August 2022 UK Challenger Banks App Performance Snapshot

This month we benchmark two of the top performers in the UK Challenger banking category, Chase UK and Metro Bank.

Two shining examples of best practice in action

Both banks are working hard to monitor and manage their apps and it shows. Chase UK is a relative newcomer to the UK market, has demonstrated good performance over the past 4 months sitting at or above 4 consistently over that time. Metro Bank was previously a leader back in 2020 & 2021, dropped back until June this year, where we saw an upswing at last back to their previously held position.

First off, we look at Chase UK. Using the SURF pillars analysis (Security, Usability, Reliability and Functionality) we compare Chase UK’s performance in 2021 with 2022 and it is here that Tony demonstrates his ability to lift every stone to reveal the areas with greater impact on that change for Chase UK and we see that this positive customer experience continues on into 2022.

Tony turns the focus now to Metro, and again we begin with the SURF analysis in July and August that identifies what has happened to improve Metro’s ECS rankings. Here we discover that Metro has positive ECS movement. In order to see exactly what has contributed to this jump Tony moves into the area of Customer Journeys and compares the Mar-May period with Jun-Aug. Immediately we can see that Metro customers are having a much better time with the app now. However we can also see a big issue starting to creep in for Metro – lets hope they continue to address issues as they arise.

This month’s snapshot between Chase UK and Metro clearly demonstrates the effectiveness of addressing issues of reliability to allow the app features and core journeys to come to the forefront. Both banks are successfully getting the components of the customer journey right and maintaining their positions but Metro needs to work a bit harder if they’re to hold their position.

U.K. Challenger banks Engaged Customer Score (ECS) performance rankings for August 2022

U.K. Challenger banks Engaged Customer Score (ECS) performance rankings for August 2022

How does your bank’s app measure up? If you would like a personalised look at your bank's app performance contact Touchpoint Group today for a specific insights session for your business.

Full Transcript

00:00:02 – Glenn: Hi everybody and welcome back to another Banking App Insight Session. This one we are looking at the August performance of the UK Challengers and in particular we're going to have a look at Chase UK. We've looked at Chase in the US this month, if you want to check out that Insight Session as well. And also MetroBank.

So for Chase, for a relative newcomer in the market they've made some fantastic gains. So we'll have a high-level look at where they've made some of those gains. And for Metro, we will look a little deeper to see which areas they have also focused on to claw background in the rankings and of course that all-important related User Experience. Tony Patrick, welcome my friend. Well, let's get into it and looking forward to hearing what you've uncovered this month.

00:00:56 – Tony: Great. Thank you, Glenn. And yeah, today we're looking at the UK Challengers. So obviously Starling, Monzo, Revolut, Atom, Monese, Metro and Chase. Let's jump in and see how that Engaged Customer Score has moved around. So for those who aren't familiar with this score, this Engaged Customer Score actually looks at those customers who've given both a score and a comment. By only including those people we get some really sensitive movements in this data and so you can actually understand how you're really performing and your information is not hidden behind a screen of these lots of other scores that are going on.

So there's a lot happening here but, I just put my mouse over one of these which is Chase UK. And we can see there that Chase has actually had a reasonably bad 2021 up until the end of the year. It's sitting below 3 on their Engaged Customer Score. Whereas you can see in 2022 they've actually really picked up and they're actually- they're improving well just about month to month. The trend is clear here. They're sitting above 4 or around 4 consistently over the past four months, so very positive move for Chase. And we know why that has actually happened, we'll just look at that in a moment.

But I also want to have a look at Metro Bank. So one of the things about Metro Bank is they were actually leading at one point at the end of 2021 out of this particular group and they were sitting around 4.5 across time, but they dropped. They dropped in September 2021 and they maintained that drop until an improvement in June this year. And they've actually had another big jump into August this year. So very positive move, although probably late. They've taken nearly a year to make that move and so it's sort of a wonder they may have actually not really been clear about what was happening but clearly they've actually made a difference now.

So let's have a look and see what's going on, first with Chase and then we'll look at detail on Metro. So this particular view here, we're looking at what's happening with Chase in 2021. Their score is 2.8 across those few months at the end of the year and then we hit 2022 the average score is 4, and it's actually improved from that point, it's above that at the moment. But, that's a really positive move for them across time. So why has that happened?

