a possible 5 stars) was the same as last year. Within those numbers, there were some notable movements. Most impressive was Discover, which increased from 4.2 in 2020 to 4.8 in 2020, and became the highest rated app of 2020. Among the nation’s biggest banks, Chase and Capital One remained the best. And First Tech Federal Credit Union demonstrated the biggest improvement, going from a terrible 1.9 rating in 2020 to an impressive 4.2 in 2020.

The Importance Of Mobile Banking Apps

Digital banking was originally viewed by large banks as a way to cut costs. If consumers could do something online instead of in a branch, banks could save money. As a result, banks focused more on functionality than user experience. However, over the last five years, banks have recognized the importance of design and delight. Not only do banks want to provide functionality that can take out costs, but they want their apps to become expressions of their brand. A well-designed consumer banking app will be looked at daily by a consumer, creating a sticky relationship.

Best Overall App: Discover – 4.8

Discover managed to achieve the highest overall score in 2020. The app provides service for Discover credit cards, as well as customers of its online digital bank. Consumers seemed to really like the ability to freeze an authorized user’s credit card in the app. According to one review, that feature is “awesome.” Consumers regularly complimented the “slick UI” and “reliability.” Consumers expectations continue to rise, and Discover has done a good job of focusing on form and functionality.

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Best Big Banks: Chase and Capital One – Tied at 4.6

Chase and Capital One continue to dominate the results for the biggest banks. Both companies have invested heavily in delighting their mobile app consumers. Users applauded CapitalOne for integrating CreditWise into the app, which helps people monitor and learn about their credit score. And Chase customers seemed happy with most key pieces of functionality. As one reviewer wrote, “you can perform basically every transaction through the app, without having to go into a branch.”

Bigger is Better

People might not love big banks. But they seem to love apps by big banks. According to MagnifyMoney, ” the apps of the 10 largest banks were rated better than average by users.” The big budgets of the largest banks are being used to create apps that readily defeat the ratings of smaller organizations.

Top 5 Best Banking Apps | 2020 Ranking | Best Online & Mobile Banking Apps


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Finding the Best Online Banking Apps in 2020

Smartphones and mobile devices have changed the way that the average person does banking. Online banking apps can now give you access to services that were once only available in person at a bank branch.

The best mobile banking apps bring the bank branch to your fingertips and let you bank on your own time. But are all banking apps created equal? What does your current bank have to offer in terms of mobile banking software? What are the best banking apps? And is mobile banking safe?

For some of us, finding the best mobile banking apps is a main factor when determining with which bank to open an account. Others are simply curious about the online banking apps their current bank has to offer.

Award Emblem: Top 5 Best Banking Apps

Whatever your needs, this list provides a breakdown of the mobile tools and options provided by the best banking apps in 2020. Hopefully, we can lead you to the information you’re looking for and help you determine which online banking app is the best for you.

AdvisoryHQ’s List of the Top 5 Best Banking Apps

List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the bank names above to go directly to the detailed review section for that bank’s mobile app)

Features to Consider When Evaluating Banking Apps

Before evaluating different mobile banking apps, it’s important to understand the varied features that online banking apps offer.

1. Fees

Most banks offer mobile banking software free of charge. That means the bank itself won’t charge you any extra fees for use of the app, but your phone carrier will charge standard data and messaging rates.

Although most banks offer free online banking app downloads, be sure to check with your specific bank to be clear about rates. They may offer the free download, but some services within the app, such as transfers, may come with a fee.

2. Deposit Limits

All the mobile banking apps on this list provide mobile check deposits, meaning that you can deposit checks using only your mobile phone.

However, banks have particular deposit limits depending on timeframes, account type, and other factors. Be sure that you’re aware of the deposit limits before you start making plans to use the service heavily.

3. Technology Requirements

All online banking apps have specific technology requirements. One iPhone banking app may run on iPhone iOS 7, but another may equire iOS 8 or higher. Same thing with Android: one Android banking app may require OS 4.1, while another may need OS 4.4.

If you’re looking for an iPhone banking app or an Android banking app, there are a few online banking apps that feature tools for Apple or Android watches.

