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Which online banking app is really on the money

February 9, 2018 Leah Bradburn

Have you switched bank accounts recently – or perhaps considered it due to your current bank not offering you an app that suits your needs?

Now I don’t know about you but my online banking app is second only to Google Maps when it comes to apps I could not function without. I log in to the app as easily as I open my iPhone – just one quick thumbprint and I’m off. And so with such ease and reliability, checking my account figure has, I’ll admit, become a bit of an obsession.


But I’m not the only one – Almost 40% of UK adults now use banking apps, with about 30 transactions taking place every second… And so the accessibility and availability of any mobile banking app is crucial. More and more people are managing their finances online than ever before, but that’s a no brainer. As our lives get busier, who really has time to find a bank on the high street, let alone face the lunch hour queues.


As we get closer and closer to becoming a cashless society, banks are faced with two options: Keep up or lose out.


A look at the Top 10 most popular finance apps on the App Store reveals the following:


HSBC UK Mobile Banking


Barclays Mobile Banking

Halifax Mobile Banking

NatWest Mobile Banking

Lloyds Bank Mobile Banking

Nationwide Mobile Banking

Santander Personal Banking

Capital One UK

TSB New Mobile Banking


Are you using any of the apps listed here?


Things in common…

Everything you’d expect and a little bit extra. Nearly all of the apps mentioned give users the ability to log in using their thumbprint, or find their nearest bank/ATM. And most give their customers the ability to speak with customer services straight from the app.

This is great for people like me with far too many pins and passwords to remember, what with Netflix, HayU and the Pure Gym code I’ve used approximately once, my head is a jungle. And as I implied earlier when I told you how lost I’d be without Google Maps (literally) I never know where I am, so location services to the nearest ATM can come in handy. Getting rid of the annoying verification stages of calling a general help number from the site is a blessing in disguise.

Unique features…

Halifax, NatWest, Lloyds, Nationwide and TSB have all taken note and ensured iPhone X users can log in using their Face ID functions – helping to keep the apps up to date and compatible with modern technology.

Halifax, NatWest and Nationwide also allow their customers to access the app on their Apple Watch, with NatWest even going the extra mile and making it possible to withdraw money from Tesco or NatWest ATMs using their Apple Watch or the app. Perfect for when you’ve got to the shop and realised you’ve left your purse on your desk, which happens to me way too often (thank God for Apple Pay).

But it seems like NatWest had no intentions of stopping there, their app is also RNIB approved meaning the app is accessible to customers who are blind or partially sighted.

A great move from NatWest in supporting a wider range of their customers in a time when so many companies are still failing to meet web accessibility standards. This isn’t a problem for Halifax who claim they have a WCAG 2.0 AA rating by accessibility auditors. Web Content Accessibility Guidelines help businesses ensure their content is available to a wider range of people with disabilities including blindness, deafness, learning disabilities and more.

Nationwide offer customers cash flow bar charts, a visual representation of your spending habits which is right up my street. I have recently been enjoying (and sometimes dreading) the simple in/out calculations which updates whenever, you guessed it, money goes in or out of your account.


But how do they shape up when it comes to reviews?


I personally use Lloyds and have never found any fault with the app or had it occur to me that there could be features included that would benefit my experience of banking with them. They were even rated the UK’s top mobile banking service for 2017! Although I must admit, after reading more about what some of the other top banking apps offer, I have to give NatWest their salt.