Whether you're in the finance industry or not, we all know how tough modern banking can be. With so many providers, it's harder than ever to run to the bank, wait in lines, struggle to complete menial transactions and find the right ATMs. But now, look at your smartphone. There’s an entire financial institution right in the palm of your hand, thanks to mobile banking apps. 

The Differences Between Traditional & Online Banking

It turns out that traditional and digital banking are quite different, for businesses and customers. For starters, internet banks often pay up to 100 times higher interest for checking and savings accounts than traditional banks. Online banks can do this because they don’t have expenses like regular brick and mortar banks do. Just think about the operational costs for traditional banks, the rent, property management, human resources, and administration that traditional banks have to face. Studies show that banks as businesses can reduce their operational costs by 25 percent if they get onboard with digitization.

But most importantly, for the general public, online banking vastly improves user experience and, thus, brand loyalty. It reduces crowds, minimizes the need for human resources, automates notifications and information, and enables customers to do anything regarding their accounts with just a couple of taps on the screen of their mobile phone. Online banks are open 24/7, and can even automate bill payment and stop the late fees from incurring just because you couldn’t make it to the bank in time. And nowadays, the mobile app's functions and features arguably surpass any experience and customer support that a physical bank could provide. 

The best mobile banking apps have great features and functions that improve the user experience.

Best Mobile Banking Apps With Strong User Experience

When it comes to mobile banking app design, everything revolves around intuitive interface and functionality. Mobile app users must be able to navigate throughout the entire app autonomously, or else the calls would flood technical support -- which is the exact opposite of what the financial institutions are trying to achieve by creating an app design in the first place. 

We rounded up the top mobile banking apps with great digital design, strong functionality and excellent features that provide value to customers digitally. What's better? The customer-centric apps showcase the characteristics that all mobile apps should employ, regardless of industry.  

1. Capital One Mobile

Capital One might be the seventh largest bank according to the US Federal Reserve, but it’s number one on our list. Capital One is a great example due to its digitalization process and emphasis on added values for their clients and innovation. In fact, Capital One mobile bank has been rated “Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Mobile Banking Apps” by J.D. Power, and rightfully so. Let’s take a closer look. 

Top Mobile App Features Of Capital One

Quick Sign-In Process

The Capital One mobile app offers several sign-in options, allowing users to pick their favorite. Choose from a fingerprint sensor, facial recognition ID, a special SureSwipe customized pattern or a regular username and password.

Easy Spending Monitoring

Each time you complete a transaction, you will get a push notification in real time. This is a great added layer of security.

Automated Bill Pay

No more “I forgot to pay the bills” scenario. The Capital One phone app literally does that for you.

Design-wise, Capital One captures users with a decluttered interface right from the start. Smart sign-in options besides regular password typing make a big impact on user experience because, let’s be honest, we all hate to type in passwords in public (and it's made even more difficult with our array of capital letters, numbers and wild combinations in order to make it more secure). Capital One also understands that users can’t keep track of all transactions, so it helps them by providing detailed information about each and every one.

Paying bills through the app is a satisfactory experience. Yes, yes, we know what we said, but when you experience Capital One’s swiping effect for bill paying, you will understand exactly what we mean. Even a small, simple UI gimmick like lack of buttons and sort of gamified bill pay greatly improves the user experience. They even have the Apple Watch app so people can closely watch their transactions.

The interface is clean, minimal and informative, and added application uses like CreditWise credit monitoring and Zelle payments send a clear signal that Capital One really takes a user-centric approach to heart. Using lightweight typography across the mobile banking app lets the design breathe.

Bank of America's app has a simple design and easy-to-use functions.

2. Bank of America

Bank of America has been certified by J.D. Power as “An Outstanding Mobile Experience” for ensuring simple navigation, availability of key information directly in the app, and overall clarity and transparency.

App Functions Of Bank Of America

Mobile Check Deposit

Snap a picture of the check you want to deposit and see it instantly in the account as a processing deposit.

Credit Score Monitoring

The app features an easy TransUnion-based credit monitor that comes with tips on upgrading credit rating and educational information.

Savings Goals

Whether it’s a trip or a new gadget, you can create a savings goal within the app. Plus, there are materials that educate customers about better money and spending habits.

