Surviscor Canadian Consumer Banking Experience Reviews - CIBC provides the best mobile banking experience for Canadians

Canada's BEST and WORST Mobile-based Consumer Banking Experiences

CIBC continues to provide the Best Mobile-based Consumer Banking Experience for Canadians

For the 5th time in the past 6 years, CIBC is the leader in Canadian mobile-based consumer banking experience. A consumer mobile-based banking experience represents what it is like to bank using a phone, mainly an application-based (iPhone, Android or Proprietary) platform to perform everyday banking, but the report does not shy away from mobilized online-based versions (adjusts to smaller hand-held devices) if that is all that is available.

Unlike other reviews and paid advertorials, Surviscor reviews 24 Canadian consumer banking firms including credit unions, co-operatives, and neo-branchless banks to compliment the always reviewed big banks. CIBC was identified as the best big bank for mobile-based consumer banking experiences with BMO Bank of Montreal as the worst big bank, Coast Capital Savings as the best credit union (Servus Credit Union the worst), and Tangerine as the best neo-branchless bank (Alterna Bank the worst) and an overall 2nd place showing.

Canadian consumer banking relationships have typically been viewed by consumers as long-term, with you for life relationships. The newer consumer generations are moving away - or at least considering doing so - from parent-influenced firms and seeking their own partners. That's where the new challenge begins. Banks, Credit Unions, Neo Banks - serve the basic consumer banking needs but consumers need to demand better experiences as there are a lot of options and most could do better with other relationships.

Glenn LaCoste, President and CEO of Surviscor Group

Go to Review Breakdown

Go to Results by Firm Type

Go to Full Rankings


Today's phones have come along way. They are bigger, faster and have tons of features which allows using them as a primary electronic vehicle to perform everyday consumer banking needs regardless of the task. So why are there so many firms lagging when it comes to offering complete banking services on handheld devices? The answer is because they choose not to invest in what the consumer wants but rather, they try and convince the consumers, and themselves, that the extras are not in the consumer's best interests.

RBC Royal Bank moves into 2nd - BMO Bank of Montreal remains 8th

Big bank movements always highlight rankings as they represent a large number of customers impacted by the changes. RBC Royal Bank has long been the leader in online/desktop consumer banking experience and has now moved into second place for mobile-based banking, inching closer to CIBC. At the other end of the big bank spectrum, BMO Bank of Montreal continues to struggle to make up ground on its big bank peers, remaining in 8th and behind a few non-big bank firms.

Balance Alert Notifications are now mainstream - Thank you regulators

Mobile-based banking platforms tend to scale-down the features and functionality found on online banking platforms but finally alerting, which is a crucial account management tool, has been introduced and marketed at most firms as a new mobile-based feature. The reality is that the Canadian regulators have mandated banking firms to digitally inform customers when account balances are nearing concerning levels. Look at your platforms and get set up.

Click here for more information on the regulation.

Don't confuse Neo with Fintech

The definition of neo banks tends to be more associated with the new so-called fintech firms that offer deposit and credit services, but the pure definition really means branchless firms with either full or partial traditional banking services but offered through digital platforms. In many cases, the goal is to take assets away from the traditional firms and cross-sell larger items down the road using low fees and competitive deposit rates as the hook.

Beware App Store Reviews - Usability does not represent Breadth

All App stores are a great source of information, but can we truly believe everything we read at these App stores? It is not so much that the reviews are fake news. The reviews should be real, but the reviews are not typically based on the number of features and functionality and what the App can do, they are based on fluffy usability traits. For example, it is hard to believe that a firm can have a 4-star rating for mobile-based consumer banking when it only offers basic functionality compared to other firms who rate lower.

Attention Credit Union Customers - Not All Provinces are Alike

Credit unions are seldom considered by many Canadians for consumer banking as most of these people do not understand what a credit union is or even, what they offer. But to those who do place trust in credit unions, their loyalty to the system is unflappable. That is where the disappointment comes in and depending on the province you live in and the provincial Central who tends to drive technological capabilities, a credit union customer's loyalty is being tested as there are typically better mobile-based options out there.

New launches continue to disappoint - ATB Financial the latest victim

It is always great to hear that banking firms are going to introduce new digital platforms; however, when the long-awaited release does not significantly move the experience meter, the result is disappointing. It appears that most re-designs are based on existing platforms being used at other firms and they tend to look fresher but lack breadth. ATB Financial, an Alberta-government firm, is the most recent example who released its long-awaited platform changes which resulted in a two-position increase into 14th place overall. The concern is that these customer-facing new designs represent larger development windows are only welcomed in spaced out releases, and they are being wasted with poor development decisions.

