Managing your finances has become so much easier over the past few years. No longer is there a need to make a trip to your bank to deposit a check or transfer money to another account or even another person. Now, everything can be done from a personal computer or a smart phone. As a society we expect to have 24/7 access to everything in our lives, our bank accounts included.
A recent report put together by Xtreme Labs analyzed customer comments on the mobile capabilities of 53 of the nation's largest banks. They found that some of the biggest customer complaints included bugs in the app, not having the ability to make mobile deposits, and poor design. But, not all bank apps are bad. Let’s take a look at some of the best mobile banking apps available.
Simple is a smaller online bank, but it’s mobile app ranks as one of the best. Its user interface is extremely easy on the eyes and it has features that many other banks don’t offer.
While most banks simply display your account balance, Simple has a feature called Safe-to-Spend that takes your account balance and then deducts any upcoming bills that you might have. This lets you know whether you can afford to go out to dinner or buy that new pair of shoes you've been eyeing. Simple also features mobile check deposit and gives users the ability to transfer money to other Simple customers or even to someone that banks at another institution.
Bank of America
One of the greatest things about the Bank of America mobile app is that Bank of America designed the interface to meet customer needs. You won’t find yourself needing to go too deep into the app to find the information that you're looking for. Within the accounts tab you will be able to find information on your bank accounts as well as your Merrill Lynch brokerage account.
Another feature that many customers appreciate is Bank AmeriDeals. In this part of the app you will find several merchant deals and cash back opportunities.
One of the highest-rated mobile banking apps comes from Capital One. They have a feature they call Capital One SureSwipe. Instead of using a password to sign into an account, customers use a quick custom keypad pattern.
They also have a feature called Purchase Eraser that allows customers to apply credit card rewards towards travel purchases. They have 90 days to apply rewards, and once applied, the credit will appear on the account in just 5-7 business days.
The USAA mobile app has just about everything that a banking person could ask for. You can pay your bills, send money, track your spending with Money Manager, and place trades from your investment account. The app even has a feature that will help you find the nearest ATM to your current location.
What might be the coolest aspect of the USAA mobile app, though, is that earlier this year they become the first financial institution to begin using facial and voice recognition as a way to log into an account: all it takes is a quick use of the smartphone camera and a blink of the eye (to make sure the picture is not of a photo), or simply speaking a designated phrase.
RBS Citizens is a smart business. They understand that we are conducting more and more of our business on mobile devices. Because of this, the bank used a 15-person customer advisory panel and a survey of over 900 customers to find out the features that they use most. The bank then designed the first version of its mobile app using the feedback from these two groups.
RBS Citizens has one of the highest-rated mobile banking apps in the Apple (AAPL) app store and on Google Play (GOOG). You will find a simple design and the important features that most people are looking for, including mobile deposit and the ability to make transfers on the go.
The Bottom Line
Mobile banking has helped make banking much easier for millions of consumers. No longer is there a need to physically step into a branch location. Instead you can do everything from depositing a check to moving money out of an investment account right from your smartphone.