4. Easy to Use

The best mobile banking apps will be easy to use. Apps are apps for a reason; they should have an interface that is easy to use with your fingertips.

If you can’t manage your banking with taps and swipes on your phone, you may as well skip the app and use your browser. You’ll want to be sure that the online banking app you choose is designed with an easy–to-use interface.

5. Functionality

Apps with multiple functions are the easiest to use. Some users may prefer the best mobile banking apps for easy navigation between multiple accounts.

Some banking apps also send email notifications when you make mobile deposits or other changes to your account, which can offer valuable peace of mind and assist with organization.

You may also want to verify that the app offers the ability to customize features such as automatic bill pay, account alerts, and budgeting plans.

AdvisoryHQ’s Selection Methodology

What methodology does AdvisoryHQ use in selecting and finalizing the firms, services, and products that are ranked on its various top rated lists?

Please click here “AdvisoryHQ’s Ranking Methodologies” for a detailed review of AdvisoryHQ’s selection methodologies for ranking top rated firms, products, and services.

Detailed Review – Best Mobile Banking Apps

Below, please find the detailed review of each firm on our list of best banking apps. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these mobile banking apps to score so highly in our selection ranking.

Ally App Review

Ally is a branchless bank that you access only on the web or through the mobile banking software. You can access cash at any ATM and use Allpoint ATMs for free.

Ally has seen over $55 billion in account deposits and strives to be not only a new bank, but an entirely different type of bank. Ally explains that they built their bank on three simple ideas: do right, talk straight, and be obviously better.

Key Factors That Enabled This App to Rank as a Best Mobile Banking App

Below are primary reasons we selected the Ally app to be rated as one of 2020’s best banking apps.

As a branchless bank, Ally was built to serve the online and mobile market, resulting in one of the best mobile banking apps. Some of its features are:

  • Ally eCheck Deposit: Users can deposit checks by taking a picture with their mobile phone. You can also set up direct deposit, receive incoming wire transfers, or opt to mail in deposits with postage-paid envelopes.
  • Transfers: As a best banking app, it allows users to manage transfers between multiple Ally accounts or send and receive money using an email address with the Popmoney service. You can also make typical transfers to accounts at other financial institutions.

Additional services include:

  • Account overview and activity
  • Bill pay
  • ATM and cash locator
  • Ally Assist (Customer service function, only available for iPhone users)
  • Touch ID (Not available through the banking app for Android)

Apple Watch and Android Wear Users

For Apple Watch and Android wear users, Ally offers some limited features. For example, the Android banking app and the iPhone banking app allow users to search ATM locations.

Capital One Banking App Review

Capital One has created an easy-to-use app that places a number of features and tools at your fingertips. The application is available for iPhone, Android, Apple watch, and iPad.

Key Factors That Enabled This App to Rank as a Best Mobile Banking App

Below are primary reasons we selected the Capital One Banking App to be rated as one of 2020’s best mobile banking apps.

The Capital One online banking app provides users with banking features previously only available at a physical branch. Some of these are:

  • Pay a Bill: With just a few swipes and taps, you can manage your bill payments using the Capital One app. You can make one-time payments or customize your auto-pay to make monthly payments. The app offers payment posting scheduling to keep you on track.
  • Transfers: You can make transfers to other Capital One accounts or accounts at other financial institutions. First, you’ll need to set up an account on a desktop or laptop and then you’ll be able to make transfers or receive funds on your mobile device.
  • Mobile Deposits: By taking a photo of the front and back of personal, business, or federal checks, you can make deposits into your account using your mobile device with no extra fees. Uploading before 9 p.m. on Monday-Friday means funds are generally available on the next business day.

Additional features include:

  • View multiple account balances
  • View account details such as recent activity and other information
  • ATM/Branch locator
  • Open new checking accounts
  • Contact Capital One customer service

Secure Connection

Capital One has created Sureswipe, a function that allows you to securely sign into your mobile account without having to enter all of your information every time.

In order to use Sureswipe, you simply create a pattern password using their interface and swipe the pattern each time you sign in. This saves you time and is easy to use on a smartphone screen.

