In the last few years, more banks are offering smartphone apps that let you do almost any banking chore you want via the phone. I can’t even imagine the days before online banking when you’d have to find an ATM just to check your balance. Now, you can download an app, login, and see your balance in seconds. No more wasted gas, no more wasted time, you just get the information want in seconds.
Not all bank apps are the same though. Some offer better functionality than others and it’s amazing what some of them will let you do. In playing around with the ING Direct/Capital One 360 app, I saw that I could actually create a new account within the app itself (I believe, as of this writing, they are alone in this).
That got me thinking: “What are must-have features of a bank app?”
If a bank is going to offer an app, they must offer:
- Basic banking: Checking my balance, checking transaction history, view transaction details, etc.
- Transfer funds: Allow the transfer of funds between accounts at the bank.
- Deposit checks: Take two photos (front & back) and let me deposit the check without going to an ATM or a branch.
- Find ATMs: Use the location services on my phone and find the closest ATM I can use without fees.
A lot of apps offer most of the features above and a few offer remote check deposit, which has saved me a ton of time.
There are a few “nice to have” features too that some of them have, such as a “click to call” feature where they call customer service for you. It would be nice if there was some integration there so I didn’t have to enter so much information but that’s simply not feasible given that feature is simply tying into the phone functionality.
What I don’t want is too many features. I don’t want to be able to ACH or wire transfer funds to another account outside of the bank. I don’t want to be able to change any information or do anything like that. It should just be a peek into the account, take deposits, and intra-account transfers.
What do you look for in a bank’s phone app before you’ll consider using it?