Data Analytics on Leading National Bank Mobile Apps

image from:

-Using Signals to produce data-driven customer insights on mobile banking


Innovations in Banking

As the prevalence of online banking tools increase, customers’ needs for setting foot in their local brick and mortar bank institutions are decreasing. Customers simply don’t bother to justify heading into the bank to cash a check, for example, when they would rather do it from home — or on the go! They’re no longer tied to desktop computer access either because with the simple download of one of these helpful apps onto any smart phone, customers can self-service their accounts at any time and place — given they have a secure Wi-Fi connection or generous data plan. For busy people everywhere, skipping the trip to the bank has become an essential component of their all-around banking service expectation. For many, bad mobile banking experiences can even be a deal-breaker. Not surprisingly then, these same customers have a lot to say about how happy they are with their mobile banking apps and whether or not they feel their needs are being met — and they are exclaiming these opinions online for the world to hear.

Looking at the Big 4: Bank of America, Ally, Capital One, and Wells Fargo

In the world of banking, these national, big name corporations clearly dominate the market. So how are they doing in terms of meeting their customers’ mobile needs…Are they reliable? Are these banks providing their patrons with the best version of themselves? How does the mobile experience they offer compare to the competition: Do they treat customers better than their last bank? Are they keeping customers engaged, or are they losing the solid connection that an interaction with a live bank teller brings? Worse yet, are lackluster mobile banking app experiences tempting these customers to let their eyes wander off in search of something better? The answers to these questions are vital because in today’s world, the customer experience is the brand and banks are no exception.

To determine where these leading banks’ mobile apps stand in the eyes of their customers, let’s utilize Signals, a visual data analytics platform, to enable us to clearly and effectively make sense of what customers are really saying about their (mobile banking) relationship.

There Have Been Ups and Downs

Signals has the ability to pull insights from any data source, structured or unstructured, and then visually display these insights concisely on an aesthetically pleasing, customizable dashboard. This allows for a quick conversion from disjointed data to actionable insights, effectively cutting down on overall time and resources spent. Through the use of Signals’ unique Compare View, below is an example of the temporal trend analysis that was automatically generated for each of the four mobile app review jobs after just a few moments:


Bank of America Mobile


Ally Bank Mobile


Capital One Mobile


Wells Fargo Mobile


What we can see are the general fluctuations of online customer chatter over time, spanning from the present day all the way back to the very first comment. This capability is especially useful to graphically track when customers comments are highest on a specific app’s performance. For example, Signals shows if customers are actively responding to a new software update, or in a more general sense, reveals if the population has remained equally engaged and invested throughout the years.

All four banks appear to have gained market attention at varying degrees. Capital One exhibited the greatest spike, while Ally fluctuated over time — with the exception of a noticeably high peek during 2013. Using Signals, I zoned in on that specific point to see just what exactly all the hype was about. Through viewing the comments (underlined below) from a narrowed search, I was able to see clearly and quickly the reason for the swell in activity: Ally apparently came out with an update in 2013, to which customers responded with frustrations about the inability to paste in their passwords.


Furthermore, above are some highlighted examples of the heightened expectation customers demand Ally to meet, being that it is an online-only bank.

The Voice of the Customer

The buzzword feature of Signals captures the true voice of customers by consolidating thousands of individual reviews and displaying them in one place — the interactive dashboard. Enabling the additional component of sentiment analysis to these words depicts a textual visualization of the positive, neutral, or negative context in which the words were used. This feature provides us with both a great surface level snapshot of common phrases across the board, as well as the ability to dive even deeper into each specific phrase with a simple click.


Bank of America


Ally Bank


Capital One


Wells Fargo


All four apps show an overall neutral (gray) or positive (blue) sentiment level used by customers to describe their experiences — not bad! However, the occasional negative (red) phrase should be noted as well — to provide direction as to where the customers’ largest pain points are, thus unearthing potential opportunities to better resolve customers’ issues.

A particularly interesting observation gathered just by looking at the above images, is the fact that Bank of America was referenced in an overwhelming 3 of the 4 snapshots. It is apparent that BofA is often being compared to its competitors. Specifically with Wells Fargo, some customers even encourage WF developers to model their UI after BofA’s.


Customers State What They Like and Don’t Like

Signals is still able to review each individual comment the old fashioned way, but has an optional added feature. Custom Widget allow users to display only the comments within specific parameters, for instance, only those related to Bill Pay, or only those with a negative sentiment score of 3 (the most negative rating as possible). See related blog post: Custom Filters Yield Customer Insights.)

Below is a representative comment highlighting frequent customer concerns regarding the Bank of America app, when filtering specifically for Credit Card:


Signals makes it clear that BofA customers are expressing frustration about two reoccurring pain points: Paying their credit cards straight from the app, and easily accessing their cash back rewards.

Are you curious about how your online tools are holding up against your competitors? Signals can be applied to any app, chat, survey, email, forum, etc. to help you extrapolate meaningful insights on customer experience.

Contact today to request a free trial to see what more you can learn about your data!