Image Source: Capital One Mobile App

Easy-to-Use Application

This best mobile banking app allows you to easily navigate between accounts and features. You can drag your accounts so that they appear in whatever order you please. You can also easily access different accounts within your profile by simply swiping right or left to view a particular account.

You can easily switch between different profiles, personal accounts, or business accounts by using Sureswipe and TouchID. These time-saving functions make this one of the best mobile banking apps to consider in 2020.

Chase Mobile App Review

The Chase Mobile app provides Chase account holders with easy access to their multiple accounts and general banking needs. The app is free to download and available for iPhone, iPad, Android, or Windows phone users.

If for some reason the app is not available on your phone, you can access the app features by going to the Chase website on your phone’s browser.

Key Factors That Enabled This App to Rank as a Best Mobile Banking App

Below are primary reasons we selected the Chase Mobile App to be rated as one of 2020’s best banking apps.

Wide Range of Options and Tools

With the Chase mobile banking software, you can handle most of your banking needs from your phone. Many account holders will be able to avoid almost all trips to a physical branch because of the large selection of tools and options offered through the app.

Here’s a breakdown of what the app offers:

  • Bill Pay: For those who are enrolled in Chase Online Bill Pay, bill payments can be scheduled according to your needs.
  • Check Deposit: This service allows users to virtually deposit checks simply by taking a picture of the check and submitting through the app. The service allows you to deposit personal, business, and U.S. Treasury checks. Deposit limits are viewable within the banking app for Android, iOS, or Windows.
  • Credit card payments: Chase online members can connect their accounts to the app and make credit card payments to your Chase credit card.
  • Money Transfers: The app offers you the ability to transfer funds between approved Chase accounts. You can also make transfers to your accounts at different banks.
  • Chase QuickPay Access: You can use Chase QuickPay through the Mobile App so long as the payment is between two U.S. bank accounts and one of the accounts is a Chase checking account.
  • Customized Alerts: You can set your preferences to receive alerts regarding the status of your accounts. Since expectations regarding when an alert is necessary varies among users, it’s convenient that the app allows you to set your own preferences for this tool.

Some of the other tools available through the Chase Mobile App are:

  • Ability to wire money, with a few limitations
  • View account balances
  • View statements
  • Set and adjust paperless preferences
  • View rewards status
  • View current and past transactions
  • Find a branch/ATM
  • Receive answers to FAQs

Security Features

The Chase Mobile app uses a 128-bit Secure Socket Layer (SSL) that encrypts users’ personal information, making it one of the best mobile banking apps for secure transactions.

The system protects your username, password, and account information. Any information sent to you will be encrypted and then decoded by the mobile app.

The app also uses a multi-factor authentication that ensures the app is accessing accounts by verified account holders. To log in to the app the first time, users must request an identification code that will be retrieved via email, phone, or text message.

Ease of Use

As one of the best mobile banking apps, the Chase Mobile app is user-friendly. The app allows you to navigate through tools by using easy swipes and clicks on your phone screen. You can also find FAQs on both the app itself and by going to the Chase website.

Simple App Review

Simple is a branchless online bank that offers detailed budgeting features and mobile access. Simple has partnered with STARsf ® , which provides ATM access with no withdrawal fees.

Because the system is branchless, Simple is different than the traditional banking model and appeals to users who appreciate the functionality of a purely online bank.

Key Factors That Enabled This App to Rank Amongst Top Online Banking Apps

Below are primary reasons we selected the Simple app to be rated as one of 2020’s best banking apps.

Goals Saving System

Simple allows you to set specific saving goals. You label a goal, like “Trip Home,” and Simple will deduct money according to your customization to save for that goal. You can set a number of goals at one time.

Technology and Other Requirements

Most of the Simple features are available through the web application, but you can get more out of the service by using the banking app for Android or iOS. For example, check deposits are only accessible via the mobile app.

Accounts are only available for people who are permanent members of the United States, are 18 and over, and have a social security number. IPhone mobile devices must run iOS 8.0 or higher and an Android needs OS 4.1 or higher.

