The Best Banking Apps
When it comes to banking, we all want a faster, more efficient ‘on the go’ service and this is where apps come in. Typically if we wanted to know how much money we had, if we needed to see a mini statement, or move funds around, we would either have to log on at home, go into a branch or use a cash point. Nowadays, thanks to banking apps, we don’t have to, as most banks offer a free app that allows you to perform all these tasks and more, simply by using your smart phone. Some apps are pretty basic and only let you do a minimum of tasks, others are much more sophisticated and let you transfer money without disclosing your details. To get a banking app you need some sort of smart phone such as an iPhone, Blackberry or Galaxy. So what is the difference between the main banking apps and are you getting the most out of yours? Here’s what we found out:
This has to be our top favourite banking app as it is such an easy and well thought out application. Simply, if you wish to send money to someone, anyone that is, not just someone with a Barclays Bank account, you just get them to register a Pingit account and then you can easily transfer money using their mobile phone number. This means that any person who is registered to a Pingit account is able to receive or send money and no banking details are ever revealed. Since it was launched back in February, more than 700,000 people have downloaded it.There are a few rules; you must be over 16, have a UK current account and a UK mobile phone number. And the other good thing? You don’t have to have a smart phone to use it.
Nat West and RBS customers have the highest number of app users with over 2.2 million of them installing their banking app since it was launched back in 2009. This is a no frills app where you can see your statements, pay off bills, make transfers to other accounts and other people. To access your account you need a five to eight digit pin. Nat West banking apps are available on iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry devices.
Scoring the secnod highest number of users with 1.4 million of the banks customers downloading this app, you log on just as you would if you were logging on online so it does take a tad longer than other apps. The security however is much more secure as you have more details to enter. Once in, you can check balances, make a payment, transfer money, typically similar to what you can do when you are logged in online. Although some customers are able to view their mortgage and loan balances and this app provides location information for local branches and cash machines. We think it is too slow for an app however.
The first banking app ever launched in the UK was for First Direct which allowed their customers to transfer money between their own accounts. It is only available on iPhone, however, but now you can make payments to payees that already exist and you can transfer money. To log into the app is the same as you would sign in to your online banking site. First Direct do not offer this app for any other smart device.
Another bank that only offer a banking app for iPhone users, HSBC’s Fast Balance app was launched last month and now has around 350,000 users. It has minimal security and as such you can only access your balance and get a mini statement. If you have a pay-as-you-go handset deal, you can also use the app to top it up with credit. We think they should do better.