UK banks are improving their mobile banking offerings after a slow start, with Barclays top of the tree, according to a benchmarking exercise by Forrester Research.
Using its Mobile Banking Functionality Benchmark, which analyses seven retail banks on 35 criteria, Forrester revealed that Barclays ranked highest in customer functionality.
Last year’s highest-ranking bank, NatWest, dropped to fifth of the seven. Santander came second, Lloyds Bank third, HSBC fourth, NatWest fifth, Nationwide sixth and the Co-operative seventh.
The survey found that overall, the UK banks did well in areas that matter to customers, such as balance checking, transaction history search, and basic money movement.
“It is no secret that UK banks were slow to take mobile banking seriously,” wrote Forrester analyst Stephen Walker in a blog post. But the research suggests all that is changing.
“Some of last year’s laggards have overtaken last year's leaders, and many UK banks now offer mobile sales functionality – ahead even of their peers internationally,” said Walker. “All UK banks now do well where it matters most to customers – across money movement, balance checking and transaction history search.”
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Barclays has invested heavily in its mobile banking capability, which has elevated it to top spot, said Walker. “Barclays has spent time and money on mobile – and it shows,” he added.
Walker said Barclays was the first to market in the UK with a useful digital vault, where customers can access electronic statements, upload other documents by taking a photo, and set reminders.
More of the same could be coming from Barclays after it recently named Michael Harte to replace recently departed global chief operations and technology officer Shaygan Kheradpir. Harte, who is regarded as a digital champion, joins from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), where he was responsible for operations and technology since 2006.
Harte transformed the CBA into a digital powerhouse, including moving its online banking service into the Amazon Web Services cloud in 2012.