How to create the perfect banking app


Facebook, WhatsApp, Google Maps – on almost every smartphone, you can find a wide array of apps. But did you know that banking apps are also very popular? Around five million Germans have downloaded an app on their smartphone for quick access to their bank accounts. Checking the balance or ordering a transfer while on the go hits the spot precisely for customers. Germany’s Stiftung Warentest consumer organisation has taken a quick look at 38 such apps, ranging from 123Banking to VR-Banking [1]. The depressing conclusion: only six apps are good; the rest fall short.

Problems with banking apps

What’s so bad about the banking apps? Apparently quite a lot: the apps frequently contain only a slimmed-down version of the online banking service. However, on a smartphone that would of course be far too cumbersome to be useful. Somehow you find a way to do what needs to be done, but there’s nothing enjoyable about it and after everyone has gone through this exercise once, the app is trashed or languishes unused on the smartphone. According to Stiftung Warentest, some apps not only lack proper security and data protection, but simply omit other vital functions and do not allow international fund transfers, for example. All that leaves ample room for improvement, but what might this look like in concrete terms?

Fitness apps pointing the way

We tested not only apps from banks, but also others produced by third parties. Anyone developing banking apps needs to heed two things. Firstly, do your homework. No banking app can have gaps in data protection or operate with insecure transfer of sensitive data. In terms of online banking, security is now excellent and it should be just the same for mobile banking. Secondly, learn from cool apps like those from the fitness or dating sectors. These apps show how to convert the user, most of all because they are very easy to use and offer precisely the features customers want.