Best Mobile Banking Apps

Learn all about the best mobile banking apps.

Updated: October 30, 2023

We are in the digital age where you open a bank account and manage your finances all from a smartphone app. You can do almost anything from a mobile device, so it’s no surprise that 93% of Brits used online banking in 2022.  

Mobile banking apps are as popular as ever, giving users access to online banking on the go. High-street banks are no longer the only place to get a bank account. In recent years, there has been an increase in digital banks. In 2019, 9% of Brits had a digital-only bank account. However, in 2023, that percentage has increased to 24%. 

You may be wondering why digital-only banks are becoming more popular, and we’ll answer that question soon.

In this article, you'll learn all about digital-only banking apps, and we'll introduce you to the best mobile banking app on the market.

1. Starling Bank★★★★★Click Here
2. Monzo★★★★★Click Here
3. Revolut★★★★★Click Here
4. Chase★★★★★Click Here
5. Monese★★★★Click Here
6. Kroo Bank★★★★Click Here
7. Atom Bank★★★★Click Here

What Is a Mobile Banking App?

A mobile banking app is an application that allows you to access and manage your bank account easily from your mobile phone.

Apps are usually free and can be used on any smart device to do all of your online banking needs 24/7. You can check your balance, transfer money, set up direct debits, and track your spending insights.

Mobile banking apps are popular with app-only banks, but high-street banks also offer online banking and banking apps for their services. You can download a banking app from your device's smartphone for free. If you're looking for an app-only bank, we've some recommendations for the best mobile banking apps in the current market.

Digital-only banks are rising due to their accessibility and ease of opening a bank account. Digital-only banks also fall under the name of app-only banks, sometimes called challenger banks.

App-only banks are banks that you can only access through a smartphone app. You do everything from the app, including account applications and controlling your funds. A digital bank has no branch and runs solely online.

Online-Only Banking Apps Pros and Cons

Switching to app-only banking comes with ups and downs. This section explores the pros and cons of using mobile banking apps from digital-only banks.


✔️ Convenience: With online banking, you don't have to wait for an opening time to access your bank; you do all bank account management 24/7 from a mobile banking app.

✔️ Time-saving: Transactions on a mobile banking app are typically processed faster than traditional banking methods. You can quickly transfer money, pay bills, and other transactions without waiting for processing. Transfers are instant.

✔️ Track expenses: When you use a banking app, you can see all your transactions as they happen. Most banking apps will share your spending insights to help you control your money. Expense tracking is a great feature that most digital-only banks offer.

✔️ Budgeting features: Most digital-only banking apps today have budgeting features to help you stick with your monthly limit and not overspend. Budgeting is a great way to save money; with the right banking app, you can start saving money.

✔️ Separate savings accounts: You can open savings accounts with an online bank. Some even let you open multiple so you can keep your money separate. Most digital-only banks have various savings features like pots or spaces that allow you to separate and categorise your money.

✔️ Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) protected: Most digital banks are FSCS-protected like traditional banks. So, online banking is just as secure as high-street banking. 

✔️ Earn interest on account balances: When you open an app-based bank account, sometimes you can earn interest on your balance and interest on money in your savings account.

✔️ Debit card: With an online-only banking app, you'll still receive all the benefits you would with traditional banks. You'll get a debit card that you can use however you like. Most banks will give you a debit card for free, but you may have to pay a delivery fee.

✔️ Travel benefits: Many app-only banks are ideal for people who travel a lot as they offer fee-free spending abroad. You can use your debit card abroad without worrying about extra charges.


❌️ Absence of own ATMs: Most app-only banks don't have their own ATM, so you could be charged a fee when you withdraw cash from your current account.

❌️ No branches: As app-only banks are digital, there are no branches you can visit. However, a 24/7 support team or a virtual banking assistant is usually available if you ever need assistance with digital banking.

❌️ You need a smartphone: Digital banking requires a smartphone, so you'll need to own and use a smartphone to work all banking apps.

❌️ Limited credit options: With most digital-only banking, there are no credit options like overdrafts or loans as with traditional banks. However, some online-only banks do offer credit, but it’s subject to status and availability. 

