What your customers love and hate: dissecting mobile banking app ratings & reviews

Elena Ghit
Publication Date
6 October 2020

What your customers love and hate: dissecting mobile banking app ratings & reviews

With a prolonged pandemic, the whole world is facing a health and economic crisis that will test its financial systems like a few other events did in the past. Now more than ever the world is relying on digital technology to conduct safer, more convenient transactions. Here are some interesting facts to look into:

  • According to Statista, the number of mobile payment transaction users worldwide will increase from 950 million in 2019 to 1.31 billion in 2023.  
  • Mastercard’s 2019 Digital Banking Study reveals how important mobile banking has become for most people in Europe. The study shows that 84% of Europeans use mobile banking regularly out of which 63% from traditional banks and 21% from digital-only banks.

The New Battlefield: Mobile applications

Banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions have the capabilities to repair the damage caused by the COVID-19 crisis. However, this is a long process that requires several radical changes in the coming months. Services such as onboarding, financial service distribution and client identification need to be fully transferred to online banking where mobile applications play an important role.

This means that every business leader should be thinking: “How can we continue to best serve our customers no matter what their interaction preferences are? How are customers using our mobile app? Are they happy with it?  Are we providing them with the right service and products in the app?’’  The common answer to all these questions is that they should look into their mobile app user reviews. 

Demystifying Mobile App Ratings and Reviews

A common mantra is that app ratings and reviews are hugely beneficial for both users and developers as they determine the app’s visibility. However, it is not always transparent whether these ratings and reviews are accurate or sometimes they are just inflated.

In a recent analysis Brian Levine, VP of Strategy and Analytics at Mobiquity,  uncovered that a cluster of eight frequently used apps that introduced the in-app ratings prompt, had average score shifts from 3 stars to 4.7 stars within six months, while the number of user ratings increased a magnitude of 62 times. Subway, for example, jumped from 1.7 stars to 4 stars within two weeks in early 2018. Notes for the software updates at that time said it resolved a few minor bugs, while the primary change was making it easier to rate the app and provide feedback. The impact of this inflation can be great as app ratings are very influential on a consumer’s likelihood to download and use a specific app. Improving a rating from two stars to three stars can increase downloads by 306%, while a move from three stars to four means an average 92% boost. There are other effects too. Beyond misleading consumers, inflated app scores can also stifle innovation and prevent companies from making needed improvements to their mobile apps. The practice also favors larger companies with more extensive app development capabilities. According to Brian, "App Store ratings have been compromised to the benefit of dominant players. It’s anti-competitive, because only the big companies with more money are able to take advantage of this situation effectively."

How can we make better use of ratings and reviews to correctly understand the real user experience feedback? Mobiquity’s friction report can help to answer this question.  

Mobiquity’s Friction Report

A friction report analyzes thousands of reviews and ratings from customer feedback channels like the iOS and Google Play stores to help you understand what’s working well and where there is room for improvement. We draw insights from customer reviews and identify the most common topics/features customers like or complain about. 

The Friction Report offers business leaders insights into how the world’s top apps perform so that they can make meaningful decisions and enhancements to their own mobile applications. For banking, we analyzed the mobile apps offered by several banks in the US and Europe. This way, we discovered what customers are looking for and how their needs have changed since COVID-19 hit and how much digital banking has increased because of this.

Below there are a few examples of some interesting insights the study has revealed:

  • 50% of your customers won't download an app with fewer than 4 stars
  • 77% of consumers read at least one review before downloading an app
  • 55% of consumers say that a 1 or 2 star review negatively impacts their view of your brand

These are only a few insights we’ve learned throughout the years of conducting our proprietary research methodology, which begins by leveraging machine learning to identify what customers like and dislike about digital touchpoints. For example, we can analyze your specific digital solution, such as your company’s mobile app, or review the most widely-used mobile apps in your industry. These insights are then compiled in an easy to understand report that you can use to build a business case for creating or enhancing your programs with the customer at the center of your strategy. 

Mobiquity’s Friction Report has been used by leading business executives, helping them to make confident decisions about how to improve or implement digital solutions that create value for the user and better engagement for the brand. In October, we issued a new Banking Friction Report to benchmark United Kingdom and Netherlands mobile banking apps. You can read the more about it in the press coverage releases below:

Download the full Banking Friction Report:


Curious to know how your mobile channel addresses your customers’ needs? Request today your personalized friction report.

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