Best Banking Apps of 2021

From checking the balance of your checking account and savings account to the ability to transfer funds from anywhere, the best mobile banking apps offer an easier way to manage your money, reach your savings goals, and be more efficient.

If you have a modern mobile device, getting a bank app can save you a lot of time and money.

Many financial institutions offer customers free banking apps that give them access to many banking services right from their phones.

In This Article

How We Selected Our Top 10 Banking Apps

J.D. Power found that at the height of the COVID pandemic, “37% of retail bank customers were using their bank’s mobile app more frequently than ever before.” Of course, it’s not a surprising stat.

We were already on that path, and COVID accelerated the shift to digital at a transformative pace for work, shopping, customer service, and everything in between.

But that makes a bank’s online and mobile experience more important than ever.

So, we scoured the internet for reviews, carefully considered an app’s features, and factored in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Banking Mobile App Satisfaction Study. We only considered the best financial institutions – ones that are FDIC insured and have a reputation for excellent customer service.

Best Banking Apps

Here are the top 10 banking apps for 2021:

1. Ally Mobile Ally Bank Logo

  • Apple iOS: 4.7 /
  • Google Play: 4.3 /
  • JD Power: N/A

Main Features:

  • 245-bit encryption
  • Available on almost any device
  • Ally Assist virtual assistant

Ally Mobile is Ally’s main app that allows you to access your Ally bank accounts. The app is available for Android, iOS, and Windows devices, but not all features are available on all devices.

Some features such as viewing balances of your accounts, transferring of funds, management of one-time and recurring transfers, check deposits, and the ability to send money with Zelle are available on all devices. Bill payment is only available on Android and iOS devices, with Ally Assist is only available on iOS.

At the moment, you can’t use the app to find ATMs – you’ll need to use the mobile web version on your web browser, like Chrome or Safari, to do this.

The app is easy to use and very secure, thanks to the 256-bit encryption it uses to transmit data. The app does not store any information on your phone.

2. Capital One Mobile Capital One Logo

  • Apple iOS: 4.8 /
  • Google Play: 4.6 /
  • JD Power: 875

Main Features:

  • Login using fingerprint
  • Check balances and make payments
  • Instantly lock a lost card

Capital One’s banking app receives quite high scores for both Apple and Android apps. You can download the app from the store or by texting GET to 80101.

You can access the app by using your fingerprint or a pattern you choose, making it easy and quick without compromising security. Speaking of security, you can use the app to instantly lock your card and receive notifications every time a purchase is made on your card.

You can use the app to pay bills, deposit checks, and make payments using Zelle. You can even link the app to Apple Pay, Google Pay, or Samsung Pay to avoid having to carry the card with you.

The Capital One Mobile app also allows you to view statements and account activity in real-time, view your credit score for free through CreditWise, and even access and redeem your cashback reward points.

3. Bank of America Mobile Banking Bank of America Logo

  • Apple iOS: 4.8 /
  • Google Play: 4.7 /
  • JD Power: 854

Main Features:

  • Access to your FICO score
  • Goals tool
  • Custom alerts

Bank of America‘s Mobile Banking app is available for iOS and Android devices and can be downloaded from the respective store or by visiting its website. The feature-rich app lets you do just about anything.

When it comes to making payments and transfers, you can use the app to send and receive money using Zelle, pay bills, deposit checks, and transfer money. You can also use the app to check your FICO score, track spending and budgets, and use the Goals Tool.

The app takes security very seriously. If your phone has a fingerprint reader, you can use this to log in. You can also set up custom alerts, review the fraud prevention list, change your login details, and lock or unlock your debit card.

Of course, features such as checking your balance, viewing statements, and ordering checks are also available, among many other features.

4. Chase Mobile Banking Chase Bank Logo

  • Apple iOS: 5.0 /
  • Google Play: 4.4 /
  • JD Power: 852

Main Features:

  • Credit journey
  • Automatic savings transfers with Autosave
  • Supports Face ID and fingerprints

Chase‘s Mobile Banking app is available for both Android as well as Apple devices. It supports both facial as well as fingerprint recognition, depending on the hardware of your device. Other security features such as the ability to instantly block your card and see account activity make this app very secure.

You can use the app to pay bills, set up recurring payments, and deposit checks. You can also send and receive money with Zelle, but you’ll need to enroll in Chase QuickPay with Zelle to make use of this feature.

