A new category in this year’s Consumer Credit Awards is “Best Finance App” which reflects the growing popularity of apps within the financial services industry. Whether it’s checking how much is left on your personal loan, seeing your up-to-date credit report, or paying your credit card bill, we've searched far and wide for the best apps across all consumer credit. By looking at more than two hundred consumer credit companies, ten thousand consumer reviews, and dozens of apps, we've picked out the best of this year.
They say: “Tap, tap, slide. It’s that easy to start managing your Barclaycard today”
It’s something many of us do every day, but checking a credit card balance can still be a bit of a drag. Between difficult to remember usernames and passwords, and contactless payments causing multiple “pending transactions”, staying up to date with your balance can be frustrating. However, Barclaycard have made a bright and easy to use app which makes it less painful to see how much you've been spending.
The app matches the functionality of the desktop version almost one-to-one, so as well as simply paying off a balance, the card PIN can be viewed, additional cardholders can be added, and new cards can be requested. You can even check your Experian credit score, making this a fairly comprehensive app when it comes to managing a credit card.
We’d still love to see some up-to-date technologies adopted, such as Apple’s TouchID, but it’s a modern app from Barclaycard that does nearly everything you could want.
Write your own, or check out our 200+ Barclaycard credit card reviews.
They say: “Easy access to the information you need, no matter where you are, before making a big purchase or financial decision. Knowledge at your fingertips. Just as it should be."
We covered ClearScore extensively in our piece looking at “ Which Credit Report is Best”, and since then, the app has continued to improve and develop. With a new timeline view to see your historical credit score, “TImeline” is really as engaging as a credit score is ever going to be. Touch ID makes logging in a breeze, and notifications when your new report is available are useful enough to entice you to see an updated score.
It’s a thoroughly modern app, and makes life a bit easy for everyone, by making credit scores just that bit more accessible. The fact that ClearScore is free to use also helps!
Read or write your own ClearScore reviews here.
They say: “Personality + Looks. This app has it all”
On par with Barclaycard, Capital One’s app makes managing one of their credit cards convenient and straightforward. With all of the features you’d expect - transaction filtering, secure TouchID login, direct debit set up, there’s not much need to sit down at a desktop computer to manage your credit card anymore.
Users lament the frustrating lack of Apple Pay support across all of Capital One’s card range, which strangely is available in other markets, but otherwise the app “does the job” in a clean looking and simple to use package. One Smart Money People reviewer, Troy S said: "the mobile app is great and simple to use too".
Read all of our Capital One reviews.
They say: “The app is unique in its category. Unlike other loan apps, which focus on acquiring new customers, Oakam’s app gives current customers greater control over their finances.”
Oakam have taken a simple short term loan to the next level with their app. With a modern look, and all the functionality you could ever really need from a short term lender - it’s not just limited to a branch finder, and a repayment schedule.
The “Oakam Grow” community rewards scheme is interesting and aims to be engaging, offering discounts on future loans to users who invite friends, pay loans on time, and more through achievements and gamification. It’s a fun way to keep customers engaged and make short term lending a little more interesting. There's also a dedicated iPad app too, which is surprisingly rare among consumer credit companies.
One of our community members, Tony K said: "The app makes it helpful to control and manage your loan".
See what people are saying about their loans and the app by reading our Oakam reviews here.
They say: “Over the years we’ve built up a good understanding of exactly what matters to customers who need access to short term loans.”
Support for TouchID, making instant payments, seeing payment schedules, and taking out new loans, make the Satsuma Loans app one of the best in the short term loan business.
It feels friendly too, as with Oakam Grow, the “Satsuma Rating” is a really simple visual indicator of a users repayment record. As well as the expected basic functionality, there’s also articles on debt advice and money management tips available within the app which is encouraging to see. What could be a simple and bland process is brought to life with Satsuma's trademark orange colour, an incredibly easy to understand user interface, and enough functionality to make the app one to return to, even after the initial loan is accepted.
View our Satsuma Loans reviews here.
Who will win "Best Finance App 2017"?
We’ll be announcing finalists in all categories on Monday 12th June, so check back then to see the complete list. Winners will then by announced on the 13t July. Until then, there’s still time to vote for your favourite, and by doing so you could win our £1000 cash prize.
Interested in reading more about banking apps? Check out our “Best Mobile Banking Apps”