What’s with all these banking apps?


If its one thing I’ve noticed in the recent past is the sudden interest of corporates in mobile apps. Almost every company wants to have an app these days. This is particularly true for the banking sector. Every bank have at least one app now. Heck, we’ve reviewed a few of them as well. Its nice that the local banks have finally taken banking apps seriously. But come to think of it, is the effort worth it? Does it really matter?

So many banking apps. Do they actually help?

If you go to the play store and type in “bank” right now you’ll see dozens of apps pop up. Clearly the banks are getting competitive in the mobile app space. But how far does this actually help the customer in providing a better service is debatable. Regardless, this is still a good thing to see happening. Here’s why.

1. Banking on the go

With the kind of life most of us lead nowadays, one cannot afford to visit the bank for each and every matter. I know can’t. Frankly, life would be much easier if you’re able to do your banking on the go, at least some of it. Some of the apps out there like like SC Mobile Sri Lanka and SEYLAN Mobile Banking App does this to a certain extent.banking apps

2. Keep track of your transactions and offers

Keeping track of your everyday banking transactions is just annoying. Sure you can get it done manually. But then again, its more convenient when you can do your transactions and keep track of them in the same place. There are few apps that does this and some of them even show you available offers for your credit/debit card.

3. Value Added Services

There’s quite a lot to be done in terms of providing proper mobile services. Merely putting out a basic app isn’t going to please anyone in the long run. But there are few apps out there that actually goes on to give the user Value Added Services. NTB’s FriMi app and HNB’s HNB Fit app comes to mind.FriMi | banking apps

4. A more serious look at mobile services?

Another positive note is the fact that banks are getting serious about mobile banking aspects. Yes, most of the apps out there are pretty basic as of now. But the fact that more banking apps have started popping up on app stores may be a good thing. Why? Because we as users can and should expect better mobile services from the banks.

There’s still a lot need to be done

As far as mobile services go, its definitely a good thing to see more banking apps popping up in Sri Lanka. After all, convenience is vital for the modern user. But there’s still a lot that need to be done. None of the existing apps are perfect. Quite frankly, some of these apps just complicate things instead of making things easier. Now that that’s out of the way. Let’s look at some of the cons.

1. UX (and UI) is shit

If its one thing all of us can agree on is that some of these apps out there are just utterly horrible when it comes to UI and User Experience. Blindly putting out apps just for the sake of getting your name out there is not going to help anyone. There are thousands and thousands of apps in the market. Even on our phones, I’m pretty sure most of us have at least 20 apps running. So why would anyone add a banking app to the list if they don’t even feel like using them?banking apps

2. The basics don’t work

Not all apps will come out jam packed with so many features. That’s necessarily not a bad thing. Sometimes users just prefer simple apps that gets the job done. But it becomes a bit sillt when you have an app that claims to do something and it doesn’t even do that. Nobody wants a broken app.

3. Lagging behind

Its 2018. Don’t put out apps just for the sake of having an app under the company name. Broken apps with bad UI isn’t going to work, specially for banks. Banking apps have suddenly become a big deal in Sri Lanka. But even so, we’re still lagging behind (literally for some) as far mobile services are concerened.

banking apps
Nobody likes a broken app

4. Overselling

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what your app has to offer if all of the aren’t looked at. If an app makes users’ lives easier, then they will come on board either way. No amount of promoting the app is going to do anything. You can’t force an app down people’s throat. So, for the love of god please stop overselling. There’s nothing innovative here.

Can we expect things to get better?

All in all, its a good sign corporates, particularly the banks have taken mobile services like apps seriously (or at least seem to). Being able to do your most of your usual banking on your mobile is certainly convenient. Six or seven years ago, this wasn’t the case. Most of the time you would have to drop by your bank for each and every little thing. Not to mention having to stand in long queues. Yes, not everything is solved with simply a mere mobile app. But at the very least things are moving in the right direction.

But like I said before, there’s still a lot that needs to be done. Its a bit silly to see how these companies can’t seem to understand the concepts of user experience and basic functionality. There’s really no point in hosting launch parties for a simple mobile app if they don’t work properly as they’re suppose to. Plastering words like “innovative” and “cutting edge” is not going to do any good.

Nevertheless, one can only hope this space gets better in the near future to come.

So what are your thoughts? Do you think banks should do better? Would love to hear you have to say 🙂


  1. Amen with that last bit about overhyping this stuff. Always makes me chuckle when I see a bunch of suited up uncles being all self important for the media at some launch or other and then the app turns out to be typically lankan.


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