The app also features Chase Credit Journey, which offers insight into your financial health, including a free credit score. You can get a customized view of your spending and use Chase AutoSave to set up recurring transfers into your savings account.

The bank’s website also offers several video tutorials to help you make sure you get the most out of their app.

5. Wells Fargo Mobile Wells Fargo logo

  • Apple iOS: 5.0 /
  • Google Play: 4.7 /
  • JD Power: 841

Main Features:

  • Biometric login compatibility
  • Encrypted communication
  • Account access management

The Wells Fargo Mobile app is available for Apple and Google devices and can safely be installed on smartphones and tablets alike. You can download the app from your device’s official store or by texting IPH (if you have an iOS device) or AND (if you have an Android device) to 93557 to get a download link.

The app allows you to use biometrics to log in safely and securely and is compatible with fingerprint recognition and Face ID. To keep things secure, the app will automatically sign you off, offer encrypted communication, and monitor fraud 24/7.

You can use the app to set up account alerts, make transfers and payments, as well as make deposits.

Other features such as account access management and the ability to lock and unlock your debit cards and credit cards are also available within the app.

6. Discover Mobile Discover Bank Logo

  • Apple iOS: 5.0 /
  • Google Play: 4.5 /
  • JD Power: 867

Main Features:

  • Quick view to see select details quickly
  • Freeze It feature to lock your card
  • View your credit (FICO) score

Discover Mobile is available for Apple, Google, and Amazon devices, including Android Wear smartwatches and Apple Watch. You can download the app from your device’s store or by texting APP to 347268.

Discover promises that the app will deliver everything that you need right at your fingertips. To login to the app, you can use Touch ID or a passcode that’s four digits long. You can also use Quick View to check certain details of your account without logging in.

The app allows you to set up alerts, make payments, view transactions, and manage your account. If you misplace your card, you can use the ‘Freeze It’ feature to quickly lock your card and unlock it when you find it.

You can also use the Discover Mobile app to view your FICO credit score and many other things.

7. Chime Chime Logo

  • Apple iOS: 5.0 /
  • Google Play: 4.5 /
  • JD Power: N/A

Main Features:

  • Connect investment accounts
  • Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay compatible
  • Pay Friends with fee-free transfers

Chime is an online bank, which means that their app must provide access to everything the account offers. The app allows you to connect your bank and investment accounts and credit cards held with external banks. This allows you to easily transfer money.

If your friends and family are also using Chime, you can use the app’s Pay Friends feature to send fee-free payments. You can also use the app to deposit checks and order checks to be sent to both businesses and individuals.

The app is compatible with Apple Pay as well as Google Pay and Samsung Pay. From a security perspective, the app allows you to block your Chime debit card and send you an alert every time your debit is used.

8. PNC Mobile PNC Logo

  • Apple iOS: 5.0 /
  • Google Play: 4.4 /
  • JD Power: 856

Main Features:

  • Mobile apps directory to help you choose the right app
  • Pay bills
  • Deposit checks

When it comes to mobile banking, PNC’s mobile app offers the most features, much more than both mobile web banking and text banking. Even so, if your smartphone is not compatible, at least you have some other options, even if these are not as feature-rich.

To be able to use the mobile app, you’ll first need to enroll in online banking. This is important as it will provide you with the credentials you need to activate the app once it has been downloaded.

You can use the app to check your balance and connect with the bank’s customer care department should you need any assistance.

The app also offers several different ways to move money around, including paying bills, depositing checks, transferring funds, and paying others. If you’re not quite sure where to start from, the bank also offers a Mobile Apps Directory to help you find the right app for you and your device.

9. Charles Schwab Mobile Charles Schwab Logo

  • Apple iOS: 5.0 /
  • Google Play: 3.8 /
  • JD Power: N/A

Main Features:

  • Schwab Assistant with voice recognition
  • Fingerprint and Face ID compatible
  • Customizable summary view

Charles Schwab’s mobile app has a few tricks up its sleeve, including something called Schwab Assistant. This feature allows you to speak to the app with instructions such as check deposit, trade executions, and alerts, being some of the voice commands it can process.

To keep the app secure, fingerprint recognition, face ID, and passcodes are all available. Data transfers are fully encrypted, and the bank will even cover 100% of your losses should you experience any unauthorized activities.

The app allows you to customize your summary view and market settings to access the information you need quicker. Mobile deposits done through the app are processed the same day, provided that you upload them before the 2 PM cut-off time.

