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There is no need to remind you that the mobile industry keeps growing and modern users expect all the industries to transition their services to mobile. The banking industry is no exception and almost every bank nowadays has a mobile application for its clients.
But what features make a really good banking application that users would want to use on a daily basis? And what are the most important aspects to consider when working on the banking app’s functionality? Let’s find out.
The importance of mobile banking applications
Before we talk about the essential functionality of mobile banking apps, it’s important to cover the benefits that they bring both to the companies and their clients.
The most ultimate benefit of such applications is that they eliminate the necessity to visit the physical branch of a bank in order to perform a certain operation. All that the user has to do now is open their mobile device, make a few taps, and voila – a transaction is completed. This transition to digital made a significant contribution to the user experience and satisfaction which, in turn, has a positive effect on the bank’s profit and the client base.
Another important benefit of mobile banking is the speed and ease of operations. All the information and available services are available on the home screen of an app and, instead of filling in lots of papers, the users can perform almost any financial operation right from home and with a few taps only.
Finally, the transition to mobile made banking more convenient and “approachable”, especially among younger users. Before, people used to think that banking is something incredibly complex – but now banking is made easy and people are more interested in learning more about the services offered.
If we sum up, mobile banking engages more users, leads to higher user satisfaction, and attracts new clients to the bank. Sounds valid enough to get an app for your bank. So now it’s the perfect time to move on to the core part of our article – the essential features that any banking app should have in order to please its users.
Top must-have features of a user-friendly banking app
We came to the conclusion that an efficient banking application has to be user-friendly, fast, and secure. Now let’s see which exact features of mobile banking help achieve a high level of quality in terms of the app’s performance and usability.
Secure and user-friendly sign-in
Security is the number one priority of any banking application as such apps process huge amounts of sensitive information, including personal and financial data. Hence, you need to make sure that the authentication procedure is as secure as possible.
Multi-factor authentication, for instance, is a great way to enhance the sign-in process but it has a significant drawback – it usually takes too much time. Therefore, when working on your app, you need to come up with a solution that would combine both ease of use and a high level of security.
Biometric sign-in (like a fingerprint) is a really good option since it’s hard to be hacked and provides a really good level of security. By incorporating such a solution into the app, you can rest assured that the clients’ data is safely protected and the users can quickly access the app in one step only.
Simple design and navigation
We already stated above that one of the reasons people choose mobile banking apps is that these apps speed up and facilitate a number of banking services. Hence, another important feature to be added to your app is easy navigation and design.
A typical banking app usually contains a big variety of features, from the basic services (i.e. card management) to more advanced ones (i.e. tracking of spendings). Hence, it’s important that the user clearly understands how to navigate all the functionality and how to quickly find the needed information or service.
Tip: put the most popular and frequently used mobile banking services on the home screen. Display all the important information (credit card balance, for example), on the home screen as well. You can use bottom navigation design (placing the main categories at the bottom of the screen) for easier category navigation.
Various options for customer service
Some may say that physical bank branches have an undeniable advantage in the form of customer service. But in the era of the Internet, we have multiple options of how to serve the clients digitally. And these options should be considered for implementation for your banking app.
Probably the most demanded feature that many clients expect to see in a mobile app is the chatbot. Chatbots have drastically grown in popularity and there are a few reasons for that:
- Immediate response to the client,
- Assistance with multiple operations,
- Speed and accuracy of service.
In a banking app, a chatbot can assist clients with providing information on their account, performing certain financial transactions, and even opening a new account. In this way, the chatbot serves as a personal assistant and contributes to improving user experience from using the app.
Other ways of incorporating customer service are an option to call the bank via the app, send an email, or a text message via a messenger of choice. Such a variety is a big benefit as it covers different types of users and offers to choose the most convenient communication method.
Easy bank account management
A banking app helps keep all the information in one place and makes this information accessible and understandable. Hence, another feature to add to the app is easy account management. This includes:
- Monitoring of cards and bank accounts,
- Monitoring of transactions and balances,
- Money transfers,
- Placement of investment orders,
- Saving of frequent payments.
Easy management of these processes significantly adds to the app’s value and encourages users to use the application on a regular basis.
Push notifications are an important part of any mobile application. They help engage the user with the brand, efficiently transfer the needed information, and notify the user about any important events that should not be missed. In a banking app, notifications play a big role too. They can notify the user about their balance, about the payment received, or even about the important news from the bank.
An important thing to keep in mind is that these notifications must be customizable. That means a user should be able to configure them and decide what kind of information they want to receive in the form of push notifications.
An ATM locator and an integrated map
Despite the opportunity to digitally manage their bank account, people still use cash – so you need to add an ATM locator and a map with the ATMs to your app.
An ATM locator is a basic yet very demanded feature. It helps users immediately find the nearest ATM or see a map with all the ATMs in the selected area. And some banks even take it a step further and implement a virtual reality solution that makes the process of locating the ATM more engaging and convenient.
QR code payment
QR has become a quick and convenient way to request or receive a payment. This code can be easily shared across messengers and serves as a one-tap payment option.
Therefore, you need to add the following features to your app: an option to create a QR code to send an invoice and an option to scan a QR code in order to pay for a product or service.
Tracking and management of spendings
This feature can be considered advanced as it focuses not on the basic needs but more on personalization. The tracking of user’s spendings includes such options as:
- Establishment of saving goals and their management,
- Customized reports on spendings,
- Setup of different budgets and their customization,
- Scheduling of payments and/or bills.
As can be seen, these features are highly personalized and customizable. While not all users may need them, it might be a great add-on to the basic functionality of your banking app.
Description of transactions
Another useful feature to be implemented is the detailed description of transactions. While most banking apps describe the transactions (i.e. the recipient, the amount, etc.), this description often comes in an unclear form and contains too much information.
In order for these descriptions to be useful for the app users, they need to put the most important information (the amount of payment, the name of the receiver, time and date) upfront and state any additional information below. In this way, the user will be able to instantly understand what the transaction was about, when and how it was made. This information, in turn, can be used in further tracking of spendings or account management.
Mobile app security best practices
We already mentioned that security is the primary point of concern for any mobile application, especially the one that deals with massive amounts of sensitive information on a regular basis. In one of our articles we already covered the best practices for mobile security so we will list the main points below:
- Ensure high-level authentication,
- Encrypt the data,
- Always verify third-party code,
- Pay attention to server-side security,
- Roll out regular updates and security patches,
- Secure your data storage,
- Establish limited privileges in terms of access to the app.
For more detailed information, read the article. We strongly recommend following these principles if you want your application to be protected from internal and external threats and to prevent any data leaks or misuse.
A mobile banking application is a must-have for any bank that wishes to retain its clients and offer them a superior service in a convenient format. When developing such an application, it is important to focus on usability in order to engage the clients and make them want to actually use the app. As well, note that the features listed above are not obligatory – in the end, the functionality of your application will depend on your audience and its preferences. What we also recommend is finding a reliable mobile app development company that will be able to transform your idea into a reliable and high-performing product that your clients will love.