Believe it or not, some American banks and credit unions waited until the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 to finally get their acts together with regard to mobile banking.
Quite a few American banks that had new or underused mobile apps found themselves scrambling to make sure their service platforms could handle a wave of mobile banking registrations; in many cases, this involved updating their apps to ensure that they had all the features that account holders needed.
When the U.S. Congress passed the CARES Act and the first batch of stimulus checks went out, some banking executives noticed mobile banking registrations jumping by more than 200% on a daily basis. The first disbursement of checks went out by mail; this is when the ability to deposit a check with a smartphone instead of going to a branch became a vital necessity. Many banks were ready for this situation, thanks to mobile apps that covered all bases. With all this in mind, here are the must-have features that mobile banking apps should provide these days:
Target the Least Common Denominator
This is more important than most people think. It is fairly easy for developers to think that bank customers have the latest version of Android or iOS installed on their smartphones or tablets. While it is true that device manufacturers, particularly Apple, are pretty good about pushing new devices on users, bank executives must think about customers who are still holding on to devices from a few years ago. To this effect, developing apps that will work on Android 4.0 and above is a safe bet.
Account Balance Inquiries
This is the gold standard of all mobile banking apps. You may get a lot of users who install the app for this reason alone; they are comfortable using their debit cards, but they want immediate access to their balances. Balance amounts should be displayed in large and easy-to-read fonts. Giving customers the ability to search for transactions and filter them by date or check number is also an essential feature.
Seasoned banking executives know that one way to get customers to open more than one account is to assure them that transferring cash between accounts is simple. This may not be a deal breaker if you operate a single checking account, but if you have a small business plus a personal account, you will likely want instant transfers.
This feature is probably used a lot more than funds transfer. It is highly satisfying for account holders to login, glance at their balance, and proceed to execute a few taps to pay their loan, utilities, and credit card bills.