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9 Must-Have Features For A Successful Banking App

William DawseyBy: William Dawsey

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We live in a digitally-operated world where everything is virtual. We harness the power of digital mobile devices to do everything from communicating with others and checking our Facebook status to streaming videos and even running a business!

Nowadays, technology rules the world.

Mobile applications are powerhouse technologies that give us the advantage of performing virtually all the same actions that we would on a desktop computer, on-the-go.

Banks and financial institutions everywhere are going mobile. So, if you're a bank owner who hasn't yet jumped on the mobile app bandwagon, then prepare to be in for a world of hurt.

The only reason why banks hold leading positions in the market is that they have a well-designed, user-friendly banking mobile app that customers love. The idea that walking into a bank to handle specific needs, like depositing checks, transferring funds, checking balances, etc., has become almost obsolete.

With a mobile banking app, customers can do all of these things, and so much more, directly from their smartphone. It doesn't get more convenient than that!

In this article, we'll discuss nine must-have features to have a successful banking app. Let's dive right in, shall we?

1. Bank Account Management

Bank Account Management

The whole point of using a mobile banking app is to manage their bank account information directly from their mobile device.

By featuring bank account management capabilities, users can monitor their credit cards and bank accounts, check balances, view transaction histories, and transfer funds from anywhere at any time.

There isn't exactly a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to designing a banking app.

You always want to incorporate the essential features; however, you can still get creative when developing your app.

You can implement goal settings so that users can work towards accomplishing a savings goal directly from the source of all of their financial information.

This feature allows users to set the desired amount that they wish to save at a designated time in which they want to save it.

What about investments? That would be an excellent feature to integrate within your banking app to enable users to plan an investment order.

budget glass jar coins

Also, budgeting is an issue that most have been challenged with at one time or another. Wouldn't it be great if users could create a budget from their banking app?

There are third-party budgeting apps available; however, these apps don't record all credit card transactions in real-time. This means that you could be spending money using your credit card or even withdrawing cash from the ATM, and the third-party app won't register the activity quickly enough for you to make an informed decision about how to budget your money.

With a budgeting feature directly located on your banking app, you'll be able to see your balance and transaction history in real-time.

You could even create categories that allow you to monitor what you're spending the most money on, including entertainment, food, online shopping, etc. This way, you can see if you're on track with your budgeting regiment or if you need to cut back to reach your goals.

2. Advanced Security & Fraud Alerts

Advanced Security & Fraud Alerts

You can never be too careful these days. When sensitive data is concerned, users want the absolute best protection against hackers and cyber theft.

To have a successful banking app, you must first ensure that the app has secure sign-in functionality. You want to make it so that there are specific steps involved in signing in to a user's online banking account without adding too many steps that could irritate users.

There's a fine line between being cautious and being paranoid. A successful banking app ensures that the sign-in process is fast and easy while also being secure, providing peace of mind for the user.

For instance, multi-factor authentication is a very secure technology; however, it's also quite time-consuming. This feature isn't the best idea for banking app implementation since anything that's super time-consuming is never pleasing to the user.

Biometric authentication technology, on the other hand, verifies users by checking physical metrics. This advanced technology can recognize a person's typing rhythm, voice, and even physical gestures, along with others.

eye-scanning verification feature

Wells Fargo launched an eye-scanning verification feature for corporate customers, allowing users to log in to their online banking by simply looking into their smartphone camera. This particular app feature scans the eye's blood vessel pattern instead of the iris since it's also unique for every person.

Pretty cool, huh?

Also, adding touch ID or voice recognition features are viable options. If you're feeling bold, you could even add several security options to provide a sense of variety for the user.

This makes your mobile banking application more personalized to the user while providing the highest security standard. It's like killing two birds with one stone!

Fraud alerts are another must-have feature to implement within a banking app. While fraudsters and hackers get savvier, so do software developers, engineers, and programmers.

Systems monitor thousands of transactions per second to prevent fraud. If suspicious activity is detected, then the user is the first to know.

3. CORE Banking Features

CORE Banking Features

CORE banking, or centralized online real-time exchange banking, is a back-end system that processes transactions and posts updates almost immediately.

Thanks to avant-garde banking software, all kinds of services are available across multiple digital channels.

CORE banking should be at the CORE of your mobile banking app.

CORE banking software can be specialized for retail banking, wholesale banking, or securities trading. Here are a few of the capabilities for service-oriented CORE banking:

4. QR Code Payments

QR Code Payments

QR codes are becoming more popular amongst mobile apps, enabling users to scan their code on a barcode reader to make purchases quickly and contact-free.

Now, leading banks are joining in on the QR code craze by implementing QR code scanning technology into their applications.

QR codes present a great alternative solution for both issuers and merchants to expand their customers' mobile payment options.

All users need are their smartphones.

QR code payment solutions are easy-to-use, super convenient, and provide additional security that customers love.

5. Mobile Check Deposits

Mobile Check Deposits

This feature may seem like the stuff of science fiction to people who still bank the traditional way. However, customers everywhere are increasingly becoming more and more comfortable with using it.

Mobile check deposit, also known as remote deposit capture, is becoming one of the most sought-after mobile banking features.

For mobile deposits, the user scans a check using their camera feature on their smartphone, thus transmitting the digital image to their designated financial institution.

