Updated Benchmark: Incumbent Bank vs Fintech Progress (after 900 days)

Built for Mars | Peter Ramsey | Jan 17, 2023

Real cost of sending 100 quid to a US bank 2023 - Updated Benchmark:  Incumbent Bank vs Fintech Progress (after 900 days)

Credit: Built for Mars

More than 900 days ago, I published a series of case studies called the UX of Banking. These benchmarked and compared the user experience of 12 banks in the UK.

  • It was a forensic process: logging, timing and cataloging everything on their mobile apps.  Those 6 chapters from 2020 demonstrated how far ahead the challengers (Monzo, Starling and Revolut) really were, compared to most of the high street banks.  Has the gap widened? Which of the legacy banks are actually chipping away at the deficit? And ultimately, which are stale experiences that consumers should avoid?
  • Fixing Issues:  Over time people demand better user experiences from mainstream apps. Having a great UX is no longer a unique selling point—in most industries it's a necessity.
    • [data] suggests that the narrative of the 'legacy banks catching up', is largely false.
    • On average, the challenger banks deploy updates 4.6x more frequently than the incumbents.

See: 

McKinsey: Reshaping Retail Banks for the Digital Battlefield

Blockdata: State of Crypto Banks in 2022

Should the age of Nubank’s customer base worry incumbents?

  • Core experience:  Monzo, Starling and Revolut boot up nearly 4x faster than the Santander app, and typically twice as fast as most incumbent banks.  The apps that load faster, seem to perform better in these independent broad satisfaction surveys.
  • Fees:  despite the rise of crypto, new (and cheaper) ways to send money abroad and the popularity of challenger banks, the incumbents aren't budging.
    • In 2023, your bank may still be charging you more than £28, to send £100 abroad.
    • Another factor to consider is how late into the payment process the user has to be, before they learn about these costs. The trend is clear: the more expensive the fees, the later into the process you'll learn about them.
    • The banks that charge the most, are generally less transparent, and are leaving their experiences to stagnate.

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