Smartphone with finance and market icons and symbols concept

Toronto-based Bank of Nova Scotia provides the best overall mobile banking experience, according to Surviscor’s 2018 Canadian Mobile Banking Scorecard Review.

The scorecard review, now in its 10th year, provides an impartial assessment of the overall mobile-based customer experience at Canadian banking institutions.

Scotiabank jumped up two spots from 2017, knocking Toronto-based Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce from the top spot and pushing Montreal-based National Bank to third place.

Toronto-Dominion Bank’s TD Canada Trust trailed behind its peers, finishing in 15th place with the worst showing of the five major Canadian banks, with many smaller banks and credit unions providing a better mobile experience.

Toronto-based Bank of Montreal showed improvement, moving up six spots from last year; however, the current platforms still lag behind the rest of the Big Five with the exception of TD.

Although National Bank may not be considered one of the Big Five, the firm’s mobile offering remains a serious contender. Despite an older design, National Bank remained in the top three in 2018 for its wide variety of features and functionality.

“It hasn’t been a busy look and feel year for most Canadian banks; however, we are seeing improving scale within the banking applications,” says Glenn LaCoste, president of Surviscor Inc., in a statement. “Canadians are very fortunate to have some of the best financial service digital experiences in the world and so many choices to consider,” he added.

Scotiabank and CIBC both received impressive scores and the report says the two are interchangeable in many areas. “What they all have in common is that they have learned to ‘stretch’ the space capabilities to offer a more similar experience to online banking than most of the firms,” the report says.

Key strengths of Scotiabank, in particular, are the firm’s account opening process with the ability to return to a saved application, the capacity to manage retail email receipts through a Scotiabank address, an impressive products and services area, mobile capabilities to manage travel notification and card usage, a dedicated message centre, and quick transactional links from key account information, the report says.

The report also reveals some key mobile insights, such as how bank-based mobile wallet capabilities are improving to compete with Apple Pay. The newest feature among mobile platforms is to allow loyalty and reward cards into the mix to compliment debit and credit cards.

“Quick balances” are also becoming mainstream. Just last year, it was considered progressive if customers could see their balance without actually signing in. Today, not having the functionality is a shortfall. Leading firms like Toronto-based Tangerine are not only offering balances, but a more in-depth look at the account activity prior to requiring authentication.

Progressive firms also are offering Canadians both non-secure and secure mobile account opening processes. “Although the process is not always clean, firms who do not offer it are clearly trying to get you into the branch,” the report says.

The top ten firms are as follows:

  1. Scotiabank
  2. CIBC
  3. National Bank
  4. Desjardins
  5. RBC Royal Bank
  6. Tangerine
  7. Conexus Credit Union
  8. Simplii Financial
  9. BMO Bank of Montreal
  10. Coast Capital Savings

Surviscor’s proprietary scorecard methodology measured 2,700 objective usage-related criteria questions and reviews each firm by five independent categories, each weighted according to industry importance through direct feedback with industry firms.