August 2014: Annual Industry Overview Part One (Account Management)

For this report, we investigate the online account management services offered by each firm, focusing on the main functional areas of each of the firms tracked by Bank Monitor: private site navigation and design, recent activity and statement center, bill pay and transfer capabilities, and self-service features. Though all 17 firms provide these features and tools, each bank offers its own variations. For each individual firm, we also call attention to any especially notable and interesting tools or features on each bank’s private site.

We added BB&T and Santander to our coverage group since our last Industry Overview report. Three firms revamped their private sites within the past several months. One firm’s site now mirrors the design of the firm’s credit card site. Another firm replaced a cumbersome left-side navigation menu with a horizontal menu that includes flyout capabilities.

Of the 17 Bank Monitor firms in our coverage group, only one firm in this report currently uses a left-side menu as the main means of navigation; all other firms offer horizontal top navigation based on tabs. Similarly, only one firm does not offer either flyout menus or a secondary navigation bar that requires clients to go to each tab’s landing page in order to access related pages and tools. Three firms each offer secondary navigation for only some of their tabs; other tabs rely heavily on quicklinks and overview pages to provide access to related pages and tools. Only four firms utilize flyout menus for all tabs within their private site main navigation.

Every firm in this report allows clients to make both single and recurring fund movements within their Payments and Transfers sections. Many firms utilize Fiserv for their bill pay platforms, with two firms instead using Metavante Payments to supply their bill pay interface. Unsurprisingly, this leads to a lot of similarity across the industry in the appearance and functionality of each bank’s Payment tool. Additionally, person-to-person payments are now offered by 11 firms, eight of which utilize the Popmoney platform. Three firms use an in-house QuickPay service. Each P2P service allows clients to send money to others by supplying a recipient’s email address or mobile number.