❌️ Deposit cash and cheques: There are no branches for digital-only banks, so depositing money into your current account can be difficult. Some won't allow cash deposits, whereas others will require you to visit a Post Office branch to deposit cash. Most digital banks won't allow you to deposit cheques. Some may have a mobile check deposit feature, but it's not common with digital banks.

Best Digital-Only Mobile Banking App — Reviews

All the banks from our list offer bank accounts with no monthly fees.

However, some do give you the option to upgrade your plan. All of these mobile apps are available on iOS and Android systems.

1. Starling Bank: Free UK Bank Account You Can Open Using Your Phone

There are multiple types of bank accounts available with Starling Bank. You can open personal, business, euro, and joint accounts. You can earn interest on your current account balance, and there are no cash withdrawal fees, including cash withdrawals made outside of the UK.

Various money management features are available, such as real-time banking notifications and spending insights, so that you can track and budget your spending.

If you're looking for a bank that will help you save, Starling has a feature called Saving Spaces that you can put your money in. You can also create a ring-fenced Space to help pay bills; you'll get a reminder the day before your bills are due, and Starling will transfer the necessary money between your accounts.

Additionally, you can use the round-up feature to round up your purchases to the nearest £1.  The money you save with rounding up purchases you can store in Spaces to help achieve your savings goals.

You can connect your Starling Bank accounts with Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Garmin Pay, and Fitbit Pay. You must visit a Post Office branch to deposit cash into your account. Starling Bank is FSCS-protected, so your bank accounts are safe. If your debit card is lost or stolen, you can lock your card from the mobile app.

Starling Bank has overdraft and loan options, but eligibility, interest rates, and credit limits will depend on your financial situation and credit history. Also, there are spending restrictions for problem spending such as gambling.

2. Monzo: Start Saving with Pots and Spending Insights

With Monzo, you can create an account, spend, save and manage your money all in one place for free: the Monzo banking app. You can apply for a full UK current account in 15 minutes. With a Monzo account, you'll gain access to savings accounts and ISAs.

You can organise your money into Pots and track your spending habits with Trends. You can set budgets and receive live notifications of any payments you've made from your current account.

If you're trying to control your spending and improve your habits, you can set up warnings to tell you that you're spending too fast. If savings is your goal, you can earn up to 5.60% interest on your savings with a 12-month Fixed Pot with a £500 minimum deposit to open. You can save in other ways with a Monzo Easy Savings account.

You can use your Monzo debit card anywhere that accepts MasterCard. There are no fees for using your card abroad, and you'll know Mastercard's exchange rate as you make transactions, so there will be no surprising fees or charges.

There is a fee to add cash to your account, and if you want to put a check into your Monzo account, you have to mail it to Monzo. You can subscribe to Monzo Premium accounts for £15 per month, and you'll get a white metal card, phone and travel insurance, interest and more.

3. Revolut: Easy Currency Exchange

If you travel a lot or make many purchases outside of the UK, a Revolut account lets you easily exchange currency using real-time exchange rates.

If you're grabbing lunch with a friend or splitting an Uber abroad, Revolut has a split-the-bill feature that allows you to split bills easily with anyone in 150+ countries. With Revolut, you can access lounge passes for less when travelling and discover good-quality stays.

You can earn up to 4.75% interest paid daily with Savings Vaults, and when you use your Revolut debit card, you can earn exclusive rewards and save as you spend with cashback and discounts.

Once your account is open, you don't need to wait for your debit card to be delivered to start spending. You can connect your account with Google and Apple Pay. You have to pay for a debit card, and you can't pay cash or cheques into your account; you only transfer money to and from other accounts.

You can choose to use disposable virtual cards if you'd like; it makes for safer purchases online, as they’re deleted once the transaction is complete.

There is a wide range of plans you can choose from, from Standard up to Ultra, each with additional features to improve money management. Standard is the free plan that works like a traditional bank account but with saving money abroad and built-in budgeting features.

If you want to expand your investment portfolio, you can start trading cryptocurrency for just £1. Your account will allow you to go from cash to crypto instantly. You can also buy gold and silver in-app and trade 1,500+ global shares commission-free as long as you're within your allowance.