Bank of America chose to design the app with plenty of white negative space and clear call to action buttons that easily guide the user through the mobile banking app experience. They use the brand colors in the app to create a sense of design unity across all channels – brick and mortar store, website and the banking app. Using traditional typography of medium thickness, large box-styled buttons, and just a bit old-fashioned overall feel, Bank of America walks the very fine line between modern and traditional in order to appeal both to young and olde clientele.

Bank of America is also trying to be environmentally friendly -- they integrated recycling into document destruction program, and estimated savings achieved are approximately $400,000 a year. They made sure that the mobile banking app sends the same message by incorporating paperless statements in their users' accounts. Also, Bank of America is integrating customer support within the mobile banking app, offering choices like placing a call, scheduling an appointment at the branch and ATM locator function.

3. TD Bank

The TD Bank mobile banking app ranks third in its class of overall satisfaction in the retail bank category, and TD Bank itself is reporting 18 percent growth in the last quarter in both Canadian and US retail segments.

Top TD Bank Design Elements

Fund Transfers

Moving funds between accounts is very simple and fast. There are preset amounts like $50, $100, $500 and $1000, and users can even schedule transfers in advance.

Easy Account Management

Whether we are talking about account activity overview or setting up personalized features like e-mail alerts, everything regarding customer’s account can be managed in the app.  

Bank Location Finder

This feature lets users find the TD Banks and ATMs quickly and launch GPS navigation, right within the mobile banking app.

Grass-green color in the TD Bank’s branded app is associated with growth, life, energy, and environment. And it is the color of money, after all, making it a great pick from the branding point of view. The intuitive dashboard captures attention with simple, rounded quick links and contrasting buttons.

The bottom slide out menu is cool because the placement is unusual, but the innovation doesn’t stray too far from the obvious choice, so users aren't confused. In design, it’s hard to strike the balance because sometimes the revolutionary design risks to be too unfamiliar to consumers, to the point where it could hinder user experience. But TD Bank strikes that balance well.

Throughout the app, the typing is minimized and there’s an overall time-saving theme, with preset options and plenty of buttons. The interface is slightly more cluttered than other top mobile banking apps – for example, copy is predominant in TD Bank’s interface.

4. Discover 

Discover is a popular choice for credit card holders, and the banking experience they provide is sleek and fast. Discover has grown in the past quarter, reporting net income of $387 million. Their loans grew by 9 percent compared to 2017, and now they have achieved a total of $84.2 billion.

Top User-Centric Components Of Discover's Mobile App

Fast Account Access

It’s easy for users to access their account through either a four-digit passcode or Discover’s touch ID.

Quick View

There's no need to log into the app to see the basic account overview and information. However, for security reasons, this feature is optional and has to be enabled by the consumer from the app.

Apple Pay and Discover

Users with iOS devices can add their Discover card to Apple Pay, and use it for in-store purchases. 

Discover’s mobile banking app uses their signature blue and orange contrasting colors on negative white space. Blue is the color of trust and communication, and orange is efficiently used to draw attention to calls to action. The quick-view dashboard cleverly uses button placement on the bottom because the login is intuitively placed in the center of the app design so that users can open their account with just one hand.

Overall, the app streamlines the public's accessibility to information that is unnecessarily protected – there’s no need for people to pass through login hoops just to locate ATMs or call branch offices.

Discover’s Deal dashboard resembles an e-commerce website, displaying vendor deals in a grid layout. The buttons and links are very large and easily tappable. Discover uses an accordion to make the larger textual content appear condensed, which is a great way to achieve clean design and superior user experience. The navigation isn’t innovative, nor is the interface, but it’s simple enough to guide users through the app intuitively. Discover paid more attention to include high-value services than to present them with a revolutionary design, which is just what consumers needed.

5. Ally Bank

Ally Bank is a mobile-only banking application, meaning that everything is completed online. Customers gravitate towards this completely digita lapproach to banking -- in 2017, Ally Bank acquired 200,000 new customers, reaching a total of 4.3 million retail customers.

Best App Functions of Ally Bank's App

One-Stop Shop For All Banking Needs

Forget about visiting the branch ever again – Ally Bank is a mobile-only solution that offers the same benefits as any brick and mortar, traditional bank.

More Money

Due to its reduced operational costs, Ally bank can offer surcharge-free access to more than 43,000 Allpoint ATMs, no monthly fees on deposit accounts and 50 times higher annual percentage yield (APY) than the national average.

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Financial Education Program

Ally Wallet Wise is Ally Bank’s free educational program intended to help people learn to manage their money in everyday life.

