April 2023 US Banking App Rankings and Insights Session

Executive Summary

The US Banking App Insights Sessions for April evaluated the Engaged Customer Scores and SURF Analysis of all US Banks to identify areas for improvement in delivering an excellent customer experience.


Discover Financial

Discover Financial experienced a decline in scores due to issues with the most recent app releases, causing a drop to 2.7 at its lowest. 

It also appears that there has been a reluctance to take up the new versions of the app since version 2301 was released indicating either a lack of trust or, noise from other users that are having issues with the more recent releases, putting other users off updating the version they use.

Discover Financial can however, improve performance by addressing the new app issues.


Fifth Third Bank

Fifth Third faced significant security and authentication issues, resulting in a drop in all the SURF Analysis areas, with 40% of customers dissatisfied with repeated login issues.

We will also dive into how the rest of the U.S Banks are performing against each other in the market and will analyse areas of improvement for PNC and Truist, as they have been fluctuating in their scores throughout February, March and April. 



Video Transcript

00:00:05 - Intro by Glenn

00:00:30 - US Banks Engaged Customer Score (ECS)

00:03:15 - Discover Financial ECS

00:05:35 - SURF Analysis - Discover Financial

00:07:07 - SURF Analysis - Fifth Third

00:08:13 - Customer Journeys

00:09:12 - Final Words by Glenn


00:00:05 - Intro by Glenn

Glenn: Hello everybody and welcome back to another Touchpoint Group Insight Session. We are looking at the April results for the U.S market and, Tony Patrick, It's A Tale of Three Banks this month, we're looking at the rise of PNC, the double dip for Discover Financial and the continued challenges for Fifth Third. I'll leave it in your capable hands, my friend, because there's a lot to get through.


00:00:30 - US Banks Engaged Customer Score (ECS)

Tony: Great, thank you Glenn. As you mentioned, we're covering off a few different banks today and we'll see some numbers though, for all these Banks you can see in front of you now. The U.S Nationals, U.S Tier Ones and U.S Regionals.

Of course, if your bank isn't here, we're happy to have a conversation with you.

Let's just move forward, and go through our standard look, in terms of what's going on in these categories.

Let's have a look.

First of all, looking at our U.S Tier Ones. What we're looking at here is the scores across time, this is what we call our Engaged Customer Score.

These are customers who've given both a score and a comment, and that allows us to get down to actual detail; any movements you see here, we know exactly why they've happened and it gets us down to the pointy end of what's going on, how you can improve is seen in this information.

We can see here a few things going on. One of the things I can see here is that PNC, although it's dropping up and down it's done very well over this year, it's picked up into February, March and April so doing very well, and just you know, just nudging above that 4 again.

If they can maintain that like they did at the end of last year, that would be great. Just stop those dips for PNC is what I'd recommend to them, and if they have a chat to us, we can tell them why that dip is happening as well.

The other one there is we can see that Truist is jumping up and down, in general a trend is moving up from the middle of last year, but those dips up and down would be very frustrating for customers; not one good for them.

What I can see there also is Capital One, is doing some good work at 4.25 and 4.75. The always consistent U.S Bank, except there's a slight dip, but we won't cover that off today, that's that's for another time.

Let's move forward and have a look at some other feedback here looking at these Banks here, Fifth Third and Citizens.

One of the things we'll cover off today is Fifth Third, and we've had a look at them previously when that dip happened at the end of last year but that's maintained. They're having trouble getting above 1.5.

In April they're getting towards 2 but, again, that's not much of improvement, as you can see, compared to others it's very low.

Let's move forward... and have a look at some others here.

For example, here we can see one of the things we'll cover off today is Discover Financial, they have dipped twice, they dipped in March and they dipped in April. We'll have a look and see what's happened there as well.

A few other movements, one of the ones is USAA is having trouble getting above that 2.5, they dropped away at the end of last year, and they haven't picked up on that. Maybe that's one to follow up on later.

Let's have a look at those three we're discussing.

One of the ones is Fifth Third, and that, as we said, is very low.


00:03:15 - Discover Financial ECS

And this movement here we're seeing for Discover Financial is starting to move down in February, a clear move down in March down to 3.9 and a solid movement down up to 3.6 in April, definitely something happening there for customers.

Let's have a look and see what's happening with that.

First of all, what I've done here is have a look at it by week. This is looking at weeks, basically from February, March and April, just having a look at where this dip actually happened.

