MSE News

Monzo tops our bank apps poll as traditional banks lag behind

Monzo tops our bank apps poll as traditional banks lag behind

Challenger banks Monzo and Starling have scooped the top spots in our latest bank apps poll, with traditional banks left playing catch-up – check how your bank did. 

More than 5,000 MoneySavers took part in our poll, which asked respondents to rate their bank's app by the quality of its features and how easy it is to use. 

And Monzo and Starling sailed ahead of the rest of the pack, with 78% and 70% of users respectively saying their apps had lots of features and great usability. 

Of the traditional banks, Barclays came top with 57%, while M&S Bank took the wooden spoon with just 4% saying it had lots of features and great usability. 

See our App-based banking guide for the top current account and auto-savings apps. 

How did the banks do? 

Our June 2019 poll asked users who access their current accounts by an app to rate it based on: 

  • Features: Does it have more than just basic transactions, eg, budgeting and spending categories?
  • Usability: How easy is it to use? Can you do everything you want via the app?

Here are the results for the 'Lots of features, great usability' scores for banks that had more than 100 votes. 

Top bank apps by features and usability

Bank/building society 'Lots of features, great usability' (last year's results)
1. Monzo 78% (75%)
2. Starling 70% (70%)
3. Barclays 57% (47%)
4. Lloyds 49% (39%)
5. NatWest 47% (48%)
6. Bank of Scotland 43% (36%)
7. RBS 43% (42%)
8. Nationwide  40% (37%)
9. Halifax 39% (33%)
10. First Direct 28% (27%)
11. Santander 27% (28%)
12. HSBC 18% (12%)
13. Tesco Bank 13% (17%)
14. Co-op Bank 13% (11%)
15. TSB 12% (11%)
16. M&S Bank 4% (7%)

A total of 5,052 people voted. Only banks that got 100 votes or more included. See full poll results.

Johanna Noble, money editor at MoneySavingExpert.com, said: "It's no surprise that two app-based banks came out top for their mobile offerings, as they rely on their apps for their customers to use. With more and more of us banking on our phones, it's good to see that some of the big players are catching up, though some clearly have a way to go before theirs are as good as their rivals' apps.

"If you want a decent app and good service, it's worth checking out one of the newer banks, but if you want perks like cash switching offers then it's still worth looking at the traditional ones too."

What do the banks say?

A Monzo spokesperson said: "Monzo wants to make banking easier for everyone, so we're delighted that our customers have chosen us as their top banking app for features and great usability."

Starling Bank founder Anne Boden said: "We created the Starling app to give our customers the best possible user experience, and money management tools such as 'round-up' have been designed to help people feel financially empowered and in control. It's extremely rewarding to see these features making a difference to so many people's lives."

Ramki Sankaranarayan, head of digital and open banking at Barclays, said: "Over six million of our customers use the Barclays mobile app and we want to keep evolving the functionality they have at their fingertips to help them manage their money easily and stay in control of their finances. It's great to hear positive feedback from our customers, and we'll keep listening to them to continually improve the app and build it around their needs."

An M&S Bank spokesperson said: "We're working on updates to our mobile app and look forward to sharing these with our customers very soon."