Rising inflation, a looming energy crisis, and the increased cost of living in Australia mean more and more customers need help managing their money.
Participants in a Forrester survey noted that 54% of Australian online adults say they need help with money management, yet only 21% strongly believe that their financial institution cares about their financial well-being.
To gauge how effective and easy the different mobile banking experiences are, Forrester evaluated the smartphone apps of five banks across Australia: ANZ Bank, CommBank, National Australia Bank (NAB), Suncorp, and Westpac.
While Australian banks perform strongly in the self-service and marketing and sales categories, most have either stalled or not improved in money management and movement.
These are crucial areas, as nearly 50% of Australian online adults say they prefer to keep their money with firms that help them manage their money. Nearly all banks have little to no functionality in areas like transfer management, financial health scores, and account aggregation.
Key findings from this year’s evaluation:
CommBank continues to lead with an industry-leading mobile experience (top spot for 6th year in a row). CommBank’s app is rich with functionality, making for an easy, seamless, and informative mobile banking experience.
It has best-in-class money management features that help customers keep track of their expenses and budget better: The “money plan” functionality breaks down a customer’s budget by transaction category, such as shopping or eating out, and provides an overview of their bill payments with a bill calendar and a cashflow view.
Westpac’s app comes in a close second, with a leading user experience. Westpac has radically revamped its app since 2021, resulting in a stellar UX for customers. The app offers best-in-class search/navigation and content.
It positions its appwide search front and centre on customers’ home page; it provides relevant search terms as the user types; and task-based links take the customer straight to the result of their search query.
Missing the mark
Banks still miss the mark on empowering customers to take control of their money. Most banks are missing key features like savings, budgeting, debt management, and spending analysis. Only CommBank and ANZ Bank provide customers with the full range of transaction categorisation and spend analysis features.
This is a missed opportunity for banks to show customers where they spend their money and how they can save more effectively as well as to offer effective debt management tools. Australian banks must centre their digital strategy around customers’ financial well-being and prioritise tools that lead to smarter financial decisions.
“Building Australians’ financial capability is now a priority for the Australian government, further highlighting the importance and urgency of improving financial well-being,” said Zhi-Ying Barry, senior analyst, Forrester.