June 2023 US Banking App Rankings and Insights Session

Executive Summary:

In this Touchpoint Group Banking App Insights session, Tony Patrick provides an in-depth analysis of USAA Bank's challenges with customer satisfaction after implementing changes to their banking app in September of the previous year. The session highlights the gradual decline in customer happiness, identifies specific issues faced by USAA, and emphasizes the need for urgent action to address these concerns.

Following the app changes, USAA experienced a significant drop in customer satisfaction. The rating declined gradually from a historically strong level above three to around 1.25 by the end of October. Tony Patrick emphasizes that the lowest possible rating on the iOS and Android stores is 1.0, indicating the severity of the decline.

Functionality emerged as a major problem for USAA customers. The analysis reveals a notable increase in functionality issues, particularly with app money transfers and the ability to find scheduled transactions. Customers expressed frustration with the new design and difficulties in locating and viewing their scheduled transactions. The problems with functionality were identified through comments and scores provided by users.

Another issue that arose was the unexpected appearance of an older app version, 10.0, which created confusion for users. Despite being forced to update, customers found no available update for Zelle, causing disruptions in functionality and leading to complaints from Android users with the 10.0.4 version.

While functionality issues remained relatively stable, reliability problems increased over time. Nearly half of the feedback in June cited reliability issues, with a significant rise in broad technical issues and bugs. Customers reported difficulties in depositing checks and encountering non-functional virtual chat, highlighting the need for prompt bug fixes and overall reliability improvements.

Comparing USAA's bug-related feedback to other banks, it became evident that USAA had the highest percentage of bug mentions, emphasizing the urgency of addressing this pain point. The analysis reveals a clear gap between USAA and other banks in terms of customer satisfaction, indicating the importance of focusing on member concerns and delivering a seamless user experience.

Moving forward, USAA needs to prioritize bug fixes and address the challenges introduced by the app changes in September. It is crucial for the organization to ensure that customers adapt well to these changes and to take steps to rectify any lingering issues. By addressing functionality and reliability concerns promptly, USAA can work towards improving member satisfaction and regaining their position as a leader in customer experience within the banking industry.

Video Transcript:

Glenn Marvin (00:01.442)
Hello again and welcome back to another Touchpoint Group Banking App Insights session. And this month in the US we are going to be featuring USAA Bank. And for a member driven organization that made a major change in their banking app in about September last year, they're struggling to keep their members happy. And Tony Patrick is going to give us a bit of a run through around why.

Over to you Tony.

Tony Patrick (00:32.162)
Great, thank you Glenn. Yes, the focus today is USAA, but just first of all, let's have a look at what's going on in the market to see where things stand at this point. So this is up to June, the end of June. And what we can see here, there's a few things going on that Truist is continuing to improve. They're sort of hitting that 4.25 level, which is really good. We do see a bit of a drop in PNC, which I wanna watch next month because that's dropped twice in a row. And if they don't pick up next month, they'll be the lowest they've been.

That's interesting for these tier ones. Let's step forward into the regionals. So one of the things here we can see is 5th 3rd has dropped away a bit but they are improving. So one of the things we can see from April, there's continuous improvement from that point. So positive from 5th 3rd in there as well. We see a mix of things like TD has dropped away and there's no real signs of a pickup there at this point.

But again, they need to get on top of those things to bring themselves back to that leadership position. They were for regionals previously So let's step forward into the area we are going to look at today So at these national this national bank level one of the things we can see which we could have covered it off today is Discover Financial and the drop away over multiple months. So we're going to like to look at that in July and see where that's actually moving to but today the focus is USAA

Now we saw that they were sitting above three previously and this goes back months before what we can see here. They're sitting reasonably well above three. And what happened in September is they dropped away. In October, they hit a low point, but that hasn't really improved them. They're sitting just above two. Now, as a reminder, the lowest possible number you can get in this scale is one because it's a one to five scale on the iOS and Android stores. And what we're seeing here is those people who've given both a comment and a score.

So we know exactly why those movements have happened. So we know why this drop has happened here, but also we know why USAA has not improved from that point. So let's jump in and have a look.

So this is just USAA isolated and we can see that massive drop away in September and into October. So let's have a look at closer look at that and sort of zoom into this space here from August to October and look at it by week and see what happened.

So what we can see here is that it wasn't just a sudden drop that happened in a particular week, it was a gradual decline. We can see here the start of August, it was sitting at that three, three and a half level, which is really good, which is where it had been historically. But then week by week, there was a slow erosion of what went on until it hit this point at the end of October at around 1.25. So a gradual decline, not something massive that happened at a certain point that could fix, there's some gradual problems going on.

So let's have a look at the release cycle. What happened over this time? So one of the things, just looking at the broad background of those spikes we can see, so we hit across these spikes, as we'd expect, 10.15, 10.16, 10.17, and we move along to all these spikes that are going on. But the issue happened in September, so it's this version here, this 10.17, where things started to happen.

But what's very interesting here is it's probably a sort of a side issue here. This one here, this spike in blue, why did we suddenly get a spike of a very old version of the app appearing? So this is well before these current versions, where suddenly a 10.0 version appearing suddenly out of nowhere. Let's keep that in mind as we step forward and I'll show you why that's happened.

So let's have a look. This is just looking at, we'll get some examples popping up here. This is just looking at what happened in September. So it's good to understand why that problem happened so we can see what's happened beyond that point. So first of all, we're looking at what the score was for USAA. It was around three, 3.1 sitting here, but it dropped away to 2.3. So that big drop we saw has happened at this point. Why did that happen?

