Top 10 best banking apps in the UK 2022

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 still represent the lion’s share of the top-rated apps, many 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 to best business accounts for anyone looking for an app to run their business account from.

Our top 10 mobile banking apps

RankAppReview
#1StarlingAbsolutely packed with features, Starling’s banking app is easy to use and lets you handle all aspects of your current account, including categorising your spending, setting savings goals and paying in cheques digitally.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
#3RevolutThe Revolut app integrates effortlessly in your day-to-day money life, offering a series of useful features for saving and organising your finances, including spending notifications and savings pots. Read our review
#4Lloyds BankLloyds tops the chart of traditional banks and has got all your banking bases covered, from carrying out your everyday banking and making payments, to categorising your spending and planning a budget. Read our review
#5BarclaysThe Barclays app meets all your basic banking need and more, with spending notifications, card locking and a 24/7 in-app customer support chat. Read our review
#6NatWestThe NatWest app comes with all the standard banking features you’d expect, plus card freezing, spending categories and cheque scanning. Read our review
#7Royal Bank of ScotlandThe Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) app also offers digital cheque deposits and card locking, as well as spending analysis and all the usual banking features. Read our review
#8HalifaxHalifax has built a solid banking app, where you can log in using face or touch ID, see what you’ve spent and where, and round up your spare change from purchases. Read our review
#9Bank of ScotlandYou can use a biometric log in for the Bank of Scotland app, receive spending notifications, freeze your card and round up your spare change. Read our review
#10MoneseDigital-only Monese has all you would expect in its banking app, from the ability to instantly freeze your card if you lose it, to spending pots and a nice visualisation of your spending data. Visit Monese

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 big spreadsheet you don’t really want to have to look at, assigned points to all the major banking apps available on the UK market and then ranked them accordingly to come up with a top 10.

Our methodology essentially takes two big areas into account:

  • Features. We like apps that let you manage and personalise your money stuff as much as possible. We look at everything from budgeting features and spending categories, to savings pots and spare change round-ups. We also check whether the app comes with biometric login, digital cheque deposit and 24/7 customer support.
  • App scores. As well as looking at what features are available, we also take into account the views of hundreds of thousands of actual banking app users by researching the apps’ scores in the App Store and Google Play Store, then working those scores into our assessment.

How to choose the best mobile banking app

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

So here are some factors you may want to consider when choosing the best bank (and app) for your needs:

  • Branch access. Some of the top apps are produced by digital-only banking providers. If you want access to a local bank branch, then opening an app-only account may not be for you.
  • Budgeting help. Some banking apps double up as powerful budgeting software, allowing you to clearly see where your money is going, and where you could reduce your spending in order to save more. We have listed our favourite budgeting apps here.
  • Customer service. Some banking apps connect you directly to a staff member via live chat, which is arguably the most efficient way to receive assistance. But other apps only offer access to a chatbot or “virtual assistant” outside of business hours, while some banks can only be contacted 24/7 via a phone line.
  • Specific features. For the most part, this is subjective. But if you’re after a specific feature from your account or banking app, then some apps are known as being good for travelling, etc.

The bottom line

An easy to use mobile app with a range of useful features can make your banking experience much easier.

The breed of newer challenger banks that operate primarily via smartphone apps and online banking have been able to build their customer base by offering a strong user experience. Tops apps from the likes of Starling and Monzo enable account holders to manage their finances effortlessly, budget at the touch of a button and keep their accounts secure.

The larger established banks are starting to up their game too, with high street names like Lloyds and Barclays offering great apps for their customers to manage their accounts easily. Elsewhere, NatWest customers are able to withdraw cash from the bank’s ATM network via a unique code generated by its smartphone app.

Think about which features are most important for your day-to-day banking app needs before making your choice.

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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