South Africa’s mobile banking apps compared

Forrester Research has released its global mobile banking benchmark, evaluating the retail mobile banking services of 53 retail banks worldwide.

The benchmark which focuses on functionality and usability, found that Spanish Bank BBVA offered the best mobile banking services worldwide with a score of 87 out of 100.

In comparison, South Africa’s Standard Bank featured as the highest African bank with a score of 71 out of 100 in 16th position.

Standard Bank’s high rating was due to its ease of use, the unique services it offers through the app and its mobile website, and the main websites accessibility using a mobile-browser.

Banking apps – unique and key features

As Standard Bank is the only South African bank to feature in the international benchmark, BusinessTech looked into how Absa, Capitec, FNB and Nedbank’s offerings currently stack up.

Notably, according to the South African Customer Satisfaction Index (SACSI) released in March, FNB was named as not only the best mobile-banker but also the best for retail online banking, enterprise, and cellphone banking.

With this in mind we chose to look at key features offered by the apps. This is not meant to act as a ranking but as a comparison between the unique features on offer and any noticeable omissions.

All of the banks offer key services across all their platforms that are now considered standard practice meaning they were not featured on the list. This includes a wallet system to send and receive money, the ability to view current accounts and transaction history, as well as a GPS-based ATM locator.

The banks below are listed alphabetically.


Google Play store rating: 3.3/5

Apple App store rating: 1.9/5


  • Has multi-user access and personalised profiles, allowing you to share the app with other users.
  • Ability to resend a payment notification at any time.
  • Absa rewards access and purchasable Telkom FreeMe vouchers.


  • Seems to be a step behind other apps, adding features commonly seen in other apps in updates.
  • User reviews point to stability issues.


Google Play store rating: 4.3/5

Apple App store rating: 3.6/5


  • Allows you to complete your SARS eFiling through its personalised GlobalOne Money Management tab.
  • Includes a built-in budget planner for tracking incoming and outgoing transactions based on personally set limits.
  • Allows for personalised credit plans and up to four unique savings plans.
  • Provides for future and recurring payments – a key feature missing from some competitor apps.


  • Confusing issues regarding certain features requiring branch activation.



Google Play store rating: 4.2/5

Apple App store rating: 2.7/5


  • Ability to report sim-swap fraud and other fraudulent transactions in-app.
  • eBucks partner locator to find retailers nearby which use the rewards programme.
  • navCar service to scan and renew licence discs.
  • Ability to view information on synced Apple or Android smartwatch.


  • Users have reported UI issues which is causing issues with some functionality.


Google Play store rating: 3.5/5

Apple App store rating: 1.3/5


  • A built-in business locator allows you to search in-depth for nearby businesses.
  • A built-in share trading platform, market watch and insurance capabilities help the app stand out.
  • Built-in home loan, vehicle, and forex calculators.
  • Allows for payment of eBills and SARS filing.


  • UI is not as an intuitive as other apps featured.

Standard Bank

Google Play store rating: 3.5/5

Apple App store rating: 2.9/5


  • Ability to pay international beneficiaries – a feature missing from a number of other apps.
  • Direct management of your banking cards (not just attached accounts), including ability to stop cards, re-order new ones,
    toggle your cards on/off for online, point-of-sale and ATMs and activating cards for international travel.
  • Send money to cellphone numbers as a cash voucher for the recipient to make a cardless withdrawal at an ATM.
  • Built-in calculator and insurance facilities.


  • User report issues regarding adding beneficiaries and once-off payments.

Read: Why you are the biggest risk to banks right now

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South Africa’s mobile banking apps compared