Compared to the Tech sector Banking & Finance websites have a lot less to live up to. This is largely because Banking & Finance sites adhere to a business model that precludes them from providing certain types of resources that are essential to Tech sites. There is little reason for Banking & Finance sites to offer Corporate Event Information, Corporate Blogs, Channel & Alliance/Partner Marketing, Industry Marketing, Online Communities, eCommerce Features & Facilities, Online Support, or Training & Education.

As a result, these sub-categories have been eliminated from all Banking & Finance versions of the siteIQ Best Practices Usability Benchmarks. This reduces the total number of categories from six to four and sub-categories from eighteen to nine. Of course, this means that the number of usability metrics is also reduced. In fact, Banking & Finance benchmarks include about half as many questions as any of the Tech industry editions.

To assess how well prominent Banking & Finance sites effectively deliver content and provide practical user experiences, we evaluated a total of 30 sites across three segments, including Commercial Banks, Diversified Financials, and Securities.

And, what did we learn when all was said and done? That despite their smaller footprint, some Banking & Finance sites perform just as well, if not better than, sites in Tech — especially when it comes to Usability by Dimension.

This summary announces Overall rankings and ratings based on Website Usability and Website Usability by Dimension scores.

Overall Findings 

At first blush, our inaugural Banking & Finance industry results don’t appear to deliver any extraordinary revelations. None of the tracked sites achieve Good Practice status and half register overall scores that receive an Average Competitive Rating. What’s more, a look at scores by sub-category shows that each site displays usability issues in at least one area — and that some sites have significant usability problems.

A close look behind the numbers, however, belies the notion that Banking & Finance sites are just a bunch of Average Joes. An examination of Usability by Dimension scoring reveals that Banking & Finance sites do quite well in several key areas that are critical to the most common user objectives and goals. What’s more, a closer look shows that the bulk of areas where these sites do well are related to navigation and linking conventions, which means that visitors will find most Banking & Finance sites easy to maneuver.

Still, there are areas where Banking & Finance sites falter, sometimes in a big way. In particular, thoroughness of content is a systemic issue as are ease of using — and usefulness — of resources and features. So, while information and resources are easy to find, they’re often thin, difficult to use, or of dubious value once located. Making matters worse is that Banking & Finance sites aren’t big on engaging visitors or encouraging them to take action, which means users are left to their own devices when attempting to figure out what to do or where to go next.

At the end of the day, Ally.com, Voya.com, Ameriprise.com, FreddieMac.com, and FannieMae.com occupy the Top 5 ranking positions on the Overall Website Usability and Overall Website Usability by Dimension rosters. This is intriguing because each is included in the Diversified Financials sector. As interesting, Commercial Bank sites fill the next five slots in the rankings.

Oddly, sites in the securities sector, which are the public face for some of the most well-known financial firms on the planet, are the weakest performers in the group. Most surprising, though, is that Schwab.com, EdwardJones.com, and JPMorganChase.com are among the Bottom 5 ranking Banking & Finance sites we track.

Naturally, we’re curious to see where Banking & Finance sites fall in the list once we pit all Usability Index websites against each other. For now, we bet that some will go toe-to-toe with the top contenders.

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About the siteIQ Usability Index

siteIQ evaluated the thirty Financial Websites listed on the 2020 siteIQ Usability Index. These Websites are categorized into three industry-specific segments including:

  • Commercial Banks (53.com, BankofAmerica.com, BBT.com, BNYMellon.com, Citigroup.com, GoldmanSachs.com, JPMorganChase.com, Key.com, MorganStanley.com, NorthernTrust.com, Regions.com, StateStreet.com, SunTrust.com, USBank.com, WellsFargo.com)
  • Diversified Financials (AJG.com, Ally.com, Ameriprise.com, Blackstone.com, FannieMae.com, FreddieMac.com, INTLFCStone.com, Jefferies.com, Synchrony.com, Voya.com)
  • Securities (EdwardJones.com, FranklinResources.com, IntercontinentalExchange.com, KKR.com, Schwab.com)

These in-depth evaluations were conducted using the 2020 edition of the siteIQ Usability Index Best Practices Benchmark, which tracks results in 9 sub-categories and 16 Usability Dimensions.

The 2020 evaluations were performed during the first quarter of 2020.

Category: Index Rankings

Class: Website Reviews and Rankings

Websites Profiled: siteIQ Usability Index Websites – Finance Industry

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