The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has the best mobile banking app, according to Forrester, which reviews the apps of major Australian banks annually. Westpac won the award in 2016 but CBA has dominated since, taking the last three Forrester gongs.

The research firm said the CBA’s app stood out because of its user experience and functionality — the two main criteria Forrester uses. None of Australia’s other major banks have been able to strike that same balance, according to the research.

Westpac is close to CBA in terms of functionality but trails in user experience. NAB is the reverse — easy to use but lacks many features, according to Forrester. While ANZ and ING, the remaining banks assessed by Forrester, trail significantly in both functionality and user experience. 

Last year’s report had similar findings and Westpac and CBA have consistently been the leaders for the last four years.

CBA will unveil a redesign of its app in the coming months with more personalisation and features, part of the bank’s renewed $5 billion commitment to digital. Originally released in 2011, the banking app now has over 5.3 million registered users logging on 6.5 million times a day.

Forrester conducted their analysis between February and March this year, testing the apps on several devices based on a typical consumer persona and three scenarios; reviewing transactions, sending money and budgeting.

In the scenarios CBA was the only app to score well in both functionality and usability; features that, when combined, help drive customer loyalty, according to Forrester.

In the Forrester report revealing the results, analysts argued mobile apps are increasingly becoming the main way consumers interact with a bank, particularly younger customers, and a growing cohort of “neo banks” are expected to drive expectations up further.

Commonwealth Bank chief digital officer, Pete Steel, said, “Our focus remains on continuing to deliver experiences that are helpful, innovative and secure for our customers, without sacrificing the functionality and ease of use.

“As Australians increasingly choose to bank online, we will not only have to continue to adapt to their preferences, but ensure we are using digital innovation to build trust with our customers and provide simpler, better banking.”

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