Introducing the Mobile Banking Award

30 May 2016
Online banking on your mobile phone – a new level of convenience at the swipe, tap, or shake of a handset.

With the convenience of banking in the comfort of your own home or on the go, there’s a lot to like about mobile banking. You’re at the checkout at the supermarket, or sitting on the couch contemplating the purchase of a new pair of soccer boots, but you’re not sure if you have enough on your card – what do you do? Log onto your phone to check your balance or make a quick transfer, of course.

Rise of mobile banking

The number of Aussies doing “mobile only” banking on their mobile phone or tablet has tripled in the past 3 years (Roy Morgan, 2015).

Every month, around 1.1 million Australians – that’s 5.8% of our population – used only their smartphone or tablet to do their banking (Roy Morgan). Another 33% do their online banking by mobile or tablet every month along with also using other channels such as desktop online banking or visiting an ATM. Checking your account balance is one of the most commonly used mobile banking functions, according to surveys by Forrester.

With the increasing uptake of mobile functionality for everyday things such as shopping and budget tracking, mobile banking has become more and more popular. Research by ING DIRECT in 2015 shows 43% of Australians overall do some or most of their shopping on their mobile phone, including 74% of those aged 18-24 and 1 in 5 of those aged 55 and over.

One study run by Cambridge University examined which mobile phone handsets are easiest to operate by someone aged over 70 years old suffering from arthritis, poor vision, or restricted mobility. If you know anyone in this position, we highly recommend taking a look at the study, which suggested the Emporia Click as an innovatively accessible option for ageing users.

What is the Mobile Banking Award?

Canstar has long been rewarding institutions with the Online Banking Award to recognise the institution that offers the most outstanding quality online banking platform.

This year for the first time, we have created a second award in this category: the Mobile Banking Award. The Mobile Banking Award recognises the institution whose mobile banking app offers the most outstanding quality online services to enhance the customer’s experience.

Both awards use a sophisticated award methodology unique to Canstar, which compares the offering of features on online and mobile banking platforms across Australia. The institutions which cumulatively receive the highest score across the areas of consideration will be awarded the Bank of the Year and Customer Owned Institution of the Year Award for Online Banking or Mobile Banking.

Features we research and rate

Canstar collects information on over 300 different features regarding the online capability of Australian institutions.

The main areas of consideration are Banking (transactional ability of both desktop and mobile banking), Website (features available through the website), and Customer Satisfaction (overall user experience with an institution’s internet and mobile banking platforms).

Here’s some more detail on what we look for when it comes to outstanding value and a quality customer experience.


Banking considers the features and transactional ability of both desktop and mobile banking. While desktop banking looks at features and transactions you can make on a desktop computer, mobile banking assesses the features and transactions you can make using the mobile app. For example, you should be able to:

  • Make transfers
  • Create scheduled payments
  • Apply for products online
  • View your account balance, e-statements, and transaction history
  • Use budgeting tools to categorise and track your spending
  • Update your personal details
  • Modify your credit limits or daily transaction limits

Communication, Security, and Location

Communication, Security and Location captures features that do not involve transactions. Online banking and the mobile app should be able to:

  • Create customisable alerts that tell you when your account balance is getting low or when a transaction would incur a fee
  • Securely contact your banking institution using online chat or other secure messaging methods
  • Login with two-step verification to make sure your account is doubly secure
  • Available on iPhone and Android
  • Locate your nearest ATM or branch


The Website section considers features such as the online application process for popular products, as well as what tools, calculators, and online help are available:

  • Product Applications:
    Website should allow customers to apply online using smartphone for home loans, deposit accounts (savings account or transaction account), credit cards, and personal loans.
    Application process should be paperless, with instant approvals, and user should be able to save their progress partway through an application.
    Online ID verification should require information easily accessible while making application, such as email address, mobile phone number, and driver’s licence number.
  • Consumer Education and Tools: Website should include calculators, budgeting advice and tools, and online videos.
  • Ease of Use:
    Website should be user-friendly and easy to use.
    Products for Personal, Business, and Agribusiness use should be separated into different sections of the website.
    Website should provide quick links to rates and fees, calculators, and exchange rates.
    Consumers should be able to find products through direct links and need-based links.
    Website should be transparent, with all fees listed, and a direct link to the PDS available online.
  • Online Help: Website should enable online chat, request a call back, and email support.
  • Web 2.0 Public Interaction: Website should have active Twitter and Facebook accounts, with a response team available for those accounts.
  • Location Services: Website should provide a tool to locate your nearest ATM and/or branch.

As you can see, there are a lot of things we consider that a mobile banking app and desktop online banking should be able to do if we are going to say that they offer an outstanding value banking platform. Our Research team at Canstar has made it easy for you to find a platform and app to suit your budget and your mobile device of choice.

So sit back and let us do the hard work of comparing your options, then pat yourself on the back for finding a way to make your everyday banking easier.


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