Barclaycard, credit card provider to 10.4 million customers in the UK, is setting the standard for mobile banking with its myBarclaycard app (iOS and Android), making it easier than ever to manage your account on the go.
Banking is one of those day-to-day chores we’re all forced to endure. It’s never enjoyable watching a dwindling balance, but it’s slightly more palatable now that you don’t have to visit a branch or phone an automated telephone line.
But most banks just aren’t getting it right. More than three-quarters of the UK’s 25–34 year olds manage their accounts online, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (UK). It’s vitally important, then, that financial apps be slick and feature-packed for their discerning, tech-savvy young users.
I type in a 5-digit code. There’s my balance. There’s my payment due date. There’s no complicated 2-step security process, and I don’t have to search through menus to get the key information. The restrained color scheme, simple font and lack of extraneous text means myBarclaycard screams accessibility.
One further click and I can see all my recent transactions. A tap to the side lets me access detailed data, like the location and type of transaction. I can even go back to last year’s statements, with minimal load time.
It’s just simple and - dare I say it - enjoyable. That’s right, I’m finding looking at my credit card statement enjoyable. I can make payments just by typing in my debit card’s security code or even take up a balance transfer offer straight from the app. Processes are explained in clear, concise English without jargon. Put simply, it’s painless.
Why can’t all banking apps be like this?
Most mobile banking solutions just don’t cut it; surprisingly, major players like Citibank and Bank of America come at the bottom of the bunch. Odd given that “a poor mobile banking experience can be the single factor for a bank to lose a customer,” according to Mike Stern, Director of Business Development at Xtreme Labs.
Other banks force you into phoning customer services and waiting in a queue for half an hour to carry out the most banal of tasks (see First Direct’s ‘call us now’). Or they scare you away with a naff font (I’m looking at you, Co-operative Bank). It’s almost like they don’t want your money (as if).
It’s not about swanky design, though. myBarclaycard doesn’t boast TouchID access (like Natwest’s commendable app), and there aren’t any fancy parallax effects. There’s no news of an impending Apple Watch solution, which Nationwide’s promising. But neither Natwest nor Nationwide let you do a balance transfer online, and finding old statements is cumbersome and time-consuming.
Competitors need to focus more on basic functionality and less on aesthetic touches. I love that I can see, at a glance, my available credit and redeem cashback all in seconds on myBarclaycard. Those subtler design elements, like the screen blurring on moving to another app, while welcome, aren’t so important.
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Barclays, I applaud you.
myBarclaycard is an even more reliable version of Barclays Mobile Banking, the only app accredited for its accessibility by AbilityNet. I hope that other banks take note of awards like this, of the formidable number of 5-star reviews on the App Store and of an average 4.2 rating on Google Play.
I urge financial institutions to invest in mobile banking, because it makes business sense. We’re all more likely to pay a bill or buy a new financial product if it’s easy to do. Don’t you want us as customers?