Analyzing the continued decline of the NatWest Banking App Performance Against Competitors

In a recent bonus insights session, the performance of NatWest's mobile banking application was brought under scrutiny, revealing significant fluctuations in user experience and customer feedback throughout 2023 and into 2024. 



Using Touchpoint Group's AI-powered analytics platform Ipiphany, we delved into the Engaged Customer Score (ECS), Pain Points, and Foundational Elements to discern NatWest's performance relative to its main competitors, Barclays and Nationwide, within the UK banking market.


The Engaged Customer Score (ECS) serves as a pivotal metric in understanding customer sentiment and satisfaction. Examining NatWest's ECS trajectory, a clear narrative emerges. Commencing at a commendable 4.5 to 4.6 range in early 2023, NatWest experienced a marked decline in June and July to under 3.7, followed by partial recoveries in August and October, only to witness another decline. Comparatively, Barclays and Nationwide commenced the year with slightly lower scores but demonstrated a progressive improvement throughout, overtaking NatWest by September and maintaining a superior position into 2024.


Delving deeper into the analysis, the examination of Foundational Pillars – Authentication, Design and UI, Reliability and Stability, and Features and Functionality – sheds light on the underlying factors contributing to NatWest's ECS fluctuations. In January 2024, NatWest exhibited a higher incidence of pain points across all pillars compared to its competitors. Notably, Reliability and Stability, as well as Design and UI, emerged as key pain points for NatWest users, with a notably higher proportion of complaints compared to Barclays and Nationwide.


Furthermore, a detailed exploration of Features and Functionality reveals critical insights into specific user grievances. NatWest users reported a myriad of issues ranging from biometric registration challenges to payment difficulties and crashes. These pain points not only highlight functional deficiencies within the application but also underscore the imperative for seamless user experiences in modern banking apps.


Utilising Ipiphany, a text analytics solution, further highlights the dynamics of NatWest's ECS fluctuations. By examining critical time periods, such as May 2023, where NatWest attained its peak ECS, and subsequent declines in July and October, a nuanced understanding of user sentiments emerges. In July, a surge in complaints related to Design and UI indicates a pivotal moment where user dissatisfaction intensified, possibly attributed to an app update adversely impacting usability.


Similarly, the analysis of October data underscores an escalation in Technical Issues and Features and Functionality-related pain points, contributing to a further decline in NatWest's ECS. However, a glimmer of optimism surfaces in January 2024, with marginal improvements in ECS and a decline in pain points, signifying tentative steps towards enhancing user experience.


In conclusion, the comparative analysis of NatWest's performance against its competitors underscores the importance of holistic customer experience metrics in the banking sector. 


By leveraging advanced analytics platforms such as Ipiphany, banks can gain actionable insights to address user grievances, enhance app functionality, and foster long-term customer loyalty. The journey towards customer-centricity necessitates continual refinement and responsiveness to evolving user expectations, ensuring sustained relevance and competitiveness in the digital banking landscape.