Ally Bank mobile app features a fingerprint sensor for signing in, and a six-digit Ally Passcode, ensuring that the login process is fast and simple. The dashboard is very neat and self-explanatory, with white and off-white negative space, and purple header. Balances are color-coded for easier graphic presentation.

Ally Bank understands that its primary users are millennials and Generation Z, and that can be seen in the overall design as well. There are plenty of icons and graphical elements that break the text-only routine we have seen in many other banking applications.

The typography is also modern and light inside the app and bolded enough in the task menu. Navigation is intuitive and the whole onboarding process is very simple. That is an imperative for a mobile-only bank.

The Chase mobile app sends users helpful alerts and notifications.

6. Chase Mobile App

JPMorgan Chase is America’s largest bank in terms of revenue, surpassing $82 billion in annual revenue. Their mobile app is a large component of their success -- it has been downloaded more than 10 million times and has great usability and helpful features for Android and iPhone users alike.

Top Usability Features In The Chase Mobile Banking App

User Interface

A simple user interface translates to great user experience, and Chase mobile banking app has an intuitive layout that effortlessly guides even the less tech-savvy users through their app’s features.

Travel Notifications

It’s nice to know when the bank has got your back, especially when you're out of town. Chase Mobile allows users to set up travel notifications in advance, right within the app. This improves customer satisfaction by ensuring no credit cards are canceled while customers are traveling or on vacation.

Account Signup Within The App

No need to visit a brick and mortar store – users can sign up for Chase services right from the app.

When it comes to JPMorgan Chase’s mobile banking app, there is a clear distinction between them and their competitors. Banks often either offer an amazing list of services, or they make up for it in the intuitively designed app. But Chase offers everything, from Zelle payments, online transactions, camera snapshots for check deposit, to quick balance view without signing in. They also provide paperless statements going back seven years, direct deposits, and general account management options all under one roof – auto loans, mortgage, and home equity.

In terms of their design features, it’s nice to see that Chase chooses to incorporate real-life pictures in the background while showcasing app’s best features. Small buttons and icons are nicely contrasted by the white negative space that dominates the app. When it comes to textual content, Chase is really lightweight and presents information in an intuitive and visual way. The uncluttered layout makes the app design simply breathe. Gray typeface stands tall, and slender and fits nicely in the overall design.

7. Simple Bank

Everything is simple with Simple Bank, from their branchless approach to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)-secured accounts. But their main idea? Simply genius. It’s almost like Simple Bank isn’t a bank at all. They are more like an educational piggybank.  

Simple Bank's Top App Traits

Approach To Savings

Rather than advertising same banking services, Simple Bank lets you create goals that you will save money, like transferring a small amount of money from your checking account to your savings account each day. Brilliant!

Safe Spending

For people who don’t know to manage finances and find themselves in the debt more often than not, Simple Bank has a solution. It clearly shows how much money can be spent, without interfering with the rest of the goals.

Personalized Transactions

Sure, transferring money to someone is a great feature, but doing it with a personalized note and/or a picture is even better!

Simple Bank isn’t a credit card and doesn’t allow overspending. For people who don’t know how to manage their credit, this is a great opportunity to save enough money for the things they want without feeling the cash crunch. 

Simple Bank also lets people save money together with a shared account. The best thing about Simple Bank is that they don’t charge any fees. It’s a banking and budget planning app, all in one. As such, the design is whimsical and very colorful, showing different milestones and goal completion. There are numerous illustrations throughout the app that make it lighthearted and well, unlike a bank, which is probably a good thing because Simple Bank’s main objective is to teach people how to manage their budget.

Radius Bank engages users within its app through bright pops of colors and a simple interface.

8. Radius Bank

Radius bank is a small bank (with a revenue just under $2 million) but is quite popular among its clientele. It has a zesty and vibrant aesthetic, making it enjoyable and simple for customers to use on-the-go. 

Top Radius Bank Mobile App Design Features

Online Account Application

It takes about five minutes to sign up for an account -- without going to the branch.

Charts & Graphs

It’s a nice way to present information in smaller chunks on a color wheel. Visualizing budgets can help with better money management and consumers tend to remember information better when it is presented visually.

GPS Directions

The easiest way to find the closest ATM and to launch GPS navigation straight from the app.