Simple Features

Aside from the budgeting features, this best banking app offers a wide range of banking services, which include:

  • Photo check deposits: Use your phone to take a photo of your check and deposit with your phone. No need to get to an ATM; the app is all you need.
  • Bill pay and transfers: Use online banking apps to set up bill payments or transfers. In most cases, the system will send the payee a check, but for some larger businesses, the payment will be sent electronically.
  • Simple Instant: You can move money between separate Simple accounts instantly. You can do the same to other users’ Simple accounts as well.
  • Account and routing: Easily locate bank account numbers and routing numbers with the Simple app.
  • Card activation: Debit cards can be activated with the app. You can reset your PIN as well.
  • Customer support: Simple offers customer support via the mobile app, phone, or web. Customer support is available 365 days a year and makes a concerted effort to avoid “jargon” and use plain English when assisting account holders.

Security Features

Simple offers Mobile Unlock code, which is a code you create to access the app, adding a further level of security.

The app also provides the extremely convenient block and unblock service. If you fear that you’ve lost your card, you can get into the app and easily block your card. Then, if you find you card, you can just as easily unblock the card with the app and spend as normal. If you don’t find the card, you can order a new one.

Wells Fargo Banking App Review

Wells Fargo offers a mobile app that provides quick access to your account information. The app also offers tools you can use to manage your banking and financial needs without having to head over to the local branch.

Wells Fargo provides online banking apps with no added fees, downloadable on iPad, Android tablets and phones, and Windows phones.

Key Factors That Enabled This App to Rank Amongst Top Online Banking Apps

Below are primary reasons we selected the Wells Fargo app to be rated as one of 2020’s best banking apps.

This best banking app provides a wide selection of features and options. Some of those options are:

  • Check deposit — Mobile deposit requires Android OS 4.4+, iPhone and iPad iOS 7.0+, and Windows phone 8.1+
  • Pay bills
  • Send and receive money by email address or mobile number
  • View account history
  • See your balance
  • Find ATMs and branch locations using GPS
  • Quick access to sign-in screen

Wells Fargo “At a Hand” App

Wells Fargo also offers the At a Hand app, an iPhone banking app made specifically for Apple watch users. This app offers fewer features than the Wells Fargo Mobile app. With At a Hand, you can view your balance for most accounts, and you can choose one account that will display at a glance.

Text Banking

Text banking from Wells Fargo allows users to text specific commands to receive banking information. For example, texting the command ACT will send you the account activity of your primary account.

Security Features

Security for online banking apps is a major factor for many users. Wells Fargo keeps text banking secure by labeling your accounts with “nicknames” that you set and memorize—not by your account number. Furthermore, no detailed personal information is sent via text.

The mobile app and website are secured via a 128-bit encryption that covers your personal information. Also, when you close the app or your browser on the mobile website, your session immediately ends.

Conclusion—5 Best Banking Apps

While many of these online banking apps offer similar features, each app does have at least one unique feature that may appeal to you. The best mobile banking apps for you depend on your particular banking needs as well as your level of comfort with technology.

The larger banks offer somewhat similar features, but you may be surprised by what the online-only banks have to offer in terms of online banking apps. For example, the budgeting features from Simple may appeal to you because you can view your account balance as well as your entire budgeting system in one place on the go.

This list has outlined the major features and requirements of the best banking apps of 2020. Hopefully we have helped you decide which app lines up best with what you’re looking for from a mobile bank.

With such a large selection of banking features available at the swipe and tap of your screen, it seems that the days of driving to the bank and speaking with a bank teller are essentially over.

The modern lifestyle can be extremely hectic, and online banking apps are simple, invaluable ways to save time.

AdvisoryHQ (AHQ) Disclaimer:

Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info.

Note: Firms and products, including the one(s) reviewed above, may be AdvisoryHQ’s affiliates. Click to view AdvisoryHQ’s advertiser disclosures.

With an estimated 1.2 billion users worldwide at the end of 2020, mobile banking is fast becoming the main touch point for banks. This shift in user needs is a grand opportunity – for incumbent banks and also for new tech-focused challenger banks.

Mobile banking has expanded way beyond just apps on smartphones – wearables, IoT devices and smart assistants like Amazon Echo have all greatly impacted the emerging mobile banking system. The race to develop a mass-adopted digital wallet has been in full swing for over 5 years now.

