Shortcomings in projecting cash flow are undermining mobile banking, where small screens and the need for on-the-go decision-making often force consumers to reach for pen, paper, and a calculator before they can pull the trigger on a “digital” transaction. Although exact cash-flow projections are unattainable, banks and credit unions can take six substantive steps forward by shifting the focus from do-it-yourself tools, targeting the underlying question of what’s “safe to spend,” and compiling and presenting relevant data the bank already knows in ways that consumers can understand at a glance. Javelin’s user experience review provides examples of both challenges and promising approaches from Bank of America, BBVA, Chase, HMBradley, Huntington Bank, Morgan Stanley, One, PNC Bank, USAA, and Wells Fargo.

Key questions discussed in this report:

  • Why should FIs project cash flow rather than letting consumers do it on their own?
  • What can FIs do to improve the accuracy and confidence in cash-flow projections?
  • What kinds of data could FIs collect and present to improve cash-flow confidence?
  • What role do envelope systems, gamification, and alerts play?
  • What can FIs learn from their rivals and neobanks?

Digital Scorecards

Javelin’s 2020 online and mobile banking scorecards measure nearly 400 criteria at 25 of the nation’s largest retail FIs by total assets. Javelin analysts weight individual features based on their strategic value, tactical necessity, and industry and consumer trends, pointing FIs toward strategic opportunities and user experience innovation. Javelin analysts evaluated features and captured screenshots using checking accounts owned internally. Data was collected from February to April 2020. Each financial institution was invited to validate the results and provide feedback.

Consumer data in this report is based on information gathered in a Javelin survey administered online in June 2020 to a random-sample panel of 10,762 consumers. Data was gathered and weighted to reflect a representative sample of the adult U.S. population. The margin of sampling error is ± 0.94% at the 95% confidence level. The margin of sampling error is higher for questions answered by subsegments.