Watching smartphone apps on the popularity charts is a bit like watching the stock ticker. Apps rise. Apps fall. One day they may be up three places, the next day down by four. Sometimes, a new one arrives out of nowhere and grabs a seat at the high table — at the time of writing, according to the global tracker, App Annie, the National Bonds mobile app has jumped 11 places to claim the top spot on the list of free finance apps in the UAE. The ranking also depends on the popularity of the platform. As per data released by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority last October, the iPhone 6 has become the most commonly used phone in the UAE. Here we look at the top banking apps in the country across iOS and Android devices based on App Annie’s current listings*. Though jostled around by new entrants, these have managed to hold on to their popularity.
1. Emirates NBD
With the promise of delivering “the future of mobile banking”, the ENBD app allows you to manage all aspects of banking — from viewing your account details and transactions and managing your credit card and payments to transferring cash locally or internationally. You can also click an image of an ENBD cheque to deposit it directly through the phone. The latest version adds the ability to convert transactions to EMIs.
Installs: More than 100,000 | User ratings: Google Play — 4.5 from 9,402 ratings and App Store — 4.0 from 1,300 ratings
2. ADIB Mobile Banking
Snapping at the heels of ENBD is Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank’s mobile app. Apart from checking your account details, sending money and tracking credit-card spends, you can also recharge your phone and Salik credit, pay bills and manage your Ghina savings account.
Installs: More than 100,000 | User ratings: Google Play — 4.2 from 2,123 ratings and App Store — 4.0 from 114 ratings
3. ADCB Mobile banking
Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank’s app lets you pay utility bills including du and Fewa. Or check account status, transfer money, settle credit-card dues, redeem or purchase TouchPoints, and locate ADCB ATMs and branches. An interesting addition is using your phone’s location to reveal special offers near you. The latest update adds an online chat service for you to connect with customer support agents.
Installs: More than 100,000 | User ratings: Google Play — 4.2 from 2,985 ratings and App Store — 3.5 from 130 ratings
4. NBAD Mobile Banking
While the ADCB app goes for colourful boxes and icons, the one from National Bank of Abu Dhabi prefers a minimalistic green-and-white layout. The app wants you to “enjoy online banking where you need it, when you need it”. And you can do this partly by personalising the main page so that it displays only the key information that matters to you. The latest update allows you to create international beneficiaries using the app itself.
Installs: More than 50,000 | User ratings: Google Play — 4.0 from 581 ratings and App Store — 3.5 from 34 ratings
5. DIB Mobile
Claiming to deliver a new banking experience, Dubai Islamic Bank’s app comes packed with more than 60 services. The list includes fund transfers, bill payments, currency conversions, account details and cash withdrawals from ATMs without a debit card. The app offers a portfolio view of all your accounts, deposits, financing and cards. You can control your expenses by setting spending limits in the app.
Installs: More than 100,000 | User ratings: Google Play — 3.4 from 1,759 ratings and App Store — 2.5 from 127 ratings
6. RAK Bank Mobile Banking
RAK Bank also takes a colourful approach with its app, using an array of cute icons and a bookshelf feel that would be right at home in a travel app. Beneath that fun look lie features that it claims let you take care of all your daily banking needs, without any need to go to the bank. You can manage accounts and cards, transfer money within the UAE or internationally, and even open new accounts from within the app.
Installs: More than 100,000 | User ratings: Google Play — 3.8 from 1,337 ratings and App Store — 3.0 from 113 ratings
7. EI Mobile Banking
Decked out in Emirates Islamic’s signature purple coat, it offers free, fast and convenient access to your accounts and cards, murabaha statement and portfolio summary. You can also use the app to make a series of utility payments, including Dewa, Salik as well as phone bills. A September update of the iOS version brought in support for the Apple Watch.
Installs: More than 50,000 | User ratings: Google Play — 4.0 from 788 ratings and App Store — 3.0 from 62 ratings
8. Mashreq UAE
The Mashreq Snapp app sports bright colours that should appeal to the younger users. The app has seen a major style upgrade and, apparently, in the new version “the best in Italian design meets the best in mobile banking functionality”. To the regular list of features, the update adds tracking of Salaam rewards, cards offers and news from the bank.
Installs: More than 50,000 | User ratings: Google Play — 4.0 from 1,050 ratings and App Store — 4.0 from 117 ratings
India’s Federal Bank makes it to the list with the FedMobile app. The bank claims its office in Abu Dhabi serves as a “nerve centre for NRI customers in the UAE”, while the app is aimed at providing better customer convenience with efficiency. While not as feature-rich, FedMobile’s latest version adds support for Malayalam and Hindi.
Installs: More than 100,000 | User ratings: Google Play — 4.1 from 4,449 ratings and App Store — 2.5 from 7 ratings
10. FGB Mobile bank
Rounding up our list is First Gulf Bank. Decked out in deep blue, this app lets you keep tab of your accounts, payments and credit cards. The summary of assets gives you a slick, graphical overview of your finances, while the tools and calculators section includes a currency converter plus loan, quick cash and term deposit calculators. FGB Mobile also allows for person-to-person quick transfer — you can send money to any UAE mobile number. Or do a cardless transaction at any FGB ATM.
Installs: More than 50,000 | User ratings: Google Play — 4.1 from 2,111 ratings and App Store — 4.5 from 241 ratings
Disclaimer: Rankings based on App Annie’s listings in the midweek of February