September 2023 US Banking App Rankings & Insights

 Executive Summary: US Bank App Performance Insights 




Welcome back to another round of insights into the banking app performance for the month of September. This examination primarily focuses on US banks, contrasting stalwarts like US Bank and Citibank, while also diving into platform-specific performances on iOS and Android.


Key Findings:   

1.  US Bank vs. Citibank:  Both banks have demonstrated robust app performance. US Bank, particularly, stands out with a consistent score of 4.7+, demonstrating structured and regular app releases. Meanwhile, Citibank also fares well, but there's a discernible gap when we study its performance on iOS vs. Android platforms.


2.  Platform Differences Matter:  One of the most striking revelations is the disparity between Citibank's performance on iOS compared to Android. On Android, Citibank outperforms US Bank, but the tables turn dramatically on iOS. The Citibank iOS version significantly underperforms when juxtaposed with its Android counterpart. 


3.  Other Banks' Performance:  Several other banks exhibited notable shifts in performance. For instance, Capital One showed a subtle decline, ending September flat at 4. Truist, on the other hand, has witnessed a commendable rise, moving from last position a year ago to now standing just behind US Bank.


4.  Pain Points & Issues:  For Citibank, major pain points for Android users centred on authentication, while reliability and stability were commendable. However, on the iOS front, a starkly different picture emerged. A whopping 20% of iOS users raised concerns about the app’s reliability and stability. 


5.  User Journeys & Interactions:  Delving into the core functionalities, Android users of Citibank's app expressed satisfaction with paying bills, monitoring account activity, and checking account balances. However, the same wasn’t reflected on the iOS platform, hinting at deeper systemic issues with the platform-specific design or functionality.


Conclusion & Recommendations:   

While designing apps, focusing solely on features and journeys isn't sufficient. The underlying operating system plays a pivotal role in determining app performance. The difference in Citibank's performance across Android and iOS platforms underscores this fact. 


For banks and other institutions, the lessons are clear:

-  Platform-Specific Optimisation:  It's imperative to develop and optimise applications keeping in mind the unique nuances and requirements of each platform. This ensures consistency in user experience and performance.


-  Address Core Issues Promptly:  Addressing fundamental problems such as app stability, reliability, and login issues should be a priority. For Citibank, the significant gap in iOS performance compared to Android is primarily attributable to these issues.


-  Regular Monitoring:  Regular tracking and analysis of user feedback can provide early signals of potential problems, enabling timely intervention and solutions.


The banking sector, with its ever-increasing reliance on digital platforms, cannot afford to be complacent. Delivering a seamless and consistent app experience across all platforms is not just a desire but a necessity. 


For further insights or assistance on improving banking app performances, please reach out to the Touchpoint team. 


Video Transcript:


Glenn Marvin (00:05): Welcome back to another Touchpoint Group Banking App Insights Session. We are looking at the US bank categories for the month of September, and it's gonna be a case in this session of not just Looking at US bank versus Citibank, some of the leading contenders in that region, but also iOS versus Android and some of the lessons that any of you can take out of this is it's not enough just to focus on the features and journeys in your app, you need to also be incredibly cognisant of designing and developing for each of those platforms. 



Tony, we're gonna have a look at this massive variation between the performance of Citibank on iOS versus Android in comparison to US Bank, and I'm really looking forward to this. It's actually a massive eye-opener.


Tony Patrick (01:09): It is Glenn, yeah, definitely. So we'll cover off and look at some of the scores across these other banks to see how they're performing. But you're right, Citibank versus US Bank is a nice one to look at, and we'll show you why in a moment and get to some of that detail. But let's jump in and have a look at how each of these banks has performed into September. So let's have a look at you know here's one of the ones we'll cover in a moment, US Bank. It's a very solid performer, a few dips across time.


They're very structured in the way they release their apps. And that's why they're getting a 4.7 plus consistent score. PNC has had some trouble recently, sort of getting below that 3.5 level. Although recently, they've actually picked themselves up in July, August, and September, so they are solidly moving forward. But again, they've only been at that four-level. They should be up above that. Capital One, now we've watched this across time before as well, and that subtle movement, I'm not sure if they're aware because month-by-month is a very small movement, but clearly, we're seeing this here as well. 


And as you're aware, the regular watchers will be aware that this is what we call the engaged customer score. So it's customers giving both a score and a comment. So we know exactly why these movements have happened. Also, these movements are a lot more subtle, or we can pick up subtle movements as compared to some of the internal metrics that many of these banks will get.


So they've gone from 4.4, and they're sitting at around 4. It's flat across into September, but they need to watch to stop that continued decline. Truist, now Truist, is on the rise. So it's a great sort of lesson for them about how they've actually pushed themselves forward. All the effort they've put into that is actually coming off. And then now they were sitting last out of this particular group about a year ago. Now they're second, just behind US banks, so very positive.


So let's move forward and have a look at some other banks in here. So now this is our second one we'll look at a bit later. Is Citibank doing well? And we'll see later on, do some comparisons in there as well. Chase have actually picked themselves up across time. And now let's have a look at some others in here. 


So Discover Financial has had that drop in February. This is the start of the year. And they haven't picked up since. They need to really sort out why that's going on.


We know why that's happening from the data, but they need to understand that as well and then move themselves back up to where they were. So a change, you wanna make sure those changes are gonna have a positive impact, but it's been nearly eight, nine months since that's happened, and they need to pick themselves back up pretty fast. 


So let's have a look at a few others. There's a lot happening in the US. 


Now, one of the interesting moves here is Fifth Third. So they obviously had a massive bottoming out at 1.5; the score there is sort of near the lowest you can go. They've really had a really consistent movement up, but again that movement looks really great except when you realise they've only just achieved just above 3. As we saw in the other categories, above 4 is probably where you're starting to hit the good area. So even if they continue this movement, they've got a long way to go to get above that 4 level.


