Who’s ready for mobile? We review the 20 top financial services websites

Responsive website design for mobile devices in the financial services sector

Hayley Dawson

Senior Account Manager

Posted on December 23, 2014

There are countless browsers and devices to account for when trying to build a website which offers a remarkable user experience. A responsive website responds to the device on which it’s viewed.

Why does responsive design matter?

The quality of your site determines how customers perceive your brand. As a financial sector company, you want a site which exudes security, trust, consistency and adaptability.

But with an increase in mobile use, customers are likely to be searching for your services on a mobile device. So, how much do mobile capabilities and a responsive design affect that perception?

  • 60 percent of tablet and mobile consumers report that mobile capabilities are ‘important’ or ‘extremely important’ to their decision in who to bank with.
  • 43 percent of consumers will head to a competitor’s site when faced with a negative mobile experience.
  • 57 percent of online consumers abandon a page still loading after three seconds.
  • And 44 percent get anxious if transaction pages are slow to load.

This means your website needs to be fast and easy to use on a mobile device. Otherwise, you will miss out on opportunities with customers looking for a mobile user-friendly brand.

The tools we used for our assessment

We looked at the largest financial services companies by revenue from around the world and re-ranked them according to:

We used Google’s PageSpeed tool to measure speed and user experience, Pingdom to measure load times and page sizes and our own experience when we visited the site.

We took all factors into consideration and want to share with you what top financial services companies do right and where there is room for improvement.

(We recently redesigned our own website and you can download our white paper on the top ten must-have features for financial services websites, which contains many of the lessons we learned.)

1. Aviva

Google PageSpeed: 71/100
User Experience: 99/100
Pingdom page size: 961.3kB

Image of Aviva's mobile site

Coming out on top, Aviva’s site is made to be mobile. With its responsive design, the site is consistent with its desktop counterpart and the site’s framework allows the content to load efficiently.

2. Allianz

Google PageSpeed: 69/100
User experience: 93/100
Pingdom page size: 1.2 MB

Image of Allianz mobile site

This site for Allianz is created specifically for the mobile user experience with responsive design which sizes the content and allows for easy touch navigation.

3. Societe Generale

Google PageSpeed: 77/100
User experience: 96/100
Pingdom page size: 569.9 kB

Image of Societe Generale mobile site

Societe Generale’s site is responsive. The content is consistent from desktop to mobile. And mobile use is made easy because content sizes to fit the screen.

4. Munich Re

Google PageSpeed: 60/100
User experience: 91/100
Pingdom page size: 1.2MB

Sized content and legible font makes the Munich Re site easy to use on a mobile device and its consistent across desktop and mobile. The size and the way the page is built slows it down putting it behind other websites.

5. ING

Google PageSpeed: 55/100
User experience: 99/100
Pingdom page size: 1.6MB

The ING site is responsive, but didn’t rate so high for speed. It has to do with the size of the image files and the code used to build the site which isn’t as agile as other sites.

ING mobile site

6. AXA

Google PageSpeed: 52/100
User experience: 99/100
Pingdom page size: 1.3MB

Even though it’s lower in speed ratings, the AXA site has an almost flawless user experience. The same content is retained on the homepage from the desktop to mobile version and the design makes a great impression.

AXA mobile site

7. Barclays

Google PageSpeed: 47/100
User experience: 99/100
Pingdom page size: 2.7MB

Barclay’s site is responsive and its design is suited to the mobile experience. The large page size and slow speed may not make for the perfect experience.

8. Lloyds Banking Group

Google PageSpeed: 36/100
User experience: 99/100
Pingdom page size: 2.6MB

Again, a great mobile experience with responsive design suited for a mobile device, but large file size and slow speed will affect actual usability of the Lloyds banking Group site.

9. Zurich Insurance Group

Google PageSpeed: 32/100
User experience: 87/100
Pingdom page size: 2.8MB

Zurich’s site is responsive, but has the largest page size and one of the lowest speed ratings of the sites reviewed here. So, while the content look great, the loading time will pose a problem.

Zurich mobile site

10. Bank of America

Google PageSpeed: 50/100
User experience: 89/100
Pingdom page size: 266.9kB

Bank of America’s site is built for mobile, but has a separate design from the desktop version. The size of the page is smaller than most of these sites, so the way the site is built is slowing it down.

11. MetLife

Google PageSpeed: 69/100
User experience: 100/100
Pingdom page size: 955.8kB

MetLife’s site is built for mobile use with legible font and large tap targets for navigation. The content provides a good overview of what MetLife is all about, but it is different than the company’s primary website.

MetLife mobile site

12. Prudential Financial

Google PageSpeed: 64/100
User experience: 96/100
Pingdom page size: 274kB

The Prudential Financial site rates high in user experience because of the design, it avoids features like flash which have to be supported by a plug in and it reduces the response time of its own server to the user. But the company does have a separate desktop and mobile experience.

13. BNP Paribas

Google PageSpeed: 64/100
User experience: 100/100
Pingdom page size: 720.6kB

The BNP Paribas site user experience is rated high because it is suited for mobile viewing, but the navigation options are limited unless you opt to move to the full site which is not responsive.

BNP Paribas mobile site

14. Wells Fargo

Google PageSpeed: 70/100
User experience: 100/100
Pingdom page size: 799.7kB

Wells Fargo site speedy and makes a good first impression with a mobile device. It is focused on mobile banking and directs visitors to the full website which looks great on a desktop, but is not optimised for mobile.

15. Prudential

Google PageSpeed: 42/100
User experience: 100/100
Pingdom page size: 154.3 kB

The user experience is of Prudential’s mobile site versus desktop site is consistent, but some of the content is lost in translation. But even with a good user experience, the page had one of the slowest loading times.

Prudential Financial mobile site

16. Citigroup

Google PageSpeed: 65/100
User experience: 74/100
Pingdom page size: 1.1 MB

The CitiGroup site is designed for mobile, but has a fatal flaw in that it first goes to a mobile landing page. This affects loading speed which was noticeable when we viewed it.

17. Berkshire Hathaway

Google PageSpeed: 99/100
User experience: 64/100
Pingdom page size: 3.4 kB

Not an ideal mobile user experience, Berkshire Hathaway’s corporate page rates high for speed because there’s not much to it. In fact, of the sites we rated, it’s the smallest in page size.

18. Generali Group

Google PageSpeed: 66/100
User experience: 59/100
Pingdom page size: 569.2 kB

Here’s where it begins: the Generali Group site is not optimised for a mobile device. To view the content, you’d have to zoom in and then scroll horizontally.

19. American International Group

Google PageSpeed: 50/100
User experience: 74/100
Pingdom page size: 958.7kB

AIG’s site gets a high user experience rating because it sizes its content to the viewport, but it doesn’t configure its content like a responsive site would so this site isn’t useable on a mobile device.

20. HSBC

Google PageSpeed: 41/100
User experience: 69/100
Pingdom page size: 732.0kB

The mobile experience of HSBC is average due to slow loading speeds as well as its performance in testing with the Google PageSpeed, but the site appeared to respond when we visited it with our own mobile device.

HSBC mobile site

Those are our results of 20 of the top financial services companies reviewed for mobile support. How does your site compare? Open your company’s website in a mobile browser, test it on the same tools and see how it compares to the companies here. Are you ready to meet the needs of your mobile customers?