European retail banks are working to improve their mobile app experience

Mobile retail banking in Europe is now on the rise. In order to maintain a leading position, banks must constantly improve the customer experience by prioritizing their features and developing new ones.

The number of retail banking app transactions in Germany, France and the UK has more than doubled. The rise in usage has raised customer expectations and brought new players into the industry, such as fintech companies and digital banks. Mobile banking is no longer one of the optional features. To retain existing customers and attract new ones, retail banks need to understand what mobile app users want and try to implement their wishes.

In a recent report from Apps for Retail Banking in Europe, we have considered the developments in the financial field and the way banks are attracting and retaining users.

British bank Natwest brings Touch ID to iPad

Leading UK bank Natwest has been operating in the mobile industry (through its iOS app) since 2009. And it looks like the bank is doing great if taking into account the average iPhone rating of an impressive 4.5 stars.

At the same time, relying only on estimates is not enough. Customer reviews often provide valuable feedback, including feature requests. App Annie Intelligence allows you to carefully examine reviews. So, filtering NatWest reviews from August 10 to October 10 for the keyword touch ID, we saw that users were actively requesting the Touch ID (fingerprint login) feature on the iPad.


On October 17, NatWest listened to the opinion of its customers and updated the iPad app with Touch ID. The effect was lightning fast: users quickly expressed their satisfaction in app store reviews.

By prioritizing updates based on customer feedback, Natwest has generated tons of positive feedback.

German banks focus on security

In Germany, security and privacy tend to be more important than functionality, so the trend affects all German banking apps. DKB-Card-Secure from Deutsche Kreditbank AG  is an application that enables online payments to DKB cardholders. The 3D-Secure function implemented in the app prevents the fraudulent use of bank cards. Similarly, the market player Sparkasse introduced a new security feature called S-ID-Check in June. This tool enhances the security of online payments with the same 3D-Secure protocol.

Since its launch, S-ID-Check has risen in the rankings and is among the top 10 most downloaded iOS financial apps in Germany. German banking apps have taken into account all the customers' cultural concerns and made changes to their products accordingly.


S-ID-Check was released on the iPhone in June 2016, and already on August 11, it reached 5th place in the Finance category. Since then, the app has consistently been in the top 10 most downloaded financial apps in Germany.

In France, Izly gives students the banking they need

In the Europe Banking report, we mentioned differences in mobile banking usage across age groups. Seeing its chance, S-Money (a subsidiary of Groupe BPCE) released the Izly app in 2015, designed exclusively for French university students. The application allows customers to make almost any payment right on campus, using a student card, mobile phone or QR code. Students can also top up their Izly account directly from their phone, send transfers, or receive them from friends or relatives. In order to better adapt to the unique buying behavior of the French student community, Izly partnered with CROUS and launched several initiatives such as loyalty points and discounts.

In three months, Izly rose from 102nd place to 1st place in terms of the number of iOS downloads in the Finance category.

In September, with the start of the school year for most French students, the app gained massive popularity in the country, climbing from 38th to 3rd place in the finance category within just one month.

Izly managed not only to study the unique buying behavior of French students but also to implement this understanding in its application.

Mobile banking continues to focus on innovation

Mobile banking will continue to develop rapidly. Banks around the world are implementing new innovative features in their mobile applications. For example, Citi added the ability to protest expenses directly from the app in early November while South African Standard Banks released a banking app for children to help them and their parents keep track of pocket money.

There is increasing competition between mobile banking solutions, especially in the UK. So, the all-digital Tandem bank appeared in November. In addition, Monzobank launched an app for iOS in February and is now trying to expand its user base through mobile advertising.


Monzobank Facebook ad found using App Annie's Marketing Intelligence.

It is clear that mobile banking is a priority for any bank. And in this area, there is fierce competition, which will only increase over time. And this means that the banks will not be able to rest on their laurels. We must focus on innovation. Otherwise, you can lose your position. It is important for banks to carefully observe how users interact with applications and analyze the feedback on their products. Banking applications will be able to stand out from the crowd by implementing the functions that customers crave to see.