Feb 2023 US Banking App Rankings and Insights

Executive Summary

Executive Summary Global leader US bank continues to dominate the overall Engaged Customer Score Banking App Rankings in Feb 2023.

Tier 1 US Banks

US Bank, Truist, PNC, and Capital One:

High-performing consistency across all journeys and functions is the theme for US Bank where they have had an ECS of over 4.75 out of 5 for over 12 months now.

While US Bank outranks all the other tier 1 banks in the core areas of Security and authentication, Usability and design, Reliability and, Functionality Citibank actually has a better-engaged customer score for the customer journey of checking an account balance. This insight can give the US Bank team an area to prioritize and, a competitor journey to dissect, to maximize the impact of the app team's work for the next update.

Likewise, the US Bank app outperforms all other banks for the depositing a cheque journey so, this is the journey we would recommend other banks look to as best practice to ensure they maximize the effectiveness and impact of work for their upcoming updates and create user experiences that foster advocacy and brand champions rather than increase churn risk.

US National Banks - Core Journeys

In Feb 2022 Wells Fargo released a major update that users had an immediate adverse reaction to and the Engaged Customer Score dropped dramatically. This however was as much a reflection of human nature and the reaction to change as they try and get used to the new ways of navigating and conducting the actions they used to do in a different journey path. A year on and Wells Fargo is back to their previous high levels of engaged customer scores of 4.2 or better and reaping the benefits of the changes.

Wells Fargo is a top performer in the cheque deposit journey (#2 across the entire US market). Discover Financial is one bank that has a great overall ECS score but by looking at the competitor benchmarks, the cheque deposit journey is an area they could look at Wells Fargo and US Bank for cheque deposits to bring its overall ranking up even higher. US Regional Banks

Fifth Third Bank looks to be in the position Wells Fargo was in Feb 2022. A major update has been released and while the initial reaction to the changes has not been great with the overall Engaged Customer Score dropping to 1.55 out of 5, active tracking of feedback to assist in planning for changes in the next updates can improve the user experience faster and minimize churn risk.

TD Bank has dropped away from its high ratings and rankings in mid-2022 and if they want to keep the top regional bank app status and build on the positive customer experiences they are known for, it will need to take a very proactive approach utilizing both publicly available customer data like Touchpoint Groups advanced analytics capabilities from app store feedback and internal data to make that quantum shift back to the top.


Churn Risk

With recent events like the run on Silicon Valley Bank creating a high-stress, low-trust environment, customers may be more prone to churn and according to research from Bain decreasing churn by 5% can increase profits by 95% highlighting th importance of churn risk mitigation.

In the US market Touchpoint group analysis shows that there is a massive variance between the high performers and low performers is huge. The top performing banks have churn risk indicators as low as .5% whereas the bank with the highest churn risk is 16 X higher with 8% of user feedback indicating churn risk.

US Banks Video Transcript


00:05 - Intro by Glenn.

00:32 - Engaged Customer Score Overview

01:20 - US Tier One segment

02:27 - Major Journey Score & Core Journeys Score

04:24 - US National Banks & Core Journeys Score

06: 55 - US Regional Banks & Core Journeys Score

10:15 - Threatening Churn

13:13 - Final words by Tony & Glenn


00:05 - Intro by Glenn.


Glenn: - Hey everybody and welcome to another Banking App Insight Session with Touchpoint Group. We're looking at the U.S Banking categories, that's the Nationals Tier Ones and Regionals.


We will be looking at year to date 2023, how things have been progressing, giving you a general overview of how each of those categories are going and Tony, you're going to dig into some alternative strategies in regards to what you can look at to find improvements in your app and retain those all-important customers.


00:32 - Engaged Customer Score Overview


Tony: - That's right, Glenn. It's not just about your app crashing, there's other things you can do, there's clear improvements even given by customers so let's just jump in.


And we'll cover off today the U.S Nationals, Tier Ones and Regionals. Well let's just jump straight in and just have a look at what we saw at the end of last year. So this is-- again, we've seen this before but it's a nice big perspective about what's going on in the market and the ranks of a few of the banks in there as well. This is North America.


And we can see there there's things--there's some clear differences between some of the top groups and some of the bottom groups but, again, we can also see what happens when things don't go so well when we suddenly see green go into red and vice versa, so we know actually what's going on in there.


But let's step in though and have a look to start with what's happening here in the Tier One.