Alterna Bank reverts back - Laurentian Bank piggybacks

Alterna Bank's much-anticipated Forge mobile-banking platform release years ago simply missed the mark and its industry standing fell. It appears that the prior credit union platform is now back in play which ironically has allowed Alterna Bank to move up three positions in the rankings and into the top 20. Laurentian Bank, who has used an older credit union online banking system for years has now trusted the same platform for its first-ever mobile-based application instead of investing in its own development. The result took them out of its longstanding last position and moved them up two positions and still outside of thee top 20.

Surviscor Personalized Validation and Selection Tool scorChoice for Consumer Bankers and Online Investors to find their own #1 firm

How Surviscor Evaluates the Firms

The 2022 Surviscor Canadian Mobile Banking Experience Review audited 24 Canadian digital banking firms including the big 6 banks, 7 leading credit unions, 6 popular neo (branchless) banks, 1 co-operative, and 4 other popular firms that identify as banks or a co-operative movement. In each case, each firm offers a banking platform designed to be used on a phone. The audit took place in May and June 2022 and evaluated each firm over 5 experience categories, using over 300 individual usage criteria and based on 2500-plus objective questions per firm.


CategorySub-Categories# of Criteria# of Questions
INITIAL EXPERIENCEOnboarding Experience, Service Availability, Usability Experience, Public Resources90809
USER EXPERIENCEUser Protection, Customization Experience, Navigational Design, Product Availability47367
ACCOUNT EXPERIENCEApplications & Forms, Relationship Resources, Account Information, Account Management, Account Documentation72533
TRANSACTIONAL EXPERIENCEBill Payments, Funds Transfers, Interac Transfers, Cheque Deposits, Investing, Other Transactions37455
RELATIONSHIP RESOURCESAccount Services, Account Notifications, Tools & Calculators, Educational Resources59465

Click here for a more in-depth explanation of each category and sub-category.

Mobile-based Banking Experience Rankings - By Firm Types

The Canadian mobile-based consumer banking landscape offers Canadian consumers an abundance of choice outside of the popular, and traditional, big banks. Consumers can choose from regional-based credit unions or co-operatives, neo or branchless virtual banks, or a variety of other firms registered to provide digital-based consumer banking. Whatever your preference, here's a look at the best and worst firms in each segment:


Industry RankingBanking FirmExperience ScoreView Company Review
1CIBC89 %Detailed Company Review
T-2RBC ROYAL BANK85 %Detailed Company Review
4SCOTIABANK82 %Detailed Company Review
5TD CANADA TRUST81 %Detailed Company Review
7NATIONAL BANK OF CANADA75 %Detailed Company Review
8BMO BANK OF MONTREAL71 %Detailed Company Review

All the six big banks reviewed managed to land in the top 8 of the overall rankings, demonstrating the dominance they have when it comes to mobile-based consumer banking experiences. CIBC continues its dominance, but RBC ROYAL BANK is slowly moving up the ranks, moving into the #2 ranking. The impressive trend is that CIBC continues to enhance its mobile-based platforms each year, managing to out-pace most of its big bank peers year after year. Here is a look at CIBC:

What We Like:

What We Do Not Like:

Canadians expect the big banks, especially the traditional Big 5, to have robust mobile-based platforms. BMO BANK OF MONTREAL continues disappoint as its mobile-based platform is well back of the traditional Big 5.

Glenn LaCoste, President and CEO of Surviscor Group


Industry RankingBanking FirmExperience ScoreView Company Review
9DESJARDINS (Quebec-based CO-OPERATIVE)66 %Full Analysis
15VANCITY55 %Full Analysis
T-20ALTERNA SAVINGS45 %Full Analysis
24SERVUS CREDIT UNION33 %Full Analysis

The story continues to be confusing within the Canadian credit union system. On the positive side, COAST CAPITAL SAVINGS sits comfortably within the big banks and CONEXUS CREDIT UNION and MERIDIAN CREDIT UNION are within the top 10 and looking at design improvements. The remaining firms' rankings are more of the story. For example, ALTERNA SAVINGS made some design changes with marginal impact. In fact, the new design suffered the same fate as its ALTERNA BANK brand a few years back, losing ground with a new design. Ironically ALTERNA BANK has reverted to its old design and made-up ground. The bottom line is that most of the system appears to be in disarray and customers should take note. COAST CAPITAL SAVINGS is a BC-based firm with a Canadian charter who has taken control of its development path. Here is a look at COAST CAPITAL SAVINGS:

What We Like:

  • Informative account analysis tool that compliments clear and concise account information
  • Ability for members to save their favourite transactions for future use
  • Login process with supporting security features

What We Do Not Like:

  • Platform lacks many of the industry's account resources
  • Lack of non-traditional banking transactions

Unfortunately, Canadian credit union customers are faced with Jekyll and Hyde mobile-based consumer banking experiences. There are a handful of firms who truly compete while the majority tend to offer basic solutions at best.

