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Navy Federal Named Best Overall Online Banking Leader By Javelin; BBVA Compass, Citibank, SunTrust and USAA Garner Financial Management Praise

December 1, 2016|0 min read
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Navy Federal, USAA, Bank of America, Citibank, BBVA Compass, Bank of the West, BMO Harris, SunTrust and PNC lead the pack in the inaugural edition of Javelin’s Online Banking Scorecard, a competitive analysis of the nation’s top 30 retail banks and credit unions. Navy Federal Credit Union earned the 2016 Best Overall Online Banking Leader award while being awarded 67% of the total points possible. Javelin's scorecard assesses more than 200 features offered by FIs across the categories of Financial Management, Money Movement and Customer-First Banking, the latter encompassing personalized guidance from product selection to financial well-being.

During a November 16 webinar reviewing the results, Javelin Strategy & Research analysts emphasized that the messaging around online banking must change in order for financial institutions to stand apart from their peers. Simply stating that online capabilities are available 24/7 and allow you to bank from home is not enough. As mobile becomes the preferred channel for basic transactions Javelin has predicted that online banking will have to deliver a richer experience defined by insight, coaching and advice, trust building interactions that drive consumers to their primary FI for loans, wealth management and other services. Guidance that places customers on a stronger financial footing will make them stronger borrowers and turn to the FI that has aided them for loan products.

Financial Management: Aggregation Vital But Limited, Confusing Transaction Data Drives Consumers To Costly Call Center Support

The top five institutions in the Financial Management rankings included BBVA Compass, Citibank,  Navy Federal, SunTrust, and USAA (listed alphabetically). This category considered features such as aggregation, spending categorization and online controls that empower customers to notify their bank about upcoming travel and spending that could incorrectly trigger fraud alerts. Javelin also looked for contextual design that made transactional capabilities — bill pay, transfers, P2P — more noticeable to consumers.

While there are “plenty of reasons to say it’s not working as effectively as it should,” aggregation is “fundamental to where we need to go to achieve the kind of oversight for our customers and insight into what we can recommend for them,” said Javelin Strategy & Research Director of Omnichannel Financial Services Mark Schwanhausser. Javelin’s survey found that only 8 of the top 30 institutions offered aggregation of outside accounts, with 5 only making aggregation available within a tab, a choice that lends itself to lower adoption rates. Only 7 of the FIs evaluated by Javelin allowed customers to use the security page to notify their bank when traveling, a shortcoming which has no doubt driven frustrated customers toward the FI’s call center.

Javelin emphasized that FIs still have a long way to go in making transaction data understandable within online banking. Financial institutions frequently present an unintelligible string of characters where the merchant name is buried in the mix, making it impossible for consumers to identify where they made a particular purchase. While Navy Federal filters out ACH transaction data that means nothing to the consumer and offers a simple view of merchant and location, customers of Zions Bank must sift through undecipherable text, make sense of banking jargon such as POS (point of sale) and expand columns to even view all of their transaction data. “This is a basic in how we talk to our customers. We wouldn’t talk to our customers this way face-to-face inside of a branch yet we do it every single day, every single log on in the checking account,” said Schwanhausser.


An example of how MX cleanses, categorizes and classifies transaction data

Emmett Higdon, Javelin Strategy & Research Director of Mobile, added that transaction cleansing “becomes even more important as you try to squeeze all this into a four inch screen. The degree to which we can simplify these types of views is critically important to customers, critically important to reducing our support costs for the digital channels. If I have no idea what one of these (transactions) means with all the ACH gobbledygook, I’m inclined to perhaps call customer service and say that I don’t recognize this transaction.”

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