We're often told that consumers prefer native mobile apps to mobile-optimised web sites, but does that mean organisations have to deliver them? An analysis of Australia's big four banks by Forrester suggests that a mixed approach -- using native functions when helpful, but linking to web sites otherwise -- delivers good results.
Mobile banking picture from Shutterstock
Forrester analyst Stephen Walker notes that while this approach is not being used elsewhere in the world, it appears to be delivering results:
Part of the reason Westpac improved so quickly is because it's taken a hybrid approach. Not because it can't be bothered to build a native app, but because of the speed at which customers' expectations are increasing. The bank is carefully combining the power of native interface rendering where it matters - for its branch locator, for example - with the maintenance ease of web-based elements where it doesn't. NAB is taking a similar approach. This goes against the grain globally, where most banks are either native, or aspiring to be native.
Here are the scores out of 100 Forrester gave to the apps for the big four when it assessed them in May. Westpac receives two scores since it was offering two different versions at the time (which one you received varied). Note also that since the scoring, nearly every bank has made changes -- mobile functionality changes rapidly.
We've said before that a hybrid approach often makes sense, and this reinforces the point.