When it comes to being happy with our chosen financial institution, the online functionality makes a difference. A recent Canstar Blue survey of more than 3,500 Australian adults found that 90% of respondents use online banking, including 86% of 60 – 69 year olds.
It stands to reason, then, that online banking functionality is a crucial aspect of competitive performance for our financial institutions. That’s why each year CANSTAR assesses the online banking offerings and functionality of Australian financial institutions. This year we researched 16 banks and 35 customer-owned institutions to determine which ones offer superior service.
Being able to bank online is not even a conscious expectation for most adults now; it’s as natural as breathing. We just assume that our bank will have excellent online functionality and excellent security across desktop and mobile. Some are better than others though and as many consumers are reluctant to switch banks, it’s good to check out what’s on offer before you sign up for a range of banking products.
A seamlessly-operating online banking platform takes a vast amount of behind-the-scenes innovation, development and implementation. Generally my observation is that the more seamless and intuitive your online banking experience, the more sophisticated the underlying work. So we assess the institutions on both mobile and desktop functionality, the availability of online applications, security, education, communication options and online help and of course ease of use.
Great opportunity for smaller players
In my observation, online presentation and functionality represents a significant opportunity for smaller institutions that don’t have a large physical presence.
Think about it: the internet is the great equaliser. It represents a massive opportunity for smaller institutions, to know that their commercial growth is not bound by their geographical reach. For many Australians, a physical bank branch is a moot point when they’re looking for the best credit card or home loan product, or a good term deposit rate.
And the winners are…
Making it an outstanding six years in a row, Commonwealth Bank has won the award for Bank of the Year – Online Banking Award. It’s obvious the Commonwealth takes its online banking channel very seriously, as it continues to provide customers with the latest technology to enhance their banking experience.
Commonwealth Bank’s mobile banking sets them apart – it’s simply faster, more user- friendly and provides more options. For instance, you can quickly check your balance without logging in to your account. You also have a choice of SMS or token when using secondary authentication.
This year’s winner of the Customer-owned Institution of the Year – Online Banking award is Beyond Bank. For the category of customer-owned, we include building societies, mutual banks and credit unions.
A complete redesign of their entire online banking channel to ensure mobile banking integrates perfectly into the new look has paid dividends. This gives Beyond Bank a distinct advantage over its competitors.
It’s a constantly-evolving landscape and there is a lot of hard work that goes into staying ahead of the game.