Methodology for digital banking ratings

You'll find star ratings on our digital banking reviews. That's not (just) because we like space. Here's how we came up with them.

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You may have noticed (you did, right?) that our digital banking pages, tables and reviews come with star ratings. They’re there to help consumers figure out how good a company and its products are, at a single glance. But they wouldn’t be fair, and we wouldn’t be transparent, if we didn’t tell you how we came up with them.

We publish two types of star ratings:

  • Finder’s expert ratings. Our experts look at the features of a product (in this case, a digital current account), at how much it costs and what it offers to users, then rate it.
  • Customer satisfaction ratings. We’ve asked you to tell us how good a service a company provides and turned your answers into a one to five rating.

“We say”: Finder’s expert ratings

We rate digital banking accounts using a system of one to five stars.

★★★★★ – Excellent

★★★★★ – Good

★★★★★ – Average

★★★★★ – Subpar

★★★★★ – Poor

How it works

To come up with our expert ratings, we score products across five key areas. Each contributes equally to the overall score.

  • App rating. This is calculated by averaging the app’s rating in the Google Play Store and the App Store.
  • Fees. This is measured in relation to similar apps on the market. Most banking apps are free, so we take into account the additional fees you may incur in certain circumstances, such as weekend fees, overdraft rates and exceeding a withdrawal limit.
  • Customer service. This is also measured in relation to similar apps on the market. We score this based on our own experts’ use of the product, user feedback, press reports, customer reviews and forum discussions.
  • Travelling. Many of our users ask about using banking apps abroad, since a major benefit of many of them is low-cost foreign transactions. We rank this in relation to other apps on the market and take into account the number of available currencies, which countries each app can work in, exchange rates, fees and foreign ATM withdrawals.
  • Range of features. Some banking apps offer a limited number of features while others offer a wider range, with regular updates and releases. This includes access to features like overdrafts, loans, insurance and savings accounts. We rate these as we know they are important to users.
  • Overall. This is an average of the above five scores, rounded to the nearest half point.

“You say”: our customer satisfaction survey

In July 2019, we ran a customer satisfaction survey on current accounts. 1,000 people answered and told us how happy they are with their current account provider. We’ve turned their answers into a rating of one to five.

★★★★★ – Excellent

★★★★★ – Good

★★★★★ – Average

★★★★★ – Subpar

★★★★★ – Poor

Customer satisfaction ratings methodology

The survey asked respondents how satisfied they are with their current accounts from one to five and whether they would recommend it to a friend or not.

We turned the answers into a score that takes into account:

  • How many people would recommend the account vs how many people wouldn’t. If you say you’d recommend your bank to a friend when sitting at the pub in front of a pint, it must mean it’s really good (the bank, not the pint). This forms 50% of our customer satisfaction rating.
  • How many people rated a provider five out of five. Wow, five out of five? This counts for 25% of our customer satisfaction rating.
  • The average score each current account provider got. This tells us if a bank offers quite a solid service even though it doesn’t have loads of top ratings… or if it’s just not that great. This parameter forms the last 25% of our customer satisfaction rating.

The final rating is then rounded to the nearest half point.

The survey involved both traditional and challenger banks. For digital-only account providers, we got the following number of respondents:

  • Monese. 30 respondents.
  • Monzo. 137 respondents.
  • N26. 101 respondents.
  • Revolut. 104 respondents.
  • Starling. 108 respondents.
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