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National Bank leads Canadian mobile banking services with Web app

Canada’s National Bank is the country’s leader in mobile banking services because of its strong performance in all criteria categories, including a top-ranking Web app for both design and transactions, according to a new report from Surviscor.

The Surviscor 2013 Canadian Mobile Banking scorCard report assesses the mobile features and functionality offered by Canada’s six biggest banks. National Bank took over the top spot from CIBC, which was last year’s winner.

“What you can do on a smartphone has changed even in the last year,” said Glenn LaCoste, president of Surviscor, Toronto. “Banks keep increasing what they can do because the devices are getting better, which is allowing them to expand their services.

“National Bank was able to provide a non-downloadable app version [for BlackBerry] with the same look and feel of an app,” he said. “That was probably the biggest revelation – that maybe a version that looks like an app is enough to meet consumers’ expectations, which is different than a year ago.”

Mobile banking adoption
RBC Royal Bank rounds out the list of the top three banks for mobile banking services in Canada.

Banks in Canada are moving quickly to embrace mobile services based on how popular they are proving to be with customers, with at least one major bank reporting that 30 percent of its monthly online use is coming from mobile devices, per Surviscor.

In the past year, Canadian banks have rolled out new mobile banking services such as mobile check deposits, quick balance features, mobile wallets and tablet-specific apps. However, there are still numerous opportunities to improve the mobile customer experience, with ongoing development via apps and sites essential to retaining and attracting mobile customers.

National Bank was able to capture the top spot by working hard to ensure that key online features available on desktop are also accessible to on-the-go customers. This year, the bank launched a banking application for Android phones to complement its iPhone and iPod Touch offering. It also launched on BlackBerry phones with a Web-based launcher app.

National Bank also offers the My Mobile Guide app that answers questions about mobile banking.

Tablet services
On the iPad, National Bank added new features such as Investment Track, a tool that helps clients understand the scope and importance of retirement planning.

Other top-performing banks include CIBC which was recognized as the leader in the tablet-based mobile services. RBC Royal Bank led the way with iPhone and Android phone-based services while Scotiabank scored highest for BlackBerry phone-based mobile services.

“At the beginning, mobile users could just see a balance, then they could make a bill payment,” Mr. LaCoste said. “Now it is expanding to the point where they are doing all of their banking on their phone, and they don’t need to turn on a desktop computer.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor  on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York