4. Chase: Challenger Bank Offers 1% Cashback on Everyday Spending

If you want to make the most out of a current account, Chase Bank offers 1% cashback on your everyday debit card spending for your first 12 months (new customers only, max £15 per month, cashback exceptions apply).

You can open multiple accounts to help you budget, save money, and manage them all from the same mobile app.

You can activate small change round-ups to the nearest £1 to help raise your savings. To push your savings even further, you can open an easy-access savings account to earn 4.1% AER (4.02% gross, variable interest, paid monthly) on your savings, and no minimum deposit is needed. If you apply for a round-up account, Chase will pay 5% AER on your account, and interest is calculated daily and paid monthly.

You can oversee your spending habits with insights and restrict cash withdrawals online spending or block transaction types such as gambling. If you lose your card, you can freeze and unfreeze your debit card using the app. Your debit card will be numberless for added security; you can access card and account details from the app.

As well as current and savings accounts, Chase Bank offers other finance modes such as credit cards, checking accounts, home loans, car loans and more.

5. Monese: Multiple Multi-Currency Accounts Available

With Monese, you can open a Simple, Classic or Premium bank account. The Simple account has no monthly fee. You can get GBP, EUR, and Ron accounts in minutes and benefit from great exchange rates. You can apply for an account within minutes and don't need proof of address.

You can set weekly and monthly budgets and have up to 10 savings pots to help you make the most of your money.

You can round up your chance to enhance your savings even further. On the mobile app, you can track your spending and receive instant spending notifications.

You can deposit cash into your account via a Post Office branch or a PayPoint Location. If you want to work on your credit rating, you can apply for Monese's credit builder credit card. You can link your Avios and PayPal account to your Monese bank account.

To add money to your Monese account, you can request money from friends and contacts, instant top-up using a debit card, and instant payment transfer from a linked UK bank.

Monese has a multilingual support team to help you whenever you need assistance. You can lock your card using the app if lost or stolen.

6. Kroo Bank: Earn 4.35% AER on Your Current Account Balance

You can earn interest on your current account balance with the Kroo Banking app. The Kroo app is a little limiting as you're only allowed one current account with no savers, but the 4.35% interest on in-credit balance is alluring to many customers.

You can use Kroo Bank's in-app budgeting and spending control features. You can get instant payment notifications and categorise spending. You can also use the app to split a bill with your friends.

There are no account or overseas transaction fees, so you can use your card abroad without worrying about the fees building. You may incur fees if you withdraw over £200 monthly via an ATM. You may be invited to get an overdraft if you display good card management.

Kroo Bank promotes ethical banking by teaming up with the charity One Tree Planted to plant two trees for every new customer it gains in 2023. You, too, can be part of helping the environment. Soon after you sign up, you can choose which to protect your trees.

You can't deposit cash or checks into this banking app. You can only transfer money from other banks.

7. Atom Bank: The Digital Bank for Savings Accounts, Mortgages, and Business Loans

Atom Bank is one of the UK's challenger banks; they provide many of the same services as a traditional high-street bank. Atom Bank does provide current accounts. However, it does specialise in savings accounts, mortgages, and business loans.

There is a range of savings accounts available with Atom Bank. You can choose a Fixed Rate savings account from one to five years to accrue interest on your savings.

Once the term ends, you can take out your savings and any interest paid into the account during the period term. Or, you can open an Easy Access Account to access your savings balance constantly.

Atom Bank has a unique registration process instead of submitting a photo ID. You register a biometric reference to your face and voice. This biometric information is stored as a series of numbers, and the algorithm reads the sequence each time a user logs in. The app can only be accessed if there is a sufficient match. 

How to Choose the Best Banking App

Choosing which digital bank to go with is challenging.

There's so much to offer, but you should consider what is most important regarding online banking. We've come up with a list of features to look out for:

  • Types of available transactions: If you're looking for a digital-only bank account that does pretty much the same thing as an account from a high street bank, ensure the account can make basic transfers, direct debits, standing orders, and international payments.
  • User-friendly: You must use a banking app that is easy to use, so look for a bank that prides itself on user accessibility. A user-friendly interface is a must for banking apps to be successful.
  • Support team: With no branches you can, you must go with a digital-only bank, an excellent, great support team that can assist you whenever you need help.
  • Fees: Keep an eye out to watch banks charge fees. Some will have cash withdrawal fees and foreign transaction fees. Try to find the digital-only bank with the lowest fees.