01:20 - US Tier One Banks & Major Journeys Score

What we're looking at here is U.S Bank, Truist, PNC and Capital One. And one of the things that U.S Bank did so well across 2022 is consistency, and you can see there again it's pretty much sitting on 4.75. Consistency is the key thing for U.S Bank.

The last time they dropped below that was 12 months ago, where there's a slight dip below that point, so consistency is strong. What we can see here also is with Capital One first time dip below 4.25 in a long time so that's something to keep an eye on because if that continues, then it's obviously an ongoing problem.

The others like Truist and PNC, they've both increased across last year but still a bit of a switching between the two of them as they move forward. Let's have a quick look though at that alternative view of not just looking at that SURF Analysis which is around that Security, Authentication, Usability, Reliability etc.; what we're looking at here is looking at some core Journeys.

You might not have seen this view before but just to give you some context about what we're looking at here. Across the top we have these five key areas so looking at Depositing a Cheque, Checking your Account Balance, Monitoring your Account Activity, Paying Bills and Transferring Between Accounts. The five major things by far that people are doing with their apps. You can talk about other types of features but these things here dominate if you don't do these things well it can cause you trouble.

So let's have a brief look at what the score is looking at below here. So, this is a score out of five so when customers discuss this particular Journey what is their score associated with it? And this case here is alphabetical, but if you look down here at the bottom here at U.S Bank who are doing really well actually across the U.S market. They're getting a 4.6 so when customers discuss Depositing a Cheque the experience is really good for US Bank customers we can see there it's a 4.6 and they're doing first across all of US.

Across here we can see they're actually doing slightly-- well it's not bad but, again, they're number two in terms of the Checking Account Balance. That's just basic things like "Can I see my account balance?" And the various ways you can do that. And they can see that Citibank is actually doing a bit better than US Bank. So there's some room to improve for US Bank even though they're doing so well they can actually do all that little bit better there's always a better thing to do.

One of the things also-- just going back to the Depositing a Cheque. U.S Bank is well above others like this they're doing so well; they're dominating this territory, so if anyone wants to learn how to do Depositing a Cheque well, it's US Bank is the one you need to look at they're doing it very well. So, very positive stuff there for US Bank.


04:24 - US National Banks & Major Journeys Score


Let's move forward and have a look at the U.S Nationals. We're looking here at Wells Fargo, Citibank, Chase, Discover Financial, and Bank of America.

Chase is sort of -has flattened out. They sort of -they've come back from that decline the end of November. They're coming out of that and improving from there which is great.

What we're also seeing is Wells Fargo actually had a big leap ahead. Now, one of the things about Wells Fargo is they had their app release about -or it was about a year ago now at the start of 2022. Obviously, it's normal for things to go backwards, it's different for customers they need to get used to things and when they get used to that, suddenly you can actually go forward and leap ahead of where you were before. And it looks like Wells Fargo has seen some benefit from that. Now, they've actually gone ahead, they're sitting at 4.2 and they haven't been to that level for a long time, so they're reaping those benefits for actually doing that change. And also we're seeing of course, the consistency of the likes of Citibank right at the top there are doing very well.

Let's step into again a similar view, just looking now at the Journeys. This is a different perspective on the data just looking across those Journeys: Are you doing well?

Now, of course, these Journeys -it's not just about how the journeys perform in their own right it's also: Is it associated with crashing? So if your journey might be the most perfect Journey ever, but if people get-- if customers get halfway through it and it falls apart that's not a very good journey. It's a mix of the technical issues but also how that Journey functions as a whole.

So, out of these Banks we're looking at in this particular area U.S Nationals we can see that Wells Fargo is doing really well on Check Deposit. It's number two across the total U.S market so it's doing really well. It can improve across other areas but in general it's doing very well on that Check Deposit area. And the likes of Bank of America is doing really -consistency across the board is what I'd say about this it's sort of fourth or fifth across the whole market so doing very well. Nothing specific to improve there, but across the board, they can probably sort of go up another level and learn from the likes of U.S Bank for example. So very positive for them. And the likes of Discover Financial as well. we're seeing that they're sitting there, they've probably improved a bit on Check Deposit, but elsewhere they're doing pretty well consistently third for the remainder, so Check Deposit is the thing I think they can just level it up a bit more and suddenly, they could leap ahead of others in terms of the overall score.


06: 55 - US Regional Banks & Core Journeys Score

Let's move ahead into looking at U.S Regionals.