We saw a soft dip into March here, but the major movement happened at the end of March and down into April here, we can see there that the week commencing the third of April is that big dip down.

They've recovered to some extent, but the whole score for April has dropped, as we saw.

Let's have a look though, at their release cycle because this often tells us what's going on.

One of the things I can see here is that, when customers have a new release for Discover, generally what happens is the older versions drop away fast.

We see here, version 2218.1 that peaked in around the end of January, but as soon as a new version was released that one dropped away and eventually went away just about to nothing, and then this new release popped in 2301, then things dropped away.

But then what we can see here though, this period here where there's been trouble into March and April, this version has not gone away, it's still hanging around as a version people are using.

Maybe, they understand the new version, they've looked around and seen people are having trouble with that, so we hit this one here version 2305 and the average score is 2.7, compared to the people who are still using version 2301, their score is 4.5, people have made that decision not to switch over for whatever reason, they may have seen reviews online and not made that switch -which has made March and April very complicated for Discover.

They haven't been forced to make that update and there's been issues for customers.

Even this new version popping through which is version 2307 the score is 3.6, potentially there's a room for recovery there, but we'll see.

Let's have a look though, at those versions.


00:05:35 - SURF Analysis - Discover Financial

What we've done here is done a chain of these version updates and seeing what's happened from our SURF Analysis.

Those familiar with SURF Analysis will understand this in a lot of detail, but for those who aren't familiar: a SURF Analysis looks at four key areas looks at Security and Authentication, Usability, Reliability and Functionality and these are pain points, we want to get these as low as we can.

First of all, you can see those versions prior to this February-March- this March and April drop, are doing very well they're sitting at below 10% issues across the board in these areas. And actually this is very good for Security and Authentication from a global perspective for them. Then when we hit this version 2305 and 2307 so you see clearly, there's a massive jump in problems. In fact, Usability issues are mentioned by around a third of customers, when we hit that 2307 release.

Clearly, problems that need to be addressed with each of these releases.

Again, we can go down to detail and see what's inside each of these releases.

These are the customers, some people are having a reasonable experience but even they talk about bugs, "It's confusing... it won't let me even get past the opening screen... it's difficult, it's slow..."

Again, there's problems sitting in here that need to be addressed in those new versions that are coming through.

Not much detail in this App update review because there's a lot for them to take on. But if they want to prioritise something, definitely have a conversation with us, we can help them.


00:07:07 - SURF Analysis - Fifth Third

Let's move on to this one here, this is looking at Fifth Third.

You might recall right at the start we saw Fifth Third dropped away at around July-August last year and we saw the dip down to about the score of 1.5 towards 2, and that's been maintained.

What we are looking at here is that SURF Analysis across time just for Fifth Third. What we can see is everything's gone up, which is a bad thing, these are pain points.

If we look back historically we can see Security and Authentication as a problem was mentioned by around 5% of customers prior to that release in August. Now in March and April it's around 40%.

40% of the conversations are around Security and Authentication. Login issues are coming through.

Reliability is also up there; Around 60% of customers are talking about Reliability issues. It's dominating the conversation. It's very difficult then to actually flow through and then improve on your Customer Journeys if this is going wrong.


00:08:13 - Customer Journeys

Let's have a look though, at those Customer Journeys.

This is another different angle over the past six months just having a look at how well each of these Banks perform against each other.

What we're looking at here is the Average Score. When someone talks about a basic thing like Checking your Account Balance, then what's the associated score?

If we see here for Bank of America, the associated score is 3.4, and the leader here is CitiBank at 4.3.

But we can see if we focus on the darker blue across the board, Fifth Third is sitting at 1.4, 1.3, 1.5... Very low scores, and if you recall here the lowest possible score to get is a 1, and they're only averaging just above that.

Problems across the board in terms of the Authentication issues and just generally across the board when customers are trying to use any particular Journey.

Just focusing on one thing for Fifth Third will be great, and then moving forward to improve those Journeys is the next step.

Thank you, Glenn.


00:09:12 - Final Words by Glenn

Glenn: That was absolutely great. Thanks, Tony.

And some major challenges there, Fifth Third, but brilliant that we can actually isolate them and drill down to see where it's actually impacting it.

If anyone wants to have a chat, feel free to sing out I'm more than happy to take up a one-on-one session with you.