Considering all the above factors and our reviews of the best banking apps, you should be online banking successfully in no time.

How Do Mobile Banking Apps Work?

Most digital-only financial institutions require downloading the app before applying for a bank account. However, they usually have websites where you can find more information about their products and services.

Mobile banking apps allow you to do most things you would usually be able to do if you were to visit a high street banking branch. If you're unsure if mobile banking is for you, we've compiled a list of transactions and features you may find helpful:

  • Check account balances: You can check your account balance whenever you want.
  • Access online virtual banking assistant: If you need support, there is usually a team to help you if you reach out.
  • Transfer money from your account: You can instantly transfer money to other bank accounts.
  • Manage your bank accounts: If you have multiple accounts with one online bank, like a current account and a savings account, you can manage all of them in one place.
  • Set up and manage direct debits: You can set up and manage direct debits from a mobile app. You can even check any subscriptions and pay bills from your bank account via the mobile banking app.
  • Track your spending: You can see what money goes in and out of your bank account. Some apps even provide spending insights to help you budget and improve spending habits.

So, now that you know how mobile banking apps work, let's dive into how you get one and set up a digital-only bank account.

Downloading Banking Apps

You'll find bank applications in your smartphone's App Store. It's always good to check on the bank's website if your smartphone device is compatible. Although most, if not all, banking apps are available for iOS and Android devices.

All mobile banking apps are free to download and use. Once you've downloaded the app, you must sign up for your bank account. You'll need documentation to verify your identity when signing up for a new bank account.

What You Need to Open an Online Bank Account

When opening any bank account, there are certain documents that you need. To save you time, we've made a short list of the documents you need to open an account on a bank app.

You'll need the following information:

  • Proof of identity: You’ll need a passport or a driving licence. You can use a full driving licence or a provisional one.
  • Proof of address: You can use records dated within the last three months, such as utility bills, credit union statements, and Universal Credit statements.
  • Credit history: If you're taking out a line of credit with online banks, there may be a credit score requirement and credit check on your credit report.

One of the great features of digital-only banking apps is that you simply take a picture or scan your documents to verify your identity. Some apps may require a live portrait photo or video to match you with your photo I.D. Typically, the overall process takes up to 15 minutes, and you'll find out if you're accepted usually on the same day.

Further Your Security With These Tips

Banking apps are typically safe and secure. But if you're worried about someone stealing the information from your smartphone, there are additional security methods you can take to ensure further security of your bank accounts.

Increase security on your smartphone with the following tips:

  • Two-step verification: You can set up a two-step verification on your smartphone and payment apps. You can unlock your phone with a personalised PIN and biometric verification. Biometric verification requires a face scan or thumbprint to unlock the device. You can add these measures to most mobile apps, too, as well as your smartphone.
  • Vary passwords: Sometimes, online data leaks can happen. The best way to avoid this is to vary your passwords. Using the same passwords repeatedly can put your data in harm's way. Ensure your passwords are varied to prevent them from being guessed.
  • Don't share pins or passwords: Keep your pins and passwords to yourself. Make a note of your passwords somewhere no one else can access.
  • Smartphone insurance: Make sure you get your smartphone insured. If it's stolen, you can block the phone and make it inaccessible, and you should be able to get a timely, inexpensive replacement.
  • Delete banking emails and texts: Avoid keeping emails or texts in your inbox containing private and essential information. If your email is hacked, you don't want to risk them getting any of your important details or information.

With the natural security that comes with banking apps and the addition of the above tips, you can bank safely without worrying about the funds in your bank account.

Final Thoughts

App-only banks are convenient for tech-savvy users. With our list of best mobile banking apps, you can manage your finances from your smartphone. You can do most things from online bank apps; you can manage your money, work on your budgeting skills, and even contact a support team whenever you need.

Related Guides:

Best Mobile Banking App: FAQs

What is the best digital-only mobile banking app?

Do high street banks have a mobile banking app?

What are the disadvantages of digital-only banking apps?

What are the benefits of digital-only banking apps?

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