Neobanks: Is the Mobile Experience Really that Far Ahead of Top Banks?

by Stephen Greer, November 30, 2015
Product Trends/ Reviews
Global

Abstract

The rise of smartphones has brought a new banking business model: mobile-only neobanks. These startups seek to deliver the kind of customer experience that consumers have grown to expect from other industries.

Challenger neobanks like Moven, Simple, GoBank, Soon, UBank, Bluebird, and Bank Mobile enter the market with the promise of delivering a comprehensive financial offering with a modern customer experience, carving out a competitive advantage among institutions they say are poorly equipped and ill-suited to maneuver in a digital world.

In practice, how has this played out? Have the challengers been able to deliver on the promise of a more compelling digital experience? Have large banks been able to leverage their resources to keep up with the market, or have barriers kept them behind?

In the report Neobanks: Is the Mobile Experience Really that Far Ahead of Top Banks?, Celent examines apps at the top four traditional banks by assets (Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase, and Citibank) with four prominent neobanks (Simple, Moven, GoBank, and Bluebird) across five dimensions:

  • Transact
  • Purchase
  • Connect
  • Experience
  • Learn

The industry is still far from seeing neobanks gather a significant share of the market, but they carry a few distinct advantages over traditional institutions that could enable success going forward.

“Conventions in digital are fast moving,” says Stephen Greer, an analyst with Celent’s Banking practice and author of the report. “Traditional institutions have found keeping up with trends in digital difficult, even as their business models succumb to even higher levels of digitization.”

This report contains 35 figures and five tables.

Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

Media Contacts

North America
Michele Pace
mpace@celent.com
Tel: +1 212 345 1366

Europe (London)
Chris Williams
cwilliams@celent.com
Tel: +44 (0)782 448 3336

Asia (Tokyo)
Yumi Nagaoka
ynagaoka@celent.com
Tel.: +81 3 3500 3023

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

1

Digital Entrants Are Changing the Game

2

Methodology

5

 

Bank Ratings

7

Diving Deep into the Apps

9

 

Transact

9

 

Purchase

12

 

Connect

15

 

Experience

18

 

Learn

21

Recommendations

25

Appendix A: Additional Screen Shots

27

 

App Menus

27

 

ATM Locator

28

 

Account Activity

29

 

Mobile Deposit

30

 

Bill Day

31

 

Account Overview

32

 

P2P Payments

33

 

Other Features

34

Leveraging Celent’s Expertise

37

 

Support for Financial Institutions

37

 

Support for Vendors

37

Related Celent Research

38

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