A few others in here, let's have a look at Citizens. They're sort of struggling and sort of moving slightly down. So they need to sort of understand why that's going on as well. Now, one of the other movements that is interesting is TD. 


So TD were historically sitting pretty high and one of the highest in this group. But across the past year, they're sort of averaging around 3, and in September, unfortunately, they've hit the lowest point across the past year. But again, there's room to improve from them, but we won't focus on that for this month. 


So let's have a look at some interesting thing. Let's go head to head, Citi versus US Bank. Let's battle these two banks out and see who's performing well and not so well. 


So we saw they're actually top of their game in the two categories we had before. Let's look at them side by side. So obviously, the scales changed here because these banks are doing very well, and we're getting sort of some movements as to what's happening with both of these banks. But clearly, Citibank is underperforming compared to US Bank. Although when I say underperforming, Citibank's doing well.


Even its lowest point, it's above 4.4. So very solid for Citibank. But of course, why that gap? What's going on? We need to understand that so that we can see what they can do to actually leapfrog US Bank or at least get up to their level. 


So first of all, this is the first thing we'd like to look at is how it compares across various categories. I'm now looking at it, I'll show you the filters here. I'm now looking at, jump in here, I'm looking at Android.


So I've just looked at Android only. One of the things you notice, Citibank is ahead. As we saw before, it was always behind, but for Android, it's always ahead. And there's a bit of a dip there for US Bank. But again, the story's the same, it's always ahead. This means you'll know what's gonna happen if I switch it for us to iOS; you'll see exactly what's going on. I'll go there, and let's choose iOS and compare these two side by side. 


So here we can see clearly, that Citibank iOS is having a problem. There's a massive gap between it and US Bank. And we can see that US Bank has done very well, consistently for the iOS app version and sitting at 4.8. So here's the gap that Citibank can close. They need to fix this gap with iOS. So let's have a look at that. Let's have a look at iOS and Android. So, first of all, I'll look at Android to see where Citibank is doing so well. 


So across the past three months, let's have a look at this is just Android. 


And across our, these are our high-level pain points. So these are all problems. So our frequency is the thing we wanna get as low as possible. So we can see here clearly, that Authentication is slightly above for Citibank. So it's only two to 2.5. So not a major thing. The major thing here that's making the difference between these two Android versions of these apps is that reliability and stability is the biggest thing for Citibank.


They're actually a lot more reliable in terms of the Android version, which is why they're consistently just ahead of US Bank for the Android app. Let's switch across, though, to have a look at how iOS is going for these two. So I'll clear away Android, and I'll move into iOS. Let's see exactly what's going on.


Very different story. We saw the stark contrast in the scores previously. So we can see here this is just looking at iOS and comparing US Bank and Citibank. And again, the lower the score, the better. This is about problems. Clearly, Authentication is a problem for Citibank at 7% and also Reliability and Stability at only 20%. So one in five customers talking about the iOS app are talking about Reliability and Stability problems.


And we can see how well US Bank is doing. So you can see what's possible. They're doing really well here. Citibank can, if they achieve this, they can actually go ahead of US Bank. But a fair way to improve from this point on.


Let's have a look though at, let's have a look at some of these journeys. So these are some of the things, the major things customers are doing with the app, the major journeys, the major things they're trying to achieve. 


So if we look on the right here, the three on the right, this is looking at Android. So as you recall, Citibank is actually doing better on Android. And so it's doing, it's actually doing better on these three things, paying bills, monitoring account activity, and checking your account balance. You have three of the major things you wanna be doing with your banking app.


Whereas they're slightly behind with Android on Transferring Different Accounts and Cheque Deposits. So if they pick up there, they can even actually go further ahead from US Bank on Android. But now let's have a look again at the contrast. How is iOS going? This is where Citibank falls down. Let's switch across to that and go to iOS and have a look and compare these again but on iOS.


So clearly, there are problems happening here. So those things where Android's doing well about things like Monitoring Account Activity and Checking your Account Balance, they're clearly a lot lower. So, US Bank has done really, really well to have a very consistent iOS app. And that's what Citibank need to do to close that gap overall between these two banks and their app performance. 


So one of the last things I want to look at is how Citibank Android and Citibank iOS, how they compare side by side. Let's compare those two. So in blue here, we have Citibank Android, and in orange, we have Citibank iOS. What this score is showing us here is how much the score is being dragged backwards by this particular element, these particular problems. 


So if I look at the very first one here, Reliability and Stability, with Android, the score is only being dragged back by 0.09, so about 0.1. So not a major impact on the score. It's only a sort of a soft impact on the score. Whereas if I look at Citibank iOS, the score is being dragged back by 0.43. So clearly, Reliability problems, which are connected to technical issues this second month, are dragging that score back in a strong way. So getting the Reliability up for iOS Citibank is the number one. Number two is Authentication. That, again, is dragging the score back by a long way for iOS Citibank.


And there's actually another sub-detail here around login errors, bugs, crashes and freezes, and things like that. Some designs in UI, but it's not major. It's getting those basics right to be able to log in and actually having the app not crash on you is the major thing there. 


So some clear direction for Citibank, and they can actually get ahead of US Bank, who is doing very well. So thank you, Glenn.


Glenn Marvin (11:08): Yeah, absolutely fascinating stuff, Tony. So just to reiterate, you can design the app around the journeys, and you can design your app around all of those functions and features that you want in it, but you have to be cognisant of the difference in performance on each of the operating systems. We will look at this again in the future on the various other banks because it is fascinating, I'm sure, for all to see.


If you want to talk about your banking app, feel free to reach out to Tony or any of the Touchpoint team, and we can set up a meeting with you. Cheers, team.