5 min read

Second Annual 11:FS Pulse Awards

11:FS Research Team

Since this is the second year of the 11:FS Pulse Awards, we thought we’d go back and review the 11 brands that took first place in last year’s awards.

We’re excited to announce the second annual 11:FS Pulse Awards, a round-up of the most important banking and fintech brands put together by our research arm. The research team spends all of its time totally immersed in the world of fintech and banking, rating and ranking the world’s leading digital financial services to make your lives easier.

Our benchmarking platform, 11:FS Pulse, contains more than 2,000 recordings of the best user journeys from around the world. We’ve produced reams of public and bespoke reports in the past year on every topic under the sun (well, any fintech and banking topic). In short, we know what products are working and why.

The Pulse awards is our round-up of the year. It’s a showcase of the most important brands and trends from the last 12 months. This year’s awards will be in a small number of categories, with a winner and runner-up in each.

And what a year it’s been! Since this is the second year of the awards, we thought we’d go back and review the 11 brands that took the prizes in last year’s awards (read the full run-through here).

Advances in marketplace banking – Starling

Starling’s marketplace has continued to develop at an impressive rate. At the start of 2018, Starling’s marketplace included receipt fintech Flux. Since then, the current account marketplace has grown at an impressive rate to include nine brands covering pensions, investment, loyalty, and savings providers. 🐦

Best international money transfer service – TransferWise:

2018 was a big year for TransferWise, which saw the fintech launching its own ‘borderless’ current account service to users. It also marked the second year of revenue growth and profitability, with a 75% increase in revenue during the 2017/2018 financial year.

Best UX and comms – Monzo

The UK’s leading challenger bank has gone from strength to strength in 2018, with a sizeable £85 million funding round and increased efficiencies in the bank’s operations providing the product team with the resources to build out the already impressive feature-set. The organisation’s customer communications continue to blow competitors out of the water (check out this recent crowdfunding campaign). 😍

Most impressive rate of releases – Revolut

At the time, Revolut had been pushing out a stream of impressive features ranging from chatbot support to cryptocurrency exchanges. More recently, this rate has (naturally) slowed a bit, allowing the product team to return focus to some of the basics like transaction searching and video FAQs.

The one to watch – Google Tez

The tech giant’s Indian fintech has rebranded and now sits under the “Google Pay” brand, which covers a wide range of P2P, C2B, and online payments. We fully expect to see Google expand this service into new regions, particularly since it received a European e-money license back in December. 👀

Best PFM tool – Yolt

The personal finance app has evolved and expanded to cover a wider number of partnerships. The app is also at the forefront of Open Banking, which is only going to improve the power and scope of the product as the legislation ramps up.

Best onboarding journey – KBC

A partnership between this Irish bank and a local design agency have seen the creation of our favourite onboarding flow from this year. Key elements include document scanning, FaceID setup, and a chatbot T&Cs section.

Best robo-advisor – Wealthsimple:

Wealthsimple’s offering has evolved fairly little in the past year, but that hasn’t prevented them from staying at the front of the pack. Features that have emerged are spare change “round-ups” and a high-interest savings account. The company is also piloting a commission-free trading platform. 😎

Best help and support – Monzo

While average banks have NPS scores (a measure of customer satisfaction) of around 4+, this summer Monzo managed to hit a score of 80+. A core reason for this difference is the fantastic level of support that the bank provides in-app, over the phone and on social media. Monzo continues to provide a masterclass in customer support.

Most fun onboarding journey – Chip

Chip remains a long-term favourite of the 11:FS research team. A simple onboarding in a chat format, complete with GIFs that occupies a special place in our hearts. ❤️

Best incumbent bank – BBVA:

For a bank that can trace its history back 160 years, BBVA does an impressive job staying aligned with fintechs and banks that sprang into being in the past three years. A forward-thinking marketplace, an international strategy, and a winning example of rapid, iterative product design are just some of the key things that keep this bank ahead of the pack.

It was a great round of awards, and we’re excited to announce the winners in this year’s categories! Stay tuned for the rest of this week…

To see what makes the 2018 winners so great, just take a look at 11:FS Pulse, our next-generation research and benchmarking tool.

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