With this interoperability of technology, the number of ways to interact with customers is growing rapidly. 2020 will bring more innovation to the mobile banking arena – and there are 5 mobile banking trends to watch for this year:

#1 Challenger banks

In 2020, in the UK alone, 5 new digital banks received licenses or launched services. These so called challenger banks have no branches and only engage customers through digital media. The response from both customers and regulators has been highly receptive – and a further 20 known UK challengers are hoping to be granted banking licenses this year.

In mainland Europe, mobile telecoms giant, Orange, plan to launch Orange Bank later this year. The bank plans to offer all essential banking services, with the added promise of a unique mobile banking experience. With plenty of expertise in mobile technology, it seems banking is no longer the domain of financial institutions.

Rather than having a branch in which to chat with financial advisors, banks need to find a user friendly way to interact with their customers. Using AIs and chatbots that learn about user habits over time, the banking system can offer advice on a large scale, to great effect.

In 2020, Bank of America’s new chatbot “Erica” launched, and is to help customers make smarter financial decisions. Erica will be available inside the bank’s mobile app and can be interacted with through voice or text. It will use artificial intelligence, predictive analytics and cognitive messaging to help customers do things like make payments, check balances, save money and pay down debt. Other banks will have to step their game up.

As AI use becomes more ubiquitous, the opportunities in AI banking are high. A bot can potentially give much deeper insights into financial behaviour than bank clerks. Expect to see banks join this trend in 2020.

#2 IoT and voice payments

The vocal revolution is becoming more mainstream, with gadgets from cars to smart home devices all predicted to have a significant number of voice-control commands.

The large companies, with the existing infrastructure are leading the way here – Mastercard and Samsung, as well as Amazon and LG, have jointly developed new additions to their smart fridges. These will allow users to order and pay for their groceries using only their voice.

Not to be outdone, car makers are also getting in on the act. Daimler Financial Services, the financial arm of the group that owns Mercedes, has just announced the acquisition of PayCash. This is a part of their plan to have their own eWallet, Mercedes Pay, which they see as crucial to expanding automobile services such as ride-sharing, car-sharing and all car related payments.

Whilst the move by consumer tech companies into voice-enabled payments is a real disruption to banks, they are planning their own voice enabled technologies. From security features to smart assistants, voice technology will add a new dimension to the mobile banking landscape in 2020.

#3 Blockchain

Aside from bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, blockchain technologies have the potential to overcome many of the hurdles that mobile banking still faces. In 2020 we saw companies developing blockchain into applications to disrupt the mobile payments industry.

Security is the biggest concern as transactions go digital. Blockchain technology’s main priority is hyper-security and this will help prevent scams like fraud, double-spending and price gouging. In addition, as the world becomes less cash and card driven, electronic wallets are on the rise. Blockchain security features, such as multi signature verification, will help ensure trust in these new systems.

With blockchain, mobile payments can also be fast. Instantly fast. As developers design and implement faster blockchain networks, the latency seen in current transactions times will be a thing of the past.

Not only do speed and security improve, transaction costs also come down. As smartphones themselves are becoming cheaper, the result is a banking infrastructure that is much more accessible to the world’s unbanked population. 2020 surely promises to be a big year for them.

#4 Banking as a Service

The use of third party APIs has been slow in the banking sector, but this promises to be the future of banking. As financial companies start sharing expertise, they’ll become much more flexible in the operations they can offer.

Banking platforms like SolarisBank are already doing this for fintech start ups. Granted a banking license in 2020, the German company allows their customers to pick and choose their own banking modules to develop a banking experience customised to their needs.

This lets those new challenger banks, other fintech start ups and even the incumbent banks to focus on their customers – you. They’ll be able to offer better mobile apps and cleverer ways for you to interact with your money.

The Open Bank Project is offering a service to facilitate the growth of open APIs. They offer an app store of APIs from a strong community of partners and third party developers. 2020 should see strong interest in the project and open APIs in general.

We’re seeing banking rapidly shrink from buildings to smartphones. However mobile banking is still a relatively new concept. As access to mobile services becomes so much more available, the industry will change. Innovation will intensify in 2020 and the banking industry might not quite look quite the same come next year.

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