The poor state of Irish mobile banking apps

There are lots of people moving their current account in Ireland at the moment.

With both Ulster Bank and KBC having announced that they’re leaving the Irish market this year, there are more than a million banking customers looking to change banks over the next six months.

There’s a few online-only banks and payment cards that might suit some for their banking – the likes of Revolut or N26. However many will need access to more traditional bricks-and-morter banks that offer things like joint accounts, and actual branches. And for those people their options are shrinking.

It’s not like the remaining legacy banks are well-liked by people. Some are pretty woeful in terms of the high fees they charge and the poor customer service. So instead of people selecting the ‘best’ bank to move to, their decision will most likely be to go with the ‘least-worst’ of the offerings.

Let’s look at one indication of the quality of the banks, and what their existing customer think about them – the scores given by the users of their mobile banking apps.

These scores come from the Google Play Store, and are based on individual scores from 1 to 5 stars:

  • Permanent TSB – 3.1
  • AIB – 1.9
  • Bank of Ireland – 3.6
  • An Post Money- 1.8

EBS and the Credit Unions don’t count, as they don’t have any mobile banking apps as such.

These low scores must indicate a lot of unhappy users of these apps – especially the scores for AIB and An Post Money – because remember here that the minimum score that can be given is 1, and they only managed an average just above this.

These poor scores might come as a big shock for those people moving from Ulster Bank and KBC, as these banks have pretty good apps with scores of 4.6 and 4.3 respectively. So the mobile bank experience is definitely going to get worse for those switching banks over the next few months.

I know, because I’m one of them. I’ve moved my current account a couple of months ago, and the online banking experience I have with my new account is considerably poorer than I had before.

I can only hope that one of the online fintech banks creates a joint current account, and a way to lodge checks, and I’d move my banking in a heartbeat.