So let's have a look broadly on the left here, we have what we call our SURF pillars so that's around Security and Usability, Reliability and Functionality. And it gives us a lot of detail around what's actually going on underneath this. So let's have a look here their Reliability. Was it a Reliability problem that stumped them in 2021? Well, the numbers looking at here are actually 2022 numbers and the change is how much it changed from last year. We can see here that currently in 2022, Slow App is 6.1 It's actually gone down so it was 7.1 in 2021. So not a major movement. It's pretty soft, it's only a one-point movement. And the game with bugs. So bugs were about you know 3.5 gone down to 2.3 Yeah, some bug improvements, but that's not going to make the change we can see above there.
Let's go down this list a bit then. Actually, I'll leave the best to last. Let's look at Authentication. Authentication issues, so logging in and authentication that's actually really small and it's actually a slight improvement but again, it's only a 0.1 change in this score and again because these are problems, a percentage is actually- the higher percentage, the worse it actually is. So I want to look at here at Design and UI because this is the one where we're seeing those major movements. So, Poor App Usability, App Difficult to Use, Poor App User Interface. Let's look at Poor App User Interface. Currently in 2022 it's 1.6 so, pretty low. But it was up around 5, 6,
7% odd, around there somewhere. So they've had a major Improvement as in some major changes in the design and UI to actually improve things into 2022. So, well done to Chase. I won't focus on that too much more but there's actually the customers are having a very good experience this year in particular. So let's move on to have a look at let's look at our filters here looking at Metro.

So Metro, focusing just on Metro and what we're looking at, here again, is that SURF Analysis- so, Authentication or Security. That design and UI are Usability, Reliability and Stability and Features and Functionality. So again, when we look at these numbers they are pain points, so lower is better. And we saw that Metro had actually increased their score from July into August so it's a really, really good movement into a well above 4. And so, what we can see here is Authentication or sort of login issues were around, you know, 1 in 20 customers mentioned that. It's gone down now to 1 in 100 so really, really positive movement for them. And that's also then- it's often that that enrolls across into Reliability and Stability and Features and Functionality Improvements because one of the things we'll see in a moment when you improve your Reliability, then your features and Journeys can actually shine.
So let's have a look at a bit detail at some particular Journeys for Metro. So one of the things we're looking at is we're looking at the quarter before that jump up. So looking at the last three months is in orange and the three months before that is in blue. So we're seeing what's happened when they're in that lull over that past year and then those next three months we've actually seen things improve. So one of the things I can see here is that transferring between- and again here we're looking at the average score across these topics so higher is better. It's better to have a higher average score on these topics when people talk about them. So, when people talk about transferring money between accounts we get a score of 2.8 in that previous period when they were in a lull and we're now getting a score of 4.1 so very, very positive. And, Checking Account Balance, one of the core basic things you want to do with it with a Banking App it was 1.2 so pretty negative in that time period it's actually improved to 3 so, there's some improvements across the board. One of the things I'll need to look at though is Depositing Check via the app has actually gone backwards in that time period. So while overall there's an improvement, they need to keep an eye on that Check Deposit feature.

Let's have a look though at this Transfer Between Accounts and what was happening in that previous period? What was happening prior to this Improvement that they would have improved on? So what I want to do now is look at the particularly negative things. Even up to the 3’s maybe out of 5 and apply that. Let's have a look at what was happening. So one of the things we saw in one of the previous charts, was that we had Reliability and issues coming through with the app in that previous period. So we can see here "The app crashes every single time I try to do a bank transfer" so this isn't necessarily about the journey, but the journey's both broken or broken down because of that fundamental problem with the issues, the crashing. And again here "Facing errors all the time, it's hit and missed a transfer money" "I'll ask the details into phone, you have to phone people" It's a very- it's a struggle for people. "Constant errors in the app when trying to transfer money" So again, it's not just about the journey being a problem, there's actually fundamental problems with the app in here as well. "I just want to be able to transfer money away and escape this junk app. The lack of functionality that makes me want to leave prevents me from leaving" So there's really you know, "I can't move money" One of the basic, one of the core things of a Banking App is moving money, this person cannot do it. So again they've fixed those things up. So again what we can do the next few months is have a look at, in particular where the app for Metro actually shines. Because before it was hidden by all these issues about, you know, crashes and so on. But now we can see where they shine and they have room to improve even further from where they are. So, well done to Metro, just need to maintain this across the next few months at least.

00:09:12 – Glenn: Yes, congrats to both Metro and to Chase. Yet again really highlighting how doing those little things well and consistently monitoring managing and improving those areas can make a massive difference overall.

Thanks again, Tony. If you would like us to have a look at the performance of your Banking App sing out and we will see you next month with more insights.