Few of us still go to a bricks-and-mortar bank branch to take care of basic banking needs. Almost every bank now offers online banking on the web, and most also have a serviceable mobile app. But not all mobile apps are equal. If you use your phone for most of your internet needs you should bank with the institution that offers the best banking app. Read on to see which banking apps we think delivers the best experience.
There are countless US banks offering banking services to retail customers, many with solid online banking and mobile apps. We can’t cover all the mobile banking apps, but we think the following apps offer some of the best features. Note that sometimes the iOS version of an app is better than the Android version, and the other way around, but we’ve included a mix of top-rated apps for both platforms.
With millions of ratings across the app stores, Discover Bank stands out for achieving a stellar 4.8 / 5 on the App Store and an aggregate 4.6 / 5 from Android users. Achieving such consistent scores across both platforms is a real achievement for such a widely used app. Users like the slick Discovery app interface, enjoying the fact that it is effortless to log in while still expressing confidence in the app’s security measures.
There is the occasional complaint from an Android user who found that the app crashes, but this is a common experience on the Android platform. Discover Mobile offers all the usual banking app features including the ability to check balances and make transfers. You can also manage your Discover credit card with the Discover Mobile app.
You may not have heard of Spain’s second largest bank, BBVA, but the top rating users give for the BBVA Compass app makes it worth a look. BBVA’s banking app gets an average of 4.8 / 5 courtesy of more than 100,000 reviews on the App Store and 4.3 / 5 from Google Play. Users like the fact that it simply works every time and also appreciates the really quick alerts it gives you as soon as you make a transaction.
Some Android users complained about glitches, perhaps explaining why BBVA Compass scores a bit lower on Google Play. There’s plenty you can do on the BBVA Compass app, including the ability to block your cards in case you lose them. You can also deposit checks using the app and view a full history of deposited checks.
We’re including Ally Bank because it’s one of the most popular online banks in the US. It gets a terrific 4.8 / 5 on the App Store and will make a great choice if you have an iOS device as users love how easy it is to use. However, Ally doesn’t do so well with Android users, scoring 3.5 / 5 on Google Play. Users complain about crashes and the inability to sign in to the app. Clearly, Ally needs to do some work on its Android app.
Nonetheless, for both iOS and Android users, the Ally app does all the essentials you’d expect from a bank that operates online-only. You can deposit checks by scanning a check with the app, check your balance and watch out for incoming and outgoing transactions.
If you want a solid banking app from a bank with a large branch network look no further than Chase’s app, which gets an excellent 4.8 / 5 from iOS users and an equally positive rating from Android users, scoring 4.6 / 5. iOS users love the fact that you can use 3D Touch to access shortcuts and overall appreciate the quick convenience on offer.
Android users are positive too but do encounter the occasional glitch, including problems getting checks recognized for deposit and regular crashes. You can expect all the usual mobile banking app features including the ability to access statements going back seven years plus alerts when money comes into or leaves your account.
Do you want to do your banking mostly on your phone? Simple is worth considering. The bank started as a straight-forward app-based bank and it shows in the slick Simple app. Android users are generally positive, scoring the Simple app 4.4 / 5, with the ease of use aspect a prominent factor, while other users like the fact that the app does not charge fees.
The Simple app gets mixed ratings from App Store reviewers, iOS users give the Simple app 3.8 / 5 with a range of customer service issues behind complaints. That said the fact that Simple charges no fees and just offers phone banking, no frills, is clearly appealing to a lot of people. It’s an online bank but Simple supplies a debit card for your use and offers access to over 40,000 ATMs across the country.
If you already bank with a provider that you like you may prefer to stick to their banking app, but there are plenty of excellent banking apps if you feel like switching or if you are opening your first checking account. Here are some points you should think about:
- Will you need full-service banking features such as mortgages, loans or other services right now, or in the future? In which case Chase or BBVA Compass may be better options.
- Check whether the bank makes a solid app for the device you are using, sometimes a bank has an excellent iOS app, but a weaker Android app. For example, Ally’s Android app appears to be frustrating plenty of users.
- Do your own research: do you like the look and feel of a bank’s app? Are there any concerns users are highlighting that will be a real problem for you?
We’ve highlighted plenty of good options at least one of which is bound to suit your individual banking requirements, but it is worth thinking through your banking needs and preferences before you choose a banking app.