SmartBanking instead of Internetbanking?


In the last year SmartBanking applications expanded bank offer of another possibility of managing accounts and created a new communication channel. Is SmartBanking really smart? For some banks yes. Anyway when the application is unclear and with illogical arrangement, not an above standard offer of functions will overcome this problem.

Research of a new method of direct banking – SmartBanking was realized by MindBridge Consulting company. There were compared 10 financial institutions in this research study namely Citibank, Česká spořitelna, ČSOB, Equa bank, FIO banka, GE Money Bank, Komerční banka, mBank, Poštovní spořitelna and UniCredit Bank.

Starting packet = feeling of security plus basic functions

In terms of general requirements users consider as the most important access security, data transmission security, availability of app for free, account balance and possibility to make payment. These parameters are included in all tested apps. The feeling of security will be noticeably higher when app allows blocking payment card in the case of loss or stealing. As less useful functionalities are evaluated those which are used rarely, by limited group of users or are available through various alternative information sources. Such as for instance exchange rates or payment order in foreign currency.

Ideal SmartBanking application should include in addition to basic functions something

One of the main problems of SmartBanking is an initial mistrust of potential users. Anyway this will be dispelled in most cases if the application is introduced to users. We could also observe during group discussions that potential users are attracted by some special functions, such as for instance smart calendar with payments reminder.

Preparing of payment order was the most time consuming in applications of mBank and UCB. On the other hand it was the quickest in Poštovní spořitelna app.

While an account balance was in average found by user in less than one minute without additional support, a payment order (to complete and send) took in average almost three minutes. There are significant differences among single apps. Operations in mBank and UniCredit Bank apps were in average the most time consuming. In exceptional cases users were preparing payment order for more than 10 minutes or were even not able to finish this task without help.

The “SMARTEST“ is generally Poštovní spořitelna, FIO banka and ČSOB

In total ranking applications of Poštovní spořitelna, FIO banka and ČSOB came off best, in the case of respondents’ subjective evaluation as well as difficulty of tasks fulfillment in In-hall phase and demands on time and number of clicks. These four basic components for evaluation of application were summarized to indicator called SmartBanking Usability Index.

New entrants
After realization of this research ZUNO bank and Raiffeisenbank also launched their own SmartBanking applications. Both banks will be included to the next wave of comparison.

K měření: The research of SmartBanking applications was realized in three steps, namely:

  • Quantitative calibration of importance of individual attributes for SmartBanking application (CAWI, 07/2012 n=1.416)
  • Quantitative testing of fulfillment of tasks for every application (in-hall, n= 300 evaluations, 11/2012)
  • Identification of ideal application by “smart” brainstorming (mini groups, 11/2012)

Ladislav Klika a Tereza Benešová
MindBridge Consulting a.s.
Geologická 2
152 00 Praha 5
T: +420 604 840 604