A beginner's guide to digital banking: It's all in the application

Apps. The mainstays of any smartphone and, of any business that hopes to connect with digitally aware customers.

Getting to grips with banking apps

‘App: noun: Computers, Informal. An application, typically a small, specialised programme downloaded onto mobile devices.’ Apps. The mainstays of any smartphone and, of any business that hopes to connect with digitally aware customers. If I am to become a fully-fledged member of the digital banking world and fully functioning adult in the real world I need to get to grips with my banks app straight away.

So that was my first challenge, find the app…

This proved easy, my bank had three varieties of app to choose from: personal, commercial and business and, considering that I’ve not yet reached the dizzying heights of power that require a commercial account I dutifully download the personal banking app onto my phone.

Stress-free banking apps?

Initial impressions of the app were good, creating a login was fast and stress-free, simply a matter of creating and inputting a security code of my choice. Adding any account info also proved to be simple enough, even I was able to add both my accounts fairly quickly.Then it hit me… when I came to use my app I realised that I was harbouring a large number of preconceived notions about just what a banking app should be and exactly what it should do.

And once I discovered that my shiny new app could not transfer money, merely check my balance and see a select few of my most recent transactions I will admit I felt rather disenchanted with it. After all what’s the point of an app that is just a combination of the most basic function of a cashpoint with one of the most basic functions of an already existing internet banking service? So I decided to do some research into the range of applications out there, to see where my bank stood in the grand scheme of things, to see how it compared to the others that were on the market…

How does my banking app compare?

It didn’t. There are apps out there, glorious, advanced apps that allow their customer to use their phones to perform the same functions as internet banking and my bank presented me with the app equivalent of a quill and parchment. Impressed? Obviously I’m not! Although I do hope for improvement, with the new account switching measures coming into play this month it seems as though the evolution of this app should be a foregone conclusion.

In this age of digital banking, what some banks need to remember is that it’s all in the application. Because for those can’t get their most basic digital tool right, is there any hope for them in the future?