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5 essential bank mobile app features

August 18, 2022
7 min to read
5 essential bank mobile app features

We already knew that the number of people using mobile apps would skyrocket during the outbreak. The importance that clients place on mobile banking, however, has grown.

Consumers no longer just use their mobile devices to look at the apps of their financial institutions; they also use them to conduct transactions. Desktop computers are quickly being replaced by mobile devices as the main way customers communicate with their banks. So, banks have a bigger responsibility than ever to give their customers the features they want in their mobile banking apps.

These features go far beyond being able to see transactions and deposit checks.

Virtual cards and digital wallets

Users of banking apps expect that every bank-related task should be available in that channel, even if they won't necessarily do all their banking in the app. Some of the functions available in the bank's mobile app are almost exactly the same as on the website. One of these features is the ability to add a debit or credit card from a bank to a digital wallet without leaving the bank's app.

Another benefit is that virtual cards can be given out quickly, which could be helpful if a customer loses their real card and needs a temporary replacement. In one way or another, U.S. Bancorp has made this possible with its Instant Card feature, which lets business owners give workers, contractors, and other people temporary access to a virtual business card. These cards can be sent straight to a mobile wallet.

Smarter loyalty points and rewards

In a survey done by Forrester, 58% of respondents said that being able to access points and rewards was either "useful" or "very helpful" when it came to banking apps.

One example is being able to use points as money at the register. Discover Financial Services does this by letting people use their points to buy things from Amazon and PayPal through the Discover app. Banking apps could use the user's location to highlight discounts and perks in their area.

More data

Account data management, which lets people see how their financial information is linked to other devices and people, is also helpful. Consumers can not only keep an eye on but also control how their data is shared. For example, Chase's security hub lists places where you can keep your card, mobile apps, and online portals that can access your account. On the spot, they could cut you off from any apps or websites that are linked to you.

Account aggregation is also important because it lets users see all of their bank accounts in one place, no matter which institution handles their money. Many institutions are still afraid of this, even though the idea has been around for a long time. With the help of tools for combining accounts, banks can give their customers expert advice and timely alerts.

Subscription tracking

This is another thing that might work better on a mobile device. For example, you got a message that says, "In 24 hours, your free trial of Netflix will end and you will have to pay for Netflix. Just click the link below to cancel". This could be done by email, but doing it in a mobile app is more natural and gives more information.

Still, banks aren’t taking advantage of these openings as much as they should. Truebill, which will soon be called Rocket Money, and Emma, which is based in London, are two examples that meet this need.

But some financial institutions do offer services for managing subscriptions. Heads Up, which is offered by Huntington Bancshares, keeps track of subscriptions and lets users know when their free trial is about to end or when it's time to renew their membership.

Effortless saving

While some large banks do offer access to automatic savings features, the vast majority of mobile banking apps do not. More than a quarter of U.S. banking customers want their bank to help them save money. More than half of app users think a savings function would be helpful.

Some well-known ones are Pay Yourself First from U.S. Bancorp, Surprise Savings from Ally Financial, and Money Scout from Huntington Bancshares. For example, the budgeting app Pay Yourself First uses algorithms to figure out how much users can save each month while still meeting their other financial obligations and paying for any unexpected costs that may come up.

Customers are more likely to use a bank than a third-party service if the bank can offer them similar features. The big deal now is that people are moving away from desktop computers and toward mobile devices. So, banks must now, more than ever, give their customers the features they want in their mobile banking apps.