TD Canada – Android Tablet App Fail

We are just about to release a new report that evaluates the tablet apps from the top Canadian Banks. The space is expanding rapidly and banks are working hard at building and releasing new apps. Last week TD Bank Canada released a brand new app for Android tablets. Although the app wasn’t ready in time for our review, I did attempt to take it for a spin. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to. Google Play indicates that the app is incompatible with my Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0.


Banks are definitely struggling with Android and haven’t recognized its staggering growth. They have been quite slow to come out with Android Apps. Only 2 of the top 13 US banks have released Android tablet apps. Those that have released apps are running into issues. TD is the second bank I have run into that presented me with this device incompatibility issue – the first was Bank of America. TD’s Android attempt is even more puzzling. The bank has been busy with a new promotion geared at customers that open new accounts. Folks that open new accounts (and meet certain conditions) receive a brand new Samsung Galaxy Tab 3. The very same class of device I attempted to use the app with! At first I thought that TD simply hadn’t optimized its app for these Samsung devices. That would be a no-no, especially since the bank has been handing them out to new customers. I did however take the time to read the detailed app information in the Google Play store. Apparently the app is “best experienced when used on the following devices including Samsung Galaxy Tabs 2 & 3.” I’m definitely left scratching my head in bewilderment.


Where Are The Android Tablet Banking Apps?

Banks aren’t the swiftest at keeping up with tech trends. It’s not a surprise,  particularly with the constraints imposed by compliance, risk, IT security, and legal. There is also the mess of legacy systems that eat up scarce IT resources. However, there are several key trends that simply can’t be ignored if banks want to stay relevant in the mobile banking space. Stephen Greer recently posted  about a recent report that we authored, Tablet Banking: An Evaluation of Tablet Apps at the Top US Banks. There is no doubt that banks have to move quickly and build full featured and engaging tablet apps. What’s fascinating to me is that only 7 of the top 13 banks have released apps. Even more interesting is that only 2 (Bank of America and PNC Virtual Wallet) have dedicated Android tablet apps. Android commands a staggering 67%  of the tablet market!  On a personal note, I’ve fully switched over to Android and have dropped my iPhone and iPad (more on that in a future blog post). tabletbank Addressing the Android space isn’t necessarily a quick and easy endeavor, and banks have to make sure their app is ready for mass market consumption. Bank of America is a great example of a bank that has released an Android tablet app, but it simply doesn’t work with a slew of devices on the market. Kudos to them for actually building an Android app, but I had to use 3 different Android tablets before I could get the Bank of America app and running. I first attempted to use the app on a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 – nothing doing, Google Play indicated that the app was not compatible with this device. I tried again with an Acer Iconia A210 – same problem. The Bank of America app was finally evaluated using an Asus MeMO Pad Smart 10. It can certainly be a challenge for banks to build apps that are compatible with the spectrum of Android devices on the market. Different screen sizes, screen resolutions and hardware can pose challenges. With that said, it’s critical for banks to offer a smooth experience. Make sure your app is compatible before you release it to the masses. And let’s not forget that the masses are running Android.


Serving Small Businesses in a Digital World

The small business online banking space is fraught with confusion. Banks are still struggling to understand if their customers should be placed onto consumer online solutions, dedicated small business solutions, or even corporate cash management offerings. Today, the majority of small business online banking users are running on consumer solutions. By definition, this means that small businesses’ needs are not being met. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Last week I published a new report that is all about figuring out how to serve small businesses in a digital world. This is no easy task given the unique state and requirements of this segment. It’s also amazing to me how many start-ups have popped up in this space over the last few years. Most are battling it out on their own, going after small businesses directly. A handful are using financial institutions as their distribution channel. It makes a lot of sense for banks to be the go to source for small business financial services. Figuring out what to offer via digital channels is just one of the challenges. There are far bigger issues for banks to tackle before even going down the digital route. Here are a few examples:
  • What exactly is a small business and how do we segment our small business customers?
  • Where does small business sit in the banking organization? Who is responsible for it? Should it be retail banking, corporate banking, something else?
  • What should be done with small businesses who are being treated as consumers (from a product and servicing perspective)?
  • What should we be asking small business customers about when we survey them and speak to them? How do we ascertain their needs?
The report goes through these issues and more, and of course dives into all kinds of trends related to online, mobile, and tablet for small business. Banks have a lot of work to do – there is an eager small business audience that awaits them and a slew of start-ups attempting to eat their lunch. If you would like to check out the full report please click here.