What we're seeing below here is the frequency of problems happening in certain parts of the app. So four broad areas, but one of them is functionality is 34%. That's gone up 11 percentage points. So it was around 23% previously as a problem. Now it's around more than a third of customers have mentioned this functionality issue was a problem. Let's look on the right. There was some subtopics of that.

What I can see here, for example, just pick one of these, poor app money transfer has gone from about 5% up to 11%. So a doubling in problems in poor app money transfer. So on the right, I've actually got that as a bit of a summary. So I can see the scheduled transactions have actually not working. It's actually hard to find things. So we know that USAA made an app update at that point. So we can see people having problems trying to find their scheduled transactions and they can't even view them, for example, in here.

So what I could do though, I can actually view and have a look at these comments and summarize this myself to see exactly what's happened. Or I could actually cross break that, just another part of the app and see exactly where it's happening in the app, for example. But what we've got as a new functionality sitting in here, now this is an alpha version what we have in here. I can then summarize what I'm seeing here from a simple perspective. So what I have here, I've actually queried this and said, list the top three issues and include an example comment with each.

So of all those comments we just saw before, the system just summarized that for me. So basically what we saw before, scheduled transactions in a separate tab. So now it's harder to find those transactions. So for these people, the new design's awful. Having any clearly separate tab is the stupidest way to show account info, for example. And also this other one, inability to view all scheduled transactions is there as well.

The other one there, this is an interesting one. So keep this in mind, Zelle is not working and unable to update the app. So that's the third thing sitting in there. So what I'd like to do is step forward into the next piece is understand that 10.0 peak when it shouldn't have happened. So this is just looking at that 10.0 peak that happened in September. And we saw that jump up out of nowhere. Why did it happen? And again, I've got examples of what's going on. I can see the actual examples of what's happening here.

But why not just query that and actually understand what's going on? So here I've got this issue, unable to update the app after using Zelle, no available update for Zelle on Google Play, and Zelle not working after the update. So what's happened here is basically people are being forced to update, but there's no update available for them. So that's why those 10.0 customers are suddenly appearing out of nowhere. And actually what we can see here in the examples, this is our 10.0.4 customers on Android. They're the ones that are having that problem.

And this query summarizes that nicely for us. But what's happened since that September period? What have USAA done to improve the situation? So let's have a look. So first of all, these are four key pain point areas. We're going to minimize these as much as possible. So we can see what happened in September, October. We had this sudden spike in functionality issues. So in here, we saw a massive increase in functionality issues.

We saw some of the things there people couldn't find things they could normally find. They had extra steps to get to things that they were going, they could easily do them one step before.

That has remained fairly flat as a problem. It's around 40% of the feedback is about the functionality issues, and that's remained flat as you can see. But what's happened since that point, this one here in particular reliability, it jumped up a bit, sure, but since that point it's actually increased and increased to hit about 45% of the feedback in June is around reliability issues.

So imagine that, nearly half of the comments around reliability problems in June. So let's have a quick look at some subtopics underneath reliability to give us a guide about what's going on. So what we can see here, just broad technical issues has moved from around 20% up to 40, so doubled in those broad technical issues. And this one around bugs, so very specific type of technical issue, bugs are going on.

It's around 5% back in July, and that's gone to about 15% in June. So we can see here that actually tripled. So it's a very negative problem. Let's have a look on the right there. What I'm going to look at now is how does that compare? So bugs, is that a high number or a low number compared to the market? So looking at that across the whole time period here, across that whole past year, I can actually compare that.

What we're seeing is the average across the year for USAA is 8.7%. mention of bugs. How does that compare to others? Well, it's the highest. So that obviously is a pretty bad pain point for customers. And the second lowest down, fifth third is sitting at 7.5, but the average is sitting at 3.5. So they need to more than halve that and get it even lower than they were previously to get it back down to some normal level. Let's have a quick look at it though, just for June, to give some context about what's going on here. So just for June...

And I'll apply that. So on the right, what we can see.

If I get a quick summary of what's going on in here, actually what I will do is I'll go to May-June just to give us a bit of a better feel.

So we're not tightening in just on that one month. So we've got a summary of what's going on. I can see there, there's a big jump up in those reliability issues, and particularly bugs are going on here. And examples coming through here around things like depositing a cheque isn't possible, virtual chat doesn't work. So the issues coming through for USAA are increasing for customers. It's more and more frustrating as time goes on.

So they need to understand, first of all, fix these bugs. They also need to understand that those changes they made back in September have not stuck. Customers aren't getting used to them. So some big fixes are in order for USAA. Thank you, Glenn.

Glenn Marvin (11:06.446)
That's great. And how does that stack up in relation to the other banks for June and July? As I mentioned, it is significant.

Tony Patrick (11:12.67)
Yet what we can do is have a look. Yeah, so let's have a look at that. So what I can do here is jump in here. I'm looking at just May and June at this point here. And I can see there USAA is 15.2%. So that is well out of whack with the market. So the closest is 9%. So clearly there's some problems there for customers. There's a big frustration. So thank you, Glenn.

Glenn Marvin (11:37.774)
Thanks and for a member driven organization at which the members are at the heart of everything that they do. It should be a big concern and a big focus of them moving forward. So thanks Tony and we'll look forward to seeing you all again next time.