With digitalisation and open banking initiatives front and centre in the advancement of the global financial infrastructure, this report by SIA Partners is a great summary of how apps are performing worldwide. They assessed seventy nine banking apps globally and listed what they regard as the top ones in Europe. Criteria included whether the app has the general functionality and offering of a bank, the extent to which personalisation is provided and its overall enhancement of the customer journey. Five of these top European apps are listed here with some comments from Pay iO on their open banking capabilities.
With more than nine million users, Revolut is a popular digital bank which also offers account aggregation via open banking in Germany, France and Italy. This means customers can manage their accounts across multiple banks within the Revolut app. Revolut helps consumers to manage their finances easily, make savings using its ‘vault’ feature and invest in stocks and cryptocurrency with minimal amounts. Balances are in real-time and foreign exchange is easy and available at all times.
Belfius is one of the major banks in Belgium and is doing well with its digital offering. At least a quarter of its customers use its app. It’s also launched an open banking developer portal with APIs for account information services, payment initiation services and confirmation of the availability of funds. Earlier in the year Belfius also formed a partnership with telecommunications company Proximus to share each other’s digital platforms with each others’ customers.
Intesa is a leader in the Italian banking sector with over eleven million customers. A few years ago it launched its digital transformation strategy with the aim to increase its online business to 70% in 2021. It has also made headway with PSD2 and is in the process of launching a dedicated open banking interface.
N26 is a Germany-based mobile bank with over five million users worldwide. It helps customers track their expenses, set financial goals and make savings in real-time. It’s free to use and offers useful insights into spending habits. N26 has a dedicated open banking interface called REST API giving third-party service providers access in line with regulations.
Italy-based Ilimity bank has an innovative digital app which enables consumers to log in using face- or touch-ID. It helps them to monitor their financial health in a visual way, to make savings towards specific goals and to make payments directly from their smartphones. Open banking products have been launched, such as a partnership with FitBit which allows customers to convert steps into spending plans. Many more open banking projects are planned.
It’s clear that it’s not just startups and fintechs which are making headway in the digital sector, traditional banks are also gaining ground. But can these huge corporations win over the younger generations who are enjoying the jargon-free, socially conscious start-ups? Time will tell, but a lot depends on internal adaptability, clever marketing, excellent customer service and at its core, fantastic tech.
Pay iO’s articles do not constitute financial advice and are for information only.