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Half of Banking Customers Not Satisfied with Smartphone Apps

Survey provides snapshot of sentiments towards apps for the iPhone, BlackBerry and Android

NEW YORK - June 8, 2010 – In a survey just released, 48 percent of respondents indicated they are not satisfied with the smartphone application offered by their banking institution. Despite recent reports of increasing smartphone usage and growing investments by financial institutions, this latest survey reveals customers are simply not happy with the user experience and feature offerings of banking applications, and have serious security concerns. The survey of 300 banking customers in the U.S. was conducted by WorkLight, a provider of multi-channel software and services.

According to a recent report by comScore, smartphone banking is one of the fastest growing categories in mobile applications. Yet, a WorkLight survey reveals almost half the respondents expressed total or partial dissatisfaction with the smartphone application offered by their bank. Forty percent replied that they are not satisfied at all by the application and 8 percent were slightly dissatisfied. Only 26 percent expressed complete satisfaction by the smartphone banking application while 23 percent said they are slightly satisfied.

As expected, security and privacy concerns remain a chief concern of about two-thirds of users surveyed. Surprisingly though, almost a quarter of respondents indicated a poor user experience was the main reason they do not use the smartphone application offered by their bank and close to a fifth of respondents said missing features were the main reason for not using the applications on a regular basis.

“This is an indication of the high standards that exist in the fragmented smartphone application market, creating a real challenge for banks and mobile application developers,” commented Kurt Daniel, COO at WorkLight. “Facing growing market demand for this class of applications, companies often compromise on quality and depth for a quick go-to-market. Unfortunately, this approach creates the risk of offering mobile applications that do not meet expectations and reflect negatively on banks’ brands.”

In response to the survey, banking customers indicated missing features they would be interested to add to their smartphone banking application. Leading the list are the ability to pay bills and use personalized budgeting tools (PFM), called for by 25 percent of users each. 14 percent of respondents expressed interest in account activity alerts and about 12 percent felt a gap in viewing account balances and transactions.

Another question asked users what smartphone device they use to access their banking application. The results closely mirrored the installed base of smartphones with more than half saying it is an iPhone application, while 30 percent of respondents said they use a Blackberry application and 15 percent use Android applications.

Industry reports show the Apple iPhone continues to surge in popularity, with more than 50 million devices sold worldwide to date. Blackberry smartphones users are estimated at 41 million. Google’s Android devices and related applications are also gaining traction with more than 8,000 applications added each month.

The WorkLight Smartphone Banking Application Survey results are available at www.worklight.com/smartphone-survey.

About WorkLight - Extend Your Business™

WorkLight is a global leader in multi-channel software that powers mobile, desktop and web applications. The WorkLight platform and tools enable businesses to efficiently develop, run and manage applications for the iPhone, Android, Windows, Mac, Facebook, Google and more. Using WorkLight, an optimized user experience per channel can be created and delivered to drive more business while radically reducing development cost and time to market. For more, visit www.worklight.com.

More Stories By Glenn Rossman

Glenn Rossman has more than 25 years communications experience working at IBM and Hewlett-Packard, along with startup StorageApps, plus agencies Hill & Knowlton and G&A Communications. His experience includes media relations, industry and financial analyst relations, executive communications, intranet and employee communications, as well as producing sales collateral. In technology, his career includes work in channel partner communications, data storage technologies, server computers, software, PC and UNIX computers, along with specific industry initiatives such as manufacturing, medical, and finance. Before his latest stint in technology, Glenn did business-to-business public relations on behalf of the DuPont Company for its specialty polymers products and with the largest steel companies in North America in an initiative focused on automakers.

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