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Monzo tops bank apps poll as traditional banks lag behind

Written by: Emma Lunn
Challenger banks Monzo and Starling scooped the top spots in MoneySavingExpert’s banking smartphone apps survey.

More than 5,000 people took part in the poll, which asked respondents to rate their bank’s app by the quality of its features and how easy it is to use.

Monzo and Starling came out on top, with 78 per cent and 70 per cent of users respectively saying their apps had lots of features and great usability.

Of the traditional banks, Barclays came top with 57 per cent, while M&S Bank was in bottom place with just 4 per cent of users saying it had lots of features and great usability.

Johanna Noble, money editor at, said: “It’s no surprise that two app-based banks came out top for their mobile offerings, as they rely on their apps for their customers to use. With more and more of us banking on our phones, it’s good to see that some of the big players are catching up, though some clearly have a way to go before theirs are as good as their rivals’ apps.

“If you want a decent app and good service, it’s worth checking out one of the newer banks, but if you want perks like cash switching offers then it’s still worth looking at the traditional ones too.”

What do the banks say?

A Monzo spokesperson said: “Monzo wants to make banking easier for everyone, so we’re delighted that our customers have chosen us as their top banking app for features and great usability.”

Monzo also topped Which?’s bank satisfaction survey in December, with a customer score of 86 per cent, just pipping First Direct (85 per cent) to the top spot.

Anne Boden, Starling Bank founder, said: “We created the Starling app to give our customers the best possible user experience, and money management tools such as ’round-up’ have been designed to help people feel financially empowered and in control. It’s extremely rewarding to see these features making a difference to so many people’s lives.”

Ramki Sankaranarayan, head of digital and open banking at Barclays, said: “Over six million of our customers use the Barclays mobile app and we want to keep evolving the functionality they have at their fingertips to help them manage their money easily and stay in control of their finances. It’s great to hear positive feedback from our customers, and we’ll keep listening to them to continually improve the app and build it around their needs.”

An M&S Bank spokesperson said: “We’re working on updates to our mobile app and look forward to sharing these with our customers very soon.”

A survey by UK Finance last year found more Brits than ever use banking apps over branches.

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