NZ banks can not afford to be complacent as the likes of Apple Pay, PocketSmith, and Xero are resetting Kiwis\u2019 expectations about digital money. \nForrester notes how more and more Kiwis use digital banking and want a seamless experience from their banks. So how are local banks meeting customer needs and expectations? The analyst firm recently evaluated the retail mobile banking services of three large local retail banks: ASB Bank, Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) and Kiwibank. Kiwibank earned the top spot due to its good usability scores, according to Forrester analyst and report author Zhi Ying Ng. Explaining the top marks for Kiwibank, she writes: \u201cThe bank stood out from its peers by delivering services that help customers easily navigate its mobile app and find content that helps them complete tasks without encountering errors. \u201cThe bank\u2019s mobile app also provides a wealth of pre-login content as well as useful money management and money movement functionality.\u201d\nNo caption\nRoom for improvement\nShe lists areas where \u201cthere is much room for improvement\u201d for the three banks. The banks provide few marketing and sales features to help customers search or apply for financial products within mobile banking. Customer service and help are lacking, she points out. Only ASB provides personalised marketing notifications and some self-service features. None of the three banks provide contextual help or universal search in the app. When it comes to service features, none of the three banks sends security alerts. They are missing a crucial opportunity to warn customers about suspicious transactions, account details being changed, or multiple failed logins, says Forrester.\nNo caption\nThe banks are missing a crucial opportunity to warn customers about suspicious transactions, account details being changed, or multiple failed loginsZhi Ying Ng, Forrester\nComparing the results with the banks in Australia, Forrester says the average combined Mobile Banking Benchmark score for NZ banks was 51 out of 100. In Australia, the average functionality score was 64.\nCommonwealth Bank came out on top in the Australian review, because of strength in usability, while Westpac earned the top score in functionality. In New Zealand, BNZ was a close second to Kiwibank. While it had stronger functionality than ASB and Kiwibank, a lower usability score affected its overall mark. \u201cThe bank provides more extensive money movement features than its peers. It\u2019s also the only bank we reviewed in New Zealand that allows customers to use mobile image capture to open accounts,\u201d according to Forrester. The three retail banks scored high in enrolment and login. Most banks deliver mobile experiences that match what customers are used to on the website. But leading banks, according to Forrester, provide guidance on how to use mobile banking as well as contextual security and privacy content to reassure mobile banking customers. \u201cBanks in New Zealand performed exceptionally well here, providing rich pre-login content, quick and easy login options, and seamless website integration.\u201d Mobile banking has become the primary way many mobile banking users manage their money, notes Forrester. As a result, customers want and expect to be able to initiate a range of customer service tasks from within mobile banking. \u201cNew Zealand\u2019s banks are letting their customers down badly here, with an almost complete lack of service features mdash; a fact that earned New Zealand\u2019s banks the lowest scores for service features of any banks we reviewed worldwide.\u201d As to why this is important, the report notes that as the complexity of mobile banking increases and customers who are less digitally savvy than the early adopters start to enroll, digital teams need to help customers understand how to use mobile features, ideally with context-sensitive help.The report cites that in Australia, Westpac offers task-specific help, such as a step-by-step guide to transferring funds if customers click into the help section at the bottom of the screen. Westpac Australia customers can also watch a video to see how to transfer funds.\nApple Pay, PocketSmith, and Xero are resetting New Zealanders\u2019 expectations about digital money. New entrants like Harmoney, LendMe, and Squirrel are also trying to shake up lending, says Forrester.\nCompetitors inching in\nThe report points out New Zealand banks are missing the opportunity to use mobile banking to engage with customers beyond enabling transactions. They can not afford to be complacent as the likes of Apple Pay, PocketSmith, and Xero are resetting Kiwis\u2019 expectations about digital money. New entrants like Harmoney, LendMe, and Squirrel are also trying to shake up lending, says Forrester. \u201cDigital banking teams must not only meet customers\u2019 current needs and make mobile banking usable, but also create new sources of value by anticipating what customers need next.\u201d\nSend news tips and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org\nFollow Divina Paredes on Twitter:@divinap\nFollow CIO New Zealand on Twitter:@cio_nz\nJoin us on Facebook.