Commonwealth Bank in the leader in Australian mobile banking, cementing its top ranking for the second year in a row in a study by Forrester Research, which evaluated the mobile apps of Australia’s big four banks.

Forrester’s report found CommBank leads the pack saying the bank blended “…extensive functionality with a stellar user experience,” NAB and Westpac offer competitive options, while ANZ Bank has room for improvement.

Last year CommBank edged out Westpac to claim the top spot in Forrester Research’s 2017 Australian Mobile Banking Benchmark. The analysts have updated the research in the The Forrester Banking Wave: Australian Mobile Apps Q2 2018.

The report, authored by Zhi Ying Ng and Tom Champion, evaluated the mobile banking apps based on their feature sets and how easy they are to use.

CommBank scored top marks for “best-in-class functionality and excellent usability”. The report noted the app’s features made it easy to transfer money and pay bills, as well as to help users compare spending over time by providing visualisations.

NAB stood out for excellent usability, characterised by strong navigation and good functionality.

While Westpac offers an impressive self-service features, according to the report, it could improve usability. In terms of ease of use, Westpac’s score was dragged down by confusing labels, unnecessary text, and duplicated navigation items.

ANZ’s app is easy to use but is lacking in features and “can deliver more” according to the report.

Digital touch points influence banking choices

Forrester’s research argues digital touch points influence who consumers bank with and mobile apps are the primary way a growing number of Australians, particularly younger ones, interact with their bank.

Digital touch points can also play a role in rebuilding consumer trust in the wake of the Royal Commission. The report notes, “Australian banks are missing an opportunity to improve customer confidence through proactive and in-context assurance that the organisation is trustworthy.”

For example, NAB provides privacy information that is easy to access and written in plain language, whereas competitors use jargon and legalese. CommBank uses visual cues beyond the standard lock iconography by displaying information about the last login on the home screen.

The report also recommends banks extend and enhancing self-service functions for routine tasks within apps eg activating a new card or disputing a transaction. As well as add more features to help customers plan and reach their financial goals.

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