November 2022 US Regional Banks App Performance Snapshot

Executive Summary


Fifth Third Bank recently launched a major update to its user interface and customers have come out swinging with negative feedback. This is common with major updates as users get used to changes however, the focus for Fifth Third bank needs to be on rectifying glitches quickly and regular communication to users to speed up the adoption and educate them on new ways to navigate and use the app.


In July the Fifth Third Engaged Customer Score ™ (ECS) was sitting at 3.75, right up with the top three in this sector. In November the Fifth Third Banking App ECS hit an all time low of 1.64. When we drill into this, the troubles began with the major release of 4.0.0 and the subsequent update of 4.0.1 does not appear to have resolved the issues.


US Regional Banking App Engaged Customer Score Rankings For Nov 2022




Looking at comparative painpoint data on other apps relating to user interface, Fifth Third used to be mid pack with 1.3% of negative feedback relating to this. Since the major release, this has shot up to 10%. This is five times more than the next worst and 15 x more that the segment leader Santander US.


We have seen this before, most notably with the Wells Fargo update in Feb 2022 and it took them 9 months to get back to their pre Feb Engaged Customer Score. So, the trick will be how fast Fifth Third can come out of this and the learning other banks can take from these is lots of communication early, preferably prior to prepare users for changes in how the app interface, why, and the benefits they will see long term.



US Regional Bank Banking App Insights Session Transcript  Nov 2022

00:00:05 – Glenn: Hello everybody and welcome back to another Touchpoint Group Banking App insights Session and we're looking at the U.S Regional Banks for November 2022 and we're going to be digging into  Fifth Third Bank after the recent major release in their app with a new UI they're not necessarily  universally well received, Tony Patrick but we've seen this before. I'll hand it over to you my friend

00:00:33 – Tony: You're right Glenn so today we are covering off US Regionals with TD Bank, Regions, Fifth Third, Citizens, KeyBank and Huntington. I'll just jump in as like I usually do and straight into having a look at some scores here. First of all, there's a few things going on here we can see -one of the things I can see here is that for example TD has had a drop recently but if they're picking up so they're obviously aware of what's going on and making those changes. 

There are a few things jumping around here. Even Huntington had that massive increase they're on a positive trajectory but they're just jumping around a fair bit at this point, but it is fairly positive. Now again, this score we've got going here is the Engaged Customer Score, so it's the score coming from the App Store and the Google Play Store. What it relates to are people who have given a score and a comment, and it allows us to be have very sensitive movements in what's going on here. This is not typically what you see in the in the app store scores for example, they are very flat numbers, pretty much all the apps are the same and you can’t see any much of a difference but here we can see a difference. 

One of the things we've seen here is that... -which I want to have a focus on today is Fifth Third. Fifth Third was doing reasonably well up until July sitting around 3.75 so amongst the best. 

There was a bit of a drop away in August and September but there's been a particular drop in November, and we know why that's happened.

 It is a very massive drop from around 2.75 down to 1.75 so getting towards that 1.5 level out on the lowest score you can get on this is 1. Obviously, there's pain for customers coming through here. 

Let’s look at the version releases and the frequency. So what we're seeing is version 3.66. Version 3.66 had a score of 3.4, that wasn't their best score but still up there, they're still doing okay. Now obviously, there's a transition to the next version which is a major release at version 4.

Version 4 is sitting there but the score you can see there is 1.6. so it's gone from that score of 3.4 down to 1.6.There has also been a fix attempted in between there as version or a newer update 4.0.1 but that hasn't turned things around. The average score is still 1.4. 

Let’s look into this a little further - Broadly this is version 3.66 you can see at the top there and basically there's a few green indicators: Good Service Provider, Good Company, Good Bank. There is positive stuff going on. 

There are a few smaller negative things, there's some issues with Touch ID and a few settings issues going on there as well but it's not -there's no majors indicating a big problem here. 

When you then look at feedback relating to version 4, things change dramatically. The sort of the comments coming through are: 'Horrible update'...  Clearly there's problems going on with that update. Looking at this concept area and what we can see here when this pops up is basically Poor App User Interface.  

So, it's not about Reliability, there's a couple of things in there, It's not about Logging In Issues or although the rest of some small things it's basically the User Interface. To be to be fair on Fifth Third though, this is reasonably common when you get a major release and major changes. 

People like to go on autopilot, they're used to what they're used to and suddenly  it's changed in front of them and again, that is that can be disrupting for them it just -it depends how long it takes them to come out of this cycle as well so next time they go in they might get used to it, they might understand the change and then it's all good. 

Obviously, Fifth Third have done this for a reason. They're looking at best practice about what might be the best things to improve on but customers initially have got some issues. 

Let's have a look though at what people are talking about in terms of Poor User Interface. We can see  more comments coming through here. 

First one, "Horrible design" but again here,  "the layout's horrible... I hate the new layout..." The new look... dislike the new layout... The worst look... The layout's cumbersome... It's garbage..." So again I don't want to go into you know, in all the detail here but again, "the interface is bad..." 

So again, this is causing issues for customers - they're not used to this, they need to find the things like how to see their most recent transactions and things like that and it's hard to navigate to get to a lot of the things they're trying to do. So... "don't know how it's laid out... it's a bland look... it's difficult to find things" are comments that we expect to see.

So again, I think this is one of the things where Fifth Third need to keep a close eye on what's going on here because this could obviously cause ongoing issues if they just sit back and think this is normal. They need to see what's going on they can change in the short term. 

Let's have a quick look though at another effect of this compared to others, for example. 

Looking at is Poor App User Interface pain points. There will always be a specific percentage of people talking about Poor User Interface and we can see this normally hover under 2%.

In November we saw an increase in that, it's gone to 10% in November and that's fairly high. Let's have a look though how that compares to others.  Just looking at October, before the decline in score, we can see that Fifth Third is sitting at 1.3% which is pretty much in line with others. It's about the average across here a few others sort of hit above 2% and so on. 

So you can see it's doing reasonably well there. But if I change this to November, what we can do then is see the impact of that so we already know what the score is, I've given that away at 10%. So 10% of the feedback is coming is talking about a Poor User Interface and as we saw here this is well above others like, again, this is probably 15 times Santander US and more than you know, five times the second place here. So clearly issues going on Fifth Third need to keep an eye on this to make sure it doesn't get out of control.


00:07:57 – Glenn: Some telling stats there. But like you said, we've seen this before I think most notably with Wells Fargo when they released their new major update for the UI in Feb 2022, and I'm sure we'll see it again. 

The trick will be how fast you can come out of this and how quickly you can get your customers used to these sorts of things, so maybe some pre-planning and some comms and getting people pre-warning them about what the release was going to be like can help minimize the impact of these things. Right, and January we'll be back looking back at the year of 2022 in review who are the movers and shakers and what were those most notable events in the banking at landscape for 2022 and what we can learn from it. Have a great one folks!