Glenn LaCoste, President and CEO of Surviscor Group


Industry RankingBanking FirmExperience ScoreView Company Review
T-2TANGERINE84 %Full Analysis
12SIMPLII FINANCIAL62 %Full Analysis
13MOTUSBANK61 %Full Analysis
16EQ BANK52 %Full Analysis
T-17ALTERNA BANK49 %Detailed Company Review
T-20MOTIVE FINANCIAL45 %Full Analysis

The newer NEO Bank mobile-based platforms tend to be designed to attract the new digitally savvy customers who apparently are looking for simple and easy designs. The issue is simple and easy tends to be associated with less as the results indicate. Tangerine has been at the top of Canadian mobile-based consumer banking experiences right from its inception as ING Direct and continues to outperform both its parent Scotiabank, and many of the other big banks. Here is a look at TANGERINE:

What We Like:

  • Strong pre-login site with excellent account opening process
  • Availability of account notifications through Orange Alerts
  • Refer-A-Friend program with cash-back using personalized Orange keys
  • Ability to use mobile platform for account customization

What We Do Not Like:

  • Visitors are forced to correspond via social media channels or by phone

Not having branches does not mean that a firm is a fintech digital expert or is heavily invested in servicing a customer. Less face-to-face contact tends to lead to less responsibility. Consumers must be careful not to get too impressed with the shiny marketing messages of Neo Banks as the differentiators tend to be minimal, and sometimes superficial in nature.

Glenn LaCoste, President and CEO of Surviscor Group


Industry RankingBanking FirmExperience ScoreView Company Review
14ATB FINANCIAL59 %Full Analysis
19MANULIFE BANK of CANADA46 %Full Analysis
22LAURENTIAN BANK of CANADA37 %Full Analysis
23HSBC CANADA36 %Full Analysis

ATB FINANCIAL, an Alberta-based government-owned financial institution, is the clear leader amongst the Other Banks, moving up two ranking spots in 2022 with its new mobile-based platform, but still sitting well outside of the top 10. LAURENTIAN BANK of CANADA finally showed some life with a new re-design which led them out of the basement but unfortunately, the new design continues to be a re-purposed traditional weak credit union system platform.

Most of the Other Banks serve a direct purpose, and loyal connection, for many Canadian consumer banking customers regardless of the merits of the mobile-based, or desktop-based, platforms. The most head-scratching result is by far HSBC Canada as one would think that its world-wide stature and Canadian account base would equate to a top-ten offering.

Glenn LaCoste, President and CEO of Surviscor Group


Surviscor Personalized Validation and Selection Tool scorChoice for Consumer Bankers and Online Investors to find their own #1 firm

COMPLETE RESULTS - All Firms under Review

Mobile Experience RankBanking FirmExperience ScoreView Company Review
1CIBC89 %Detailed Company Review
T-2RBC ROYAL BANK85 %Detailed Company Review
T-2TANGRINE85 %Detailed Company Review
4SCOTIABANK82 %Detailed Company Review
5TD CANADA TRUST81 %Detailed Company Review
6COAST CAPITAL SAVINGS79 %Detailed Company Review
7NATIONAL BANK OF CANADA75 %Detailed Company Review
8BMO BANK OF MONTREAL71 %Detailed Company Review
9DESJARDINS66 %Detailed Company Review
T-10CONEXUS CREDIT UNION64 %Detailed Company Review
T-10MERIDIAN CREDIT UNION64 %Detailed Company Review
12SIMPLII FINANCIAL62 %Detailed Company Review
13MOTUSBANK61 %Detailed Company Review
14ATB FINANCIAL59 %Detailed Company Review
15VANCITY55 %Detailed Company Review
16EQ BANK52 %Detailed Company Review
17BLUESHORE FINANCIAL49 %Detailed Company Review
18ALTERNA BANK49 %Detailed Company