You can also use the app to trade on the go, with stocks, ETFs, options, and mutual funds all being available.

10. BBVA Mobile BBVA Logo

  • Apple iOS: 5.0 /
  • Google Play: 4.1 /
  • JD Power: 853

Main Features:

  • Award-winning app
  • Includes video tutorials
  • Disable device access if you lose your phone

BBVA’s mobile banking app has won the Javelin Mobile Banking Leader award six times, with the latest reward received in 2019 in the Customer Service and Ease of Use categories. The app comes with many of the features that have become standard in such apps, including mobile check deposits, payments, transfers, and electronic statements.

You can use the app to receive alerts on your account, change the PIN (Personal Identification Number) of your debit card, and freeze and report lost cards. Should you lose your phone, you can also disable device access from another phone, making sure that no one will be able to access your accounts.

The app also comes with many tutorial videos and an FAQ section, helping you get unstuck should you find yourself at a loss.

You can also use the app to schedule a callback, find ATMs nearby, and get in touch with the bank’s customer service representative through secure messages.

How do mobile banking apps work?

With a banking app, you can access your bank account and other features and functionality related to your accounts and cards.

What a banking app can do will vary from one app to the next, but you can expect digital banking services like:

  • Being able to view your account balance information
  • Making transfers and direct deposits
  • Making bill payments
  • Locking and unlocking your card
  • Depositing checks

Banking apps offer many other helpful features, like push notifications for things like getting close to your spending limit or making a transaction. I’ve always found them useful in staying on top of my spending.

Of course, you’ll need a bank account with the financial services provider before you can download and use their app. Each bank will have its own app, with its own set of features and access to your account held with that bank.

Mobile Banking Apps FAQs

Is my phone compatible?

Not all apps are compatible with all phones. Most apps are compatible with Android and iOS (iPhone) devices. On the app download page, you’ll be able to find information as to which phones the app is compatible with. Do keep in mind that you might need to update your OS (Operating System) to install the app.

What can I do if my phone isn’t compatible with mobile banking apps?

If your phone isn’t compatible, you might still be able to access mobile banking instead. In this case, instead of using the banking app, you will need to access the banking app through your phone’s web browser. Generally speaking, both Chrome and Safari are good web browser choices to access your bank’s mobile web banking page.

How do I install banking apps?

Banking apps can easily be installed through your phone’s application store. If you have an Apple iOS device, you’ll be able to download and install the app from the Apple App Store.

Users of Android devices can download and install the app from the Google Play Store. Some banks also send a direct link when you message a specific number. We have included the number as well as the code in our reviews where this is available.

What is the best app for banking?

The features that each app comes with are often similar, but what really makes an app stand out is the rating it gets from its users.

The higher the rating, the more useful you know people are finding the app. The apps that seem to get the best user reviews from this list are Wells Fargo and Bank of America.

Of course, you might be looking for more than just the basic features in an app – so maybe the best app for you will be the one that offers unique features that are important to you. That’s why it’s hard to pick one app that will be best for everyone.

Are banking apps safe?

Yes, apps are generally safe for mobile banking because banks know this will be on every user’s mind. People are well aware of hacking, and using an app to complete various banking tasks needs to be secure for them to actually download and use it.

That’s why online banks have lots of security features to protect your money and your data in place. And if anything goes wrong, you’re money is protected by most banks up to $250,000 by the FDIC.

What makes a good banking app?

Banking apps need to offer you the features you’re looking for and provide a smooth user experience. If the app keeps crashing or logging you out for no reason, then you’ll get frustrated, and no amount of bells and whistles will want to make you use it again.

In terms of the features, a good app will offer all the basics – the ability to view your balance and transaction history, pay bills, schedule payments, and so on.

What also makes an app great is being able to get help quickly. You want there to be a Help button that helps you find answers to your questions or even allows you to speak to a customer services rep.

Finding the right banking app for you

A great banking app can make your banking experience a more secure and pleasant one. Features such as the ability to disable or freeze your card at the touch of a button can help you make sure that your money remains free of unauthorized access should you lose your card.

Many apps also offer enhanced security measures, including encryption, fingerprint and face recognition, and custom alerts to help you stay on top of things at all times.

Even so, a great app is not everything you need. You’ll need to make sure that the accounts are FDIC insured and carry a great APY rate; low or no fees such as overdraft fees can also help you make sure that you do not pay more than you save.

Having said that, an excellent app and a great bank account can make all the difference.

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