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Are you delivering an Uber-like mobile banking experience?

Last week we participated in a very topical panel discussion at the BAI Retail Delivery event in Las Vegas. Joined by Jim Marous of the Financial Brand and Dan Armstrong of Bank Mobile, we examined the secret to building an Uber-like mobile banking app.

How to become the Uber of digital banking is obviously a hot topic and a common theme of presentations within the digital banking space at the moment. Traditional banks are often a target in these presentations, with ominous futures foretold thanks to a perceived lack of innovation and the threat of FinTech disruption.

However, our panel pointed out that some traditional banks are actually already providing customers with Uber-like mobile banking experiences. In order to reproduce such an experience we first need to understand what makes this mobile app so great. There are four reasons why Uber is, well, Uber.

  1. It’s intuitive and easy to use
  2. It centralises all functions within a single app
  3. It removes historical pain points
  4. It provides value in the form of time and money saved.

Drilling down, there are a handful of elements worth exploring further. The first is the “one-click functionality”; everything you need to do in Uber is confined to a handful of clicks, from requesting a car to providing feedback on previous journeys. Even uploading payment cards is a seamless journey. The second is the mandatory feedback component. Requesting feedback ensures Uber “products” i.e. the drivers, are of the highest standard. Unhappy customers are prompted to provide additional feedback. The last is the fact that everything is found in one app, promoting a high level of engagement and considerable ease of use. For example, the Uber app has integrated with Spotify to personalise the experience. This means that users can now control the music playing during their journey.

Surely there are mobile banking apps ticking some of these boxes? In our presentation we highlighted banks that are already providing their users with at least an Uber-lite experience.

Looking at the provision of information in an intuitive and easy-to-use way, we profiled the use of widgets by Garanti Bank and Discover. Both provide information within the notification centre on users’ phones rather than within the app itself, short-cutting the information-sharing process.

A good example of “one-click functionality” that we included is mBank and their quick loan application service. Clever design means that this application process is much simpler and the end product therefore more accessible than much less complex products, such as overdrafts and savings, are elsewhere.

Personalisation of the user experience is an interesting development and we looked at how the new Société Générale app allows customers to personalise their in-app navigation preferences. This app has also addressed the historical pain point of categorising transactions by simply allowing users to categorise transactions just prior to completion. Refreshingly simple.

One of our favourite examples of an app feature that saves time and, importantly, money, comes from Tesco Bank. They have a notification system that flags up any imminent issues with recurring payments not being covered by cleared funds and provide an easy pathway to rectify the situation. Helping customers to navigate around avoidable problems like this is an easy way for banks to provide genuine value.

These are just a handful of examples that we could have included here – we feel that although the traditional banking space has not had its game-changing Uber moment quite yet, some banks at least are making strides in the right direction.


Mapa Research is the market authority in online banking.  We have been immersed in online banking since its inception and have tracked every innovation and evolution since then, providing our clients with unparalleled perspective and context.

If you would like to find out more about the details of what we presented in Las Vegas or to discuss how we could help you, please contact us today.

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