There's a lot jumping around in here, but one of the things I can see in this as well. Now, one of the things I want to point out we talked about Fifth Third previously how they've dropped down here. This is normal when you do a major change and you're backing yourself because you've made that change for a good purpose, this will happen. You will drop down and we can see it actually increased in February a bit, we expect that to move ahead further and further as customers get used to that change.

One of  the reason this drops is human nature. Basically, customers are used to the way they're doing it. It might take 10 steps, but that's the way I'm used to doing it, but now because of the improvements Fifth Third have made customers are getting used to those changes and that will turn around, and they should benefit from that the same way Wells Fargo has when they can actually this comes back around, they'll get higher than they were before because it is a better approach they're taking.

A few other things here like, we can see that TD Bank has actually dropped down and they're still consistently down there at around 3. They need to actually move things forward as well. So, let's have a look though at what they're doing in terms of these Journeys.

These Journeys are obviously very important for customers. Getting these things right-- this is probably 90% plus of what customers are doing in the app, so getting these right will make a massive difference to your overall score. One of the things here we can see, is we have... let's have a look. -I'll move this down actually to the right area.

Let's have a look at how well each of these Bank apps are going in terms of the Journeys. Across these six major Journeys, which are the major things that customers are doing inside the app we can see that

you know, for example, TD is sitting at fifth on Check Deposit, but it's a bit lower on things like on the right there, it's tenth on Transfer Between Accounts.

Others like -we said that Citizens is doing very well across the board. It sticks across the first three so, Check Deposits and Checking Account Balance and Monitoring Connectivity. At the end their Transfer Between Accounts is 10th so there's some improvements they can make there as well. So, just showing there's some ways to actually get those improvements incrementally. Focus on certain things to get the -to get you up to a certain level.

One of the things though, that's important is -these are just interesting, they're just scores. They're ways to improve things, but what's the physical outcome of getting these wrong?


10:15 - Threatening Churn

One of the things we can look at is... Churn. One example here we're not actually going to put brands against this, but just have a look across the board in the U.S the level of Churn Difference. These are customers threatening Churn in its various forms. So, that they're saying they're moving to someone else, they're going to leave your bank. For example, just because of the experience they're having in this channel.

I've seen various studies around this. There's a few with consensus, around a third of customers say if they have a negative or a bad continuous experience with your app, 30% of those customers say they would actually think of leaving your bank. Not every one of those will follow through, but again it just shows you the importance of this channel for a lot of people.

We can see there's a massive difference at the moment. We can see in the U.S market some at the bottom there are under 0.5% Obviously, you want to try and get that to zero, but that's getting pretty close to it. There's only a handful of people who have that really bad experience whereas the other end of the scale, you're getting nearly 8% of customers in all the feedback are saying something about them wanting to leave your bank.

So, you want to get those things right, get your Journeys right, get your Technical Issues right and then you can get this down to a level which is below that 0.5% level. Very important to keep that going.

One other thing I want to have a quick look at is this area here. Now, just explain what I'm showing you here, customers in their Communication, in their comments back they actually talk about things they want to improve or things they want to add. What's missing in terms of their features? If you want to improve your Journey, what do you do? Obviously, one thing is, get your Technical Issues right, get your Journey fixed up, but here they're actually telling you things at various points.

For example this one here, about Checking your Account Balance via the app. There's actually people talking across the whole Market about how that can be improved and across on the right here, we actually got comments from customers talking about that.

For example at the top here I've got things like "Bring back the Quick Balance feature" So, this one here. There's some features missing for some people "I want to see my net balance between my debt account and my credit card liability, what does that look like?" So there's various ways you can actually improve the simple thing of checking your account balance. Another one in here let's look at another one which is for example, along here we can see things like managing cards for example, we can jump into that one and see what customers are talking about. But across the board, we can actually get down to detail and actually understand what a customer is wanting to see.

So for example this one here "The missing card feature has been removed" This one here: "It's difficult and laggy to actually deactivate debit cards" and if you see what brands are coming through here but the idea is here you can actually see examples across the whole Market, but also filtered down to you in particular.


13:13 - Final words by Tony & Glenn


Tony: - So Glenn, a lot of ways to improve for banks here, and they just need to act on these things.


Glenn: - Yeah and I think really something important there and around looking at those individual Journeys because some of those some of those banks are performing really really really really well across the board and it's just one of those features or Journeys that if they focused on that can make a massive difference in regards to the overall experience that people are having.


Thanks very much, Tony Patrick, and we look forward to talking about the US market yet again next month.

Thanks, folks!