With smart phones you can now manage your finances on the go - but which bank provides the best app to help you keep on top of your money?
Online and mobile service is becoming increasingly important when choosing a bank account or credit card, so we take a look at a few of the banking apps you can download.
Apps (short for software application) are tools, games or web portals you download that are designed to be easy to use on the small touch screens of mobile phones.
With a banking app on your phone, you can do a lot of the activities you would have previously had to visit a branch for or call up your bank to do (transfers, blocking cards, reviewing statements etc).
However, not all apps are created equal, and after our research found many (particularly young) people feel banks are not offering enough cutting edge tech, we reviewed a few of the apps available today.
As the first UK bank to pioneer paying on plastic and introduce the first ATMs, Barclays Bank pride themselves on being technological leaders.
Manage all your Barclays accounts: bank accounts, ISAs and credit cards
You can view your full statement history, all past direct debits and payments
Transfer money to your own accounts and other people you have already made payments to, however you need to set up new payees with desktop online banking or at a branch
You can transfer money to a mobile number through Barcalays' separate PingIt app)
You have a cloud-storage service as part of the app/online banking so you can access you've uploaded documents
Can call/email out from the app to customer services, however there is only the one help number
Has a branch locator
The in-app advertisements for other Barclays products can be distracting
You can set a custom welcome message so you can be sure you're logging into your app, there is a unique pin for app log in, it logs out when you close the app
Smooth and straightforward navigation
Every time the app updates itself you are given a quick walk through of new features
Best: Very easy to see recent transactions
Worst: Slowness of the app not responding right away
The branch-less bank First Direct are noted for their award winning customer service over the phone and online.
You can check the balance of all your First Direct accounts
Can see full statements going back several months
Transfer money between your own accounts and other people you have already made payments to
You can make payments to a mobile phone number, if they have the 'mPay' app installed
Can only set up payees through online banking on a desktop
The app has a HSBC branch locator (First Direct customers can use HSBC branches for some activities)
Lists all customer service numbers divided by enquiry type, you can dial out straight from the app
Useful and extensive FAQs
Easy to install - simply download from the app store, before you can use it, you need to activate the app with multiple passwords and codes
Use a unique password to login - you need four different passwords for using First Direct online banking across all platforms
The app does not automatically log you out when you exit it, it's on a timeout counter - on the plus side, this can be handy if you want to quickly leave the app and use it again
Best: The customer service contact information Worst: Not being logged out could be a bit of security risk
MBNA is one of the largest credit card providers in the UK and were voted to have the Best Mobile App in the 2015 Uswitch credit card awards.
Your current card balance
You can only see your recent transactions (since last statement), unfortunately there is no way to select date ranges
You can make balance transfers and money transfers to your own accounts
You can add new payees for money and balance transfers
You can call out and email to customer services without leaving the app
There is a "view your card pin" feature in case you forget it
The app includes an extensive FAQ section
Installation was easy - a quick search for MBNA on the app store and it installed very quickly
The login is the same as the online with username and standard password
The app logs you out as soon as you navigate away
Best feature: You can check your pin feature which many other card providers don't let you do online
Worst feature: The 'home' button rather than take you back to the main menu of the app, takes you to MBNA's website homepage, so you have to login again to the app if you hit this button
At 250 years old, Lloyds are one of the UK's oldest banks, but are up to speed with the 21st century with their online and mobile banking.
There is a quick view of your balance and you can see your full statement history as well as checking past, present and future debits
You can pay another individual, credit card or bill, transfer money between accounts, you can add and remove new payees on the app
Supports payments to mobile numbers through Paym system, however as with other apps, the recipient also needs a mobile payment app installed
There is a branch locator including map to help you find your nearest branch
You can call or email out from the app
It has a useful 'help' section if you get stuck
Easy to install, download from Google Play or AppStore, you log in with your online banking details you are then called by Lloyds to activate the app.
There is an endless dropdown to enter your access details, which can be a bit difficult to use on smaller mobile screen
You are logged out automatically when you exit the app
Best: It's similar to the website, which makes it very easy to navigate if you already know what you're doing.
Worst: There are a few features that are not fully adapted for smooth use on a mobile screen (ie the endless drop down menus)
Building society Nationwide also scooped a heap of customer service awards, but is their app up to scratch?
You can manage all your Nationwide accounts
There is a quick balance checker but you can also view your full statement history
You can transfer money to your own accounts and other people, you add in new payees on the app
Make payments to mobile phone numbers through Paym (if they also have the app installed)
The app does not include a nearby branch locator
You can call and email out from the app to customer services, however there is only the one help number so you have to go through options after you call.
It can be installed from Google play or the App Store and activated with a code from your online banking
Logs out automatically when you exit the app
Over time the app has become increasingly slow, so it would be nice if they improved the login speed
Best: The ease of making payments
Worst: Slowness of the app
Metro Bank are a new bank, fast becoming a common sight on the streets of London, with plans to expand out to the rest of the country.
Quickly check your balance, you can see future payments and direct debits, however you can only look at transactions of the past day
Manage multiple accounts
Transfer money – (desktop to set up payees/but you can delete payees), it doesn't support transferring money to a mobile phone number
You can both block and unblock card from within the app
You have to logout of the app in order to make calls and emails
Thorough and useful FAQ section in app
Easy to install, readily available to download from the AppStore and GooglePlay
Activation up is fairly complicated - you need three separate codes to activate and install the app, it is poorly explained which one to use
You are automatically logged out when you close the app
Best thing: The ability to block and unblock cards
Worst thing: You can't look back at full history