May 2023 US Banking App Insights Session & Citizens Bank Case Study

Executive Summary 

In this month's Insight Session, we showcase an example of the type of reporting we give clients on a monthly basis using Citizens Bank as a Case Study.

We will focus on Citizens Bank and while Citizens Bank is not a client and we do not utilize internal data, we do use actual data we have access to through the Google Play and Apple App Stores.

We look at all the data from a client's perspective on how they can improve their App performance and how to implement the changes to mitigate pain points.

An in-depth analysis across many areas and scores, with valuable takeaways on where to focus on app development to provide an outstanding user experience.

Each month our client services team run thorugh the following agenda with our clients in relation to the app performance.

  • An update on app priorities and activity over the month from the client
  • A presentation of the monthly results including the situation and recommendations
  • A live walk-through within the Ipiphany analytics platform to answer any specific client queries not included in the reporting
  • A client run-through of any expected app activity in the following month to give the next round of reporting some focus.

In this example we identify a number of core issues Citizens Bank needs to focus on to lift the performance of the App and arrest the downward slide.

There is a need to prioritize getting the reliability and authentication issues sorted first. This will have a flow-on effect to improved journeys.

Beyond this, there needs to be a review of the some customer journeys such as bill payment and auto-payments as customers feel they are outdated.

Other Notable Ranking Changes:

Bank of America and Truist are on the rise again, jumping ahead of Capital One which has slipped two places to fifth on the rankings chart.

Regions is another with positive gains where Discover Financial continues to drop.

While the Discover Financial Engaged Customer Score (ECS) has only dipped from 3.57 in April to 3.56 in May, it is a significant drop from the 4.24 ECS in January when the downward trend started.

Prior to January 2023 the Discover Financial banking app was consistently in the top 4-5 performers. With M&T Bank and KeyBank apps on the rise, there is a significant chance that Discover financial Bankning App will soon be in the bottom tier of apps being tracked.

Video Transcript

00:05 – Intro
00:58 - Citizens Example Reporting
03:47 - SURF Analysis
07:19 - Customer Journey Benchmarking
09:59 - Final Words

00:05 - Glenn: Hello, everybody, and welcome back to another Touchpoint Group Insight Session. This month we are going to change things up a little bit, and we thought we would give you an insight in regards to how we typically work with each of our clients as an extension of their team. Each month looking at their performance and the value that we add and the conversations that we had to give them the upper hand around the changes and the focus that they put on their app development. Tony Patrick, I'm just going to hand it straight over to you as usual, because you've got everything under control...


00:40 - Tony Patrick: Thank you Glenn. Today we're having a look at a typical monthly report that we would work on for a client. Typically we'd work on them collaboratively, so we actually work with them to understand what their needs are to produce this.


00:58 - Citizens Example Reporting.


Today we're looking at Citizens, out of the US. And just so you're aware, this is example reporting. It's not being produced with Citizens, nor had any input from Citizens. Although this is real data, this is real information that Citizens could actually take on board and use right now.

So let's move into it. First of all, What do these monthly sessions include?

So, first of all, we have an update on the app priorities and activity over the month. This is from the client, so we are an extension of the team so we can understand what's going on. What should we focus on? What are the activities that are happening over that month or the next month?

The next piece is actually a presentation of the Monthly results, including the situation and recommendations from us about what we're seeing. This is what we're going through today. There are only about ten slides, so it's not too much depth in here. -There is a lot of depth in terms of the information, but in terms of we don't want to overwhelm people with hundreds of slides. We're focusing where we need to focus.

Number three here is a live walk-through within Ipiphany. So what tends to happen is we might see some information in this reporting reproduced and then someone will ask, can we see that in more detail? So live in that session, we can go in and understand in depth anything we need to look at inside that, inside Ipiphany.

And number four is a run-through of an expected activity over the next month with some reporting. So the focus of reporting can be fine tuned for that next period as well. Let's move into it.

So, first of, there's a lot on here, but what I'm going to do to say is focus on the purple box, is where I like to say in this. So this is a full report, but in here I'm just showing -look here's some key things to focus on as we move forward.


The summary we've seen over the last few months is -this is for Citizens, a focus on getting the Reliability and Authentication issues sorted first. If you don't do that, then the journeys for customers aren't going to work. It has a flow-on effect to improve journeys as we'll see in a moment. And beyond this, there's also a need to review the main customer journeys as customers feel they're outdated. So we'll have a look at that and see why I'm saying that in there as well.

And we're also seeing Citizens had a score drop from March and it's yet to recover into February levels. What we're seeing is Regions has also increased in that time. So the gap is 3.1 versus 4.1. Regions is now one point ahead where they were reasonably equal or just behind previously.

Let's just see those numbers.

On the top right there, we can see Citizens in yellow, and Regions has moved ahead, sitting at the top right there, it's moved ahead of Citizens in the past few months. And we can see the reason why.

One is Regions has actually jumped up from where it was historically, but also Citizens has moved down and it's having trouble hitting bumping above that 3.5 level. Let's understand what the differences are between these brands. But also first let's have a look at why... -What happened to Citizens in that time there? Why has it jumped down?


