Top 10 best banking apps in the UK 2021

Tired of clunky mobile apps that make you think you’ve travelled back to the early 2000s? We’ve picked out the best banking apps in the UK for you.

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A slick and easy-to-use mobile app has become a must-have for challenger banks, but not all financial institutions are quite there yet. We’ve had a look at who’s able to offer you the best control of your money purely from your phone.

While challenger banks are still represent the lion’s share of top-rated apps, some traditional banks are catching up and adding innovative features to their banking apps, so the competition is hotting up. This guide focuses on apps for personal banking. We have created a guide on the best business banking apps for anyone looking for an app to run their business account from.

Our top 10 mobile banking apps

#1StarlingAbsolutely packed with features, Starling Bank’s banking app is easy to use and lets you handle all the aspects of your current account, including managing overdrafts, setting savings goals and adding receipts and notes to your payments.Visit Starling
#2Monzo Monzo’s reputation for being one of the coolest banking apps available isn’t unwarranted. It’s slick and colourful, lets you access all the features of your bank account and its spending reports make budgeting almost fun. Read our review
#3RevolutBeside being super competitive when it comes to travelling and sending money overseas, the Revolut app also integrates effortlessly in your day-to-day money life, offering a series of useful features for saving and organising your finances. Read our review
#4BarclaysBarclays tops the chart of traditional banks and its banking app is more techy than you’d expect from such a heavyweight. Cool features include the ability to categorise your spending and to see accounts you hold with other banks. Read our review
#5MoneseBuilt for expats who have just moved to the UK, Monese has all you can expect from a digital banking app, from the ability to instantly freeze your card if you lose it to a nice visualisation of your spending data. Visit Monese
#6HalifaxHalifax has built a solid banking app that looks clean and tidy. It lets you apply directly for other products and services including overdrafts, send money abroad and log in using face or touch ID. Read our review
#7Lloyds BankThe Lloyds banking app has got all the basic banking features covered, from checking your transactions to locating the nearest branch. Unlike many traditional banks’ apps, it also supports push notifications. Read our review
#8CashplusCashplus is another next-gen current account which lets you manage everything from your phone. It’s growing in the UK and definitely one to watch.Visit Cashplus
#9dozensThis brand new digital banking app has ambitious plans for the future and already stands out thanks to some handy features such as the ability to freeze your card, categorise your spending and visualise it in different ways. Read our review
#10NatWestWhile not being the slickest on the UK market, the NatWest app does the job with grace. Aside from all the basic features you can expect, it also lets you withdraw cash through a unique code on your phone if you forget your card. Read our review

How we picked our top 10 best banking apps

Did we choose according to who we liked best or who used the brightest colours? Not really. We developed a methodology that comes with a huge spreadsheet you don’t really want to have to look at, assigned points to each banking app available on the UK market (yes, all of them!) and then ranked them accordingly.

Our methodology essentially takes two factors into account:

  • Features. The more the merrier. We like apps that let you manage and personalise your money stuff as much as possible. We also have a soft spot for budgeting features that help you understand where and what you usually spend your money on.
  • Simplicity of use. An app can have a million features and still be a user experience nightmare. All the top apps that we’ve selected look clean and tidy and are fairly easy to use from the first time you start fiddling around with them.

How to choose the best mobile banking app

While it’s nice to have a bank account with an intelligent mobile app, most consumers would agree that this shouldn’t be their number one priority. You may prefer to choose your bank based on the interest rates, incentives and customer service offered instead.

With that said, here are the factors you may want to consider when choosing the best mobile banking app for your needs.

  • Branch access. Some of the top apps are produced by mobile-only banks. If you want access to a local branch, you’ll have to avoid these apps.
  • Budgeting help. Some apps double up as powerful budgeting software, allowing you to clearly see where your money is going, and where you can stand to reduce your spending in order to save more. We have listed our favourite budgeting apps here.
  • Customer service. Some of these apps connect you to directly to a staff member via live chat. This is arguably the most efficient way to receive assistance. Others app include a phoneline for customer queries, while some rely on an email ticket service.
  • Range of useful features and ease of use. For the most part, this is subjective. There are some apps known for travelling, some for bill splitting and many, many more.

Frequently asked questions

We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you.

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