The most obvious benefit is that it saves time. Users don't have to drive to the bank branch or credit union and wait in line for an available teller to deposit a check.

It takes just a few minutes to endorse the check and snap front and back photos directly on your banking app. The deposit information goes to your account, and funds are usually accessible within a day.

Customers love the convenience of the mobile check deposit feature. Even those that aren't very tech-savvy find the feature to be relatively easy-to-use even by their standards.

Mobile deposit involves scanning a check's digital image and transmitting it to a financial institution

Those that are particularly security-conscience can rest assured that the app will not store images of their checks on their phone. This ensures that there's no room for hackers to access saved photos and retrieve a user's bank account number after using the mobile check deposit feature.

Also, the app quickly notifies the user that their deposit was received in good order, so they're always kept in the loop no matter what.

Financial institutions save money and manpower on every single check that doesn't have to be processed and stored in the traditional sense. Most don't charge for the service, so it's a win-win for everybody!

6. Peer-to-Peer Payments

Peer-to-Peer Payments

According to a survey conducted by the U.S. Bank, paper money is declining in popularity. 50% of respondents said that they only carry a little bit of cash if any at all.

Peer-to-peer payments, or P2Ps, allow online banking customers to transfer funds from their account to someone else's account directly from their mobile app.

P2Ps are the reason why married waiters splitting checks for parties of 12 are a thing of the past. With mobile banking apps with P2P capabilities, the money is deposited safely, securely, and instantly, in most cases.

Many third-party vendors provide the same service, but using a banking app is far more convenient. The banking app requires the user's ID number, and the bank oversees the transfer of funds.

There's no guarantee that third-party services are secure.

Furthermore, unlike many third-party vendors, most banks don't charge a fee for the transfers. It's always highly recommended to opt-in for peer-to-peer payments via a banking app rather than a third-party provider for added security, reliability, and prompt payments.

7. Bill Payments

Bill Payments

Paying bills by check is time-consuming, inconvenient, costly, and environmentally unfriendly. It's not especially the most secure option either.

Checks get lost or stolen in the mail system. They get misplaced and buried under paperwork in the recipient's mailbox.

Plus, who pays with checks anymore when you have a bill payment system right at your fingertips?

There are so many great benefits to using a banking app to pay your bills. Aside from the convenience of paying bills from anywhere at any time straight from their smartphone, users can set up automatic bill-pay features so that they never miss a payment.

They can schedule one-time or recurring payments, along with setting up customized email or text alerts to notify them whenever someone sends them money, activity occurs on their account, and more.

For amounts that vary, such as utility bills, users can pay as they go whenever they're alerted that their bill is due.

For things like mortgages and auto loans with fixed installments, setting up recurring payments is the best way to go. The funds will automatically withdraw from the user's account when the bills are due, so they never need to worry about missing a payment.

It's worth mentioning here that one-time and recurring payments can also be linked to the user's savings account.

Mobile Payment

Payments process almost immediately. If the user remembers a random bill at the last minute, they can usually get their payment in under the wire.

It depends on the bank, but many process payments in a few minutes or within the same business day.

Lastly, nothing compares to the added value of being able to check your bank statements, balances, spending habits, and account activity with the touch of a screen.

With a banking app, users can better monitor their bank account information on-the-go, without ever having to walk into a bank to access their funds.

8. Intelligent Chatbots

Intelligent Chatbots

Providing excellent customer service and a personalized approach to clients is always a major priority for any service, especially banking.

Frequently, intelligent customer service chatbots can adequately attend to simple customer inquiries.

By programming a smart AI chatbot feature into your banking app, you'll provide 24/7 support to your customers, increasing your chances for success and customer satisfaction.

Chatbots are great because they work around the clock, they can answer hundreds of questions quickly, they're always polite, and the best part is, you don't have to pay them!

Many banks have significantly benefitted from using customer support chatbots on their mobile banking apps, and yours can too.

9. ATM Locator

ATM Locator

An ATM locator feature may seem like a super basic feature to implement within your banking app. However basic it may be, it's crucial.

Remember, it's within the details that make some apps more popular than others.

When customers need to find an ATM nearest them, they should be able to count on your banking app to locate it.

Most mobile banking apps incorporate this feature, not because everyone is doing it, but because customers demand it.

By all means, feel free to get creative with your banking app. However, don't forget the essentials - don't forget the ATM locator feature.

Chetu's Custom-Tailored Approach

Chetu's Custom-Tailored Approach

Since 2000, Chetu has remained on the cutting edge of bank software development. Our expertise and unwavering commitment to our clients are evident in all of our custom mobile banking solutions.

Whether you need a newly developed mobile banking app from scratch or wish to augment your existing IT team and reinforce your banking app's potential by hiring a few of our dedicated developers, Chetu's got you covered.


Chetu, Inc. does not affect the opinion of this article. Any mention of specific names for software, companies or individuals does not constitute an endorsement from either party unless otherwise specified. All case studies and blogs are written with the full cooperation, knowledge and participation of the individuals mentioned. This blog should not be construed as legal advice.

Chetu was incorporated in 2000 and is headquartered in Florida. We deliver World-Class Software Development Solutions serving entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 clients. Our services include process and systems design, package implementation, custom development, business intelligence and reporting, systems integration, as well as testing, maintenance and support. Chetu's expertise spans across the entire IT spectrum.

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