03:47 - SURF Analysis

Now, what we're looking at here is what we call our SURF Analysis. For those familiar with this, it focuses on looking at pain points. So we want to keep these things as low as possible.

And it covers off four key areas: Security and Authentication, so, logging in, Usability, Reliability, and Functionality. As these are all pain points, we want to have these as low as possible.

We can see before the drop half of the Citizens in February, we had some low numbers, totalling about 50% of the feedback was around these issues. But we can see that's jumped up. And if we look at one in particular, say, Functionality, has gone from 16.6% in February, up to 30.6%, nearly doubling in that time period.

But if you look on the right there, we can see some things that actually moved up in particular. We can see Authentication issues have gone from about 7% in February and up to about 17% in May. That's a reasonable jump and we'll have a look at why that's happened as well. And also Functionality-related issues have doubled as well.
So again, there's really clear issues there. Only a third of customers have talked about some Functionality issues along the way.

So let's move forward and have a look. Just follow the purple boxes at the moment. What we're seeing here for Authentication in May is that the Biometrics have jumped up. So what we're seeing here down the middle of that column there on the left is we can see that the percentages of people mentioning these topics in May is 2.1% for Biometric ID. That's jumped up by 1.8 percentage points. So it was essentially nonexistent. People weren't talking about it or concerned about it, but jumped up from nowhere up to 2.1% and similarly across the board for the Biometrics down further. And what we can see on the right, in summary, at that particular area, the Face ID and Touch ID is being lost. The authentication credentials are being forgotten by the system. That needs to be obviously focused on by Citizens.

Let's have a look at those Functionality issues we found. There are Functionality issues across the board, so the app isn't working as expected. What's happening when people are trying to do certain things? The app is crashing or malfunctioning at certain points, like making transfers or deposits or even just basically logging in. There's really clearly an issue for customers recently in May, so there's some work there to pick that up as well.

Okay, there's a lot happening in this chart here, but what we're seeing here is we're comparing those things we saw before, those SURF issues. So, Security, Usability, Reliability and Functionality. And again, we want to have these as low as possible.

We're seeing here how Citizens compares to some other US banks here. On the left here, Reliability is at 27%. 27% of Citizens customers in May have mentioned something about Reliability problems. That's a fairly high frequency the likes of others. We have Fith Third in green and Huntington here in red. They're very high. They've got some other issues, they've got clearly some massive problems going on with Reliability.

But here I want to compare Citizens to Regions. Regions is ahead of Citizens right now. Why is that?

Well, Regions basically has half the level of Reliability issues and nearly only a third the level of Functionality issues. Authentication issues are about a third of that level as well. Clearly, across the board customers are having a better experience with Regions, fewer issues in these particular areas.


07:19 - Customer Journey Benchmarking

So let's step forward. Again. Now a bit of a mind switch. We're looking now at the journeys, but here it's around the score. We want to have the score as high as possible. When customers talk about these particular journeys, we want to see that score as high as possible.

So across the bottom here, we've got various types of journeys like simply things like checking your account balance, depositing a cheque, monitoring account activity, for example, so you can see those across the bottom.

But what I can see here is a few areas where Citizens is scoring a lot lower than Regions. For example, a basic thing like monitoring account activity is only scoring a 3.1 for Citizens, as compared to 4.4 for Regions and similarly paying bills 2.7 for Citizens, 3.6 for Regions. Some things to improve there.

But what can Citizens do to improve? Let's have a look.

There's a fair bit here, but just I said before, focus on the purple box. One of the things on the left there this is about Monitoring Account Activity what I can see there, customers are saying there's an inability to view, search, or label past transactions beyond a certain time period.

"The app is not clear or easy to use and doesn't allow to access to transactions more than two weeks old." An issue there for customers trying to sort out their finances in terms of the Transparency of Transactions.

On the right, there's an issue with Bill Payments. What's happening there is users find the current base outdated, cluttered, and unintuitive. So it's clunky for some people. There needs to be some review of that Bill Payment piece to make sure that's working smoothly for customers.

As I said a long way, our clients tend to ask questions in that period that we can go into Ipiphany and then deep dive into that further if we need to understand that more.

But also each month we have some other queries which might come through. As an example, what I'm looking at here is missing features and improvements. In this case, Citizens might have asked -okay, Can you understand for us what our customers want? What new things do they want in the app?

When customers do talk about missing feature requests, they don't necessarily always talk about things that are totally new, but they talk about things that can be improved as well. At the top there, we can see the Auto Payment System needs improvement. There are things like dead ends in the process, non-functional buttons and things like that. There's an improvement definitely happening in there.

What they also ask for are things that are very specific, in the middle there, that's smaller box, we can see the freezing cards needs to be added as a feature, notifications widgets and a more comprehensive FAQ page. Clearly, some things that Citizens can work on to get things going there.

That's pretty much an overview of what we go through in terms of month review. And thank you.

09:59 - Glenn: It's great. -Thanks, Tony. And just to clarify as well, from this point onwards, you generally get into dialogue and look at diving deeper in the platform, highlighting specific areas that the clients really want to look at.

So thank you so much, folks. We will look forward to next month. If you want to have a chat to us and if you want to get something like this involved in your bank, please reach out, have a chat, and we're more than welcome to walk you through how we would work with you at any stage.