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NerdWallet’s Best Banks and Credit Unions for Mobile Banking

Banking, Banks & Credit Unions
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Best for frequent check cashersALLY BANK
 
Best for budgetersPNC BANK

 
Best ATM/branch integrationBMO HARRIS BANK

 
Best among credit unionsALLIANT CREDIT UNION

 

Mobile banking can make tracking finances and paying bills easier. When you open a bank account, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting a mobile experience that allows you to manage your checking or savings account with minimal hassle.

NerdWallet looked at the mobile apps of about two dozen of the biggest financial institutions in the country. Here’s a look at which we liked best, and why.

Best app for frequent check cashers: Ally Bank

Ally often shows up among NerdWallet’s favorite online banks. In the mobile realm, a few extras make the bank stand out — like the fact you can search your recent transactions, rather than scrolling through a list. Ally also deserves props for offering a mobile check deposit service with one of the highest daily limits: $50,000.

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Best app for budgeters: PNC Bank

PNC’s mobile app offers a variety of solid features, like person-to-person payments, but its money management tools really shine. PNC Virtual Wallet separates itself with calendar, visual and analytical tools to help users track spending and stick to a budget. And for those with at least $50,000 in a PNC investment account, the PNC Total Insight tool allows linking to non-PNC banks and institutions, so you can view all the money held elsewhere in the same place.

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Best ATM and branch integration: BMO Harris Bank

BMO Harris might be the best choice for people who want a great mobile experience without losing their connection to local branches. Nearly every mobile banking app has an ATM or branch locator tool, but BMO Harris customers can also use the app to make an appointment with a banker at a branch office. Even better, the Mobile Cash feature lets users use their phones, instead of a debit card, to withdraw money from some ATMs (some other banks are now catching up to this feature).

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Best mobile credit union experience: Alliant Credit Union

Alliant’s app checks all the usual boxes — ATM locator, transaction history, bill payments and notifications — but dominates in a couple of key categories: mobile depositing and money management tools. There’s an unusually high daily limit of $50,000 for depositing checks through the app. And the charts and graphs in the money management tool let users analyze their spending habits and keep tabs on budget categories.

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Virginia C. McGuire is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: virginia@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @vcmcguire.


Methodology

We looked at the 15 largest banks by assets and eliminated those without a significant retail banking presence. We also included financial institutions in the country’s five largest metro areas and several of the largest online-only banks that offer a full suite of checking and savings products. We rounded off the list with some of the country’s biggest credit unions with broad-based membership requirements. Financial institutions surveyed: Alliant Credit Union, Ally, Bank of America, Bank5 Connect, BB&T, BBVA Compass, BMO Harris Bank, Capital One 360, Chase, Citibank, Connexus Credit Union, Consumers Credit Union, Discover Bank, HSBC, Nationwide, Navy Federal Credit Union, Pentagon Federal Credit Union, PNC, SunTrust, TD Bank, Union Bank, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo.