Keynote Ranks Bank Sites' User Experience
What makes for the best wem experience at a bank’s website? One research firm is trying to regularly answer that question, and it has announced what it considers to be the best sites.  

Keynote Competitive Research released on Wednesday the results of its Q2 2012 Banker Scorecard, now in its 13th year. It analyzes the websites of 23 large and regional banks, utilizing 300 criteria for customer experience best practices. The full report is available for purchase.

User Tasks, Categories

The criteria are grouped according to user tasks and categories. User tasks include applying for an account, transacting, or learning and planning, and categories are functionality, usability, privacy & security, and quality & availability.

The Scorecards are maintained by Keynote analysts that the company said are “considered thought leaders in usability, online privacy, Web security, content quality and accessibility.” The process includes interviewing and surveying companies, opening accounts online, and conducting automated site analysis.

Bank of America won in Overall Score, achieving an 87 out of 100. It tied in first with Wells Fargo for Functionality, and took first for Ease of Use, Privacy & Security, and Quality & Availability. The same bank also took first in three task-oriented competitions: Look Up Information, Transact, and Learn and Plan.

Some of the trends the Scorecard is tracking among banking online experiences are the continued growth of mobile banking, including the increase in apps that support remote check deposit. The research firm also noted that several banks have released tablet-optimized apps, and it pointed to the increased use of live chat within online banking.

Business and Technical Effectiveness

In the all-important area of Ease of Use, Keynote pointed to such trends as new ways to handle error reporting, a repositioning of key account information and an expansion in the use of dynamic pages. All of these trends are intended to reduce the number of clicks for users to find the information they desire or to accomplish a task.

At the same time that the Scorecard results were made public, Keynote announced the results of a study examining the business and technical effectiveness of U.S. retail bank marketing websites.

BB&T captured first place for Overall Customer Experience, because of high rankings in Brand Impact, Acquisition Impact and Customer Satisfaction. Wells Fargo captured top place for Responsiveness -- that is, speed -- in the Technical Quality section, and U.S. Bank got number one for Reliability.

Keynote said that a bank site’s overall design and organization “continues to be the most important predictor of overall customer experience.”

Those rankings are based on the responses of actual users, who are observed as they conduct tasks, as well as through data collected by Keynote’s website monitoring. For the Customer Experience category, for instance, 2000 prospective customers were observed as they interacted with the websites of ten leading banks. The Technical Quality section involved 60,000 site measurements.