It’s lovely to see a bank that uses an attractive color palette. So far we have seen plenty of blue hues, which exudes a calm feeling, but no app is so screamingly green – it’s a statement that they are different while simultaneously reflecting its financial industry. When it comes to their services, we can’t pinpoint anything so revolutionary, since this is a simple banking app. But in terms of design, Radius bank uses lovely gray opacity layers for the main menu. The buttons are colored with their signature green and attract attention. Radius uses a dashboard that isn’t cluttered per se, but still provides a lot of information from the get-go. The menu is nicely presented with an accordion, saving users from unnecessary scrolling.

Honeydue uses a clean, modern interface to keep users' finances organized.

9. Honeydue

Honeydue is an amazing app for joint accounts where both people can track their spending and have a clear overview. It's easy for couples to miss or forget some payments when they are dividing the work (who handles what?) but Honeydue makes this collaborative management simple.

The Best Honeydue App Attributes

The Idea

Well, the idea behind the app is simple but so useful in everyday lives.

Switching Between Accounts

While this is a joint account management app, users still have the option to use the app on their own, toggling easily between personal and joint accounts.

Expense Management

If you have a partner who always nags about spending without actually realizing that those spending amounts were indeed necessary for the house, Honeydue has got you covered.

Honeydue’s design falls under the minimalistic and clean app design with an uncluttered interface and plenty of graphic elements like colorful icons and graphs. The calendar view is similar to the physical calendar with market due bills and expenses we all have in our homes. The bold red color is accenting the important calls to action like buttons, marked bills, selected menus, and so on.

10. Olly Credit

The Olly Card is a brand-new startup namely for the Indian market and is an excellent example of catering an app design directly to a consumer marketing well. The Olly Card -- namely, the micro-credit card -- serves an important purpose in its demographic. About 400 million people are eligible for credit cards in India but there are only 14 million people in total who use them, making that area the least penetrable market in the world. But Olly is on a mission to change that through innovative ideas and design.

Featured Olly Credit App Functions

It’s Educational

People in India are afraid of credit cards because they believe they will be trapped into debt, but Olly Card aims to educate people about proper credit card use.

Assistance Building Credit Scores

Many people have low or non-existent credit scores because they wait so long to actually get one. SO, Olly offers assistance and guidance in building a reputable score.

Finance Management

The microcredit card has a limit of about $300, which is great for small expenses like groceries at the end of the month.

The Olly Card is innovative because there’s no service like that in India. It usually takes a lot of paperwork to get approved for a credit card, but with Olly, users sign up and receive a virtual card that’s ready to be used online instantly. Also, users can apply for a plysical card, which they will receive at their home address in 48 hours.

Olly Card’s mobile app design is filled with icons and illustrations, but the most notable feature is the onboarding process. Because Olly Card is a mobile-first credit card issuer, the whole process happens online. Because of this, the brand has to delicately onboard skeptical users in a trustworthy way, and its intuitive design and navigation help with this.  Olly Credit is an India-based fintech startup, and we expect to see a lot more about them in the upcoming news.  

Top Tips For Designing An Engaging Mobile App

  • Make the interface sophisticated and uncluttered. Too much information will just confuse mobile app users.
  • Make the onboarding process as simple as possible. Add a short demo highlighting app’s features and explain how people should use it. Add tooltips if necessary.
  • Use simple but effective sign-in options like quick digits, fingerprint sensor or facial recognition ID.
  • Depending on the image you want to project, you can choose to use lightweight typography for a modern approach, or use heavy typography to instill the sense of security and mimic traditional banks.
  • Use instant payment options like Venmo, Zelle or Paypal.
  • The navigation should be simple and intuitive. Users need to get around the app in a natural way because any glitch will hurt the overall user experience.
  • Add optional quick account preview for people who hate the process of signing in, but still want to check their real-time balance.
  • Use clear calls to action guide the user through app’s features.
  • Use graphics like graphs, charts, loaders and other interactive and visual elements.
  • Key traits that set mobile banking apps from one another are added values. Use credit scores, educate people how to achieve better scores, promote products within the app, use saving and goal achievement, add options for shared accounts, etc.  
  • Think outside the mobile app box – use different buttons, navigation, colors, and layout.  

If you're ready to design your own intuitive mobile app to compliment your business, DesignRush has a list of top app design and development agencies to create the digital destination your consumers crave. 

Is there an app you would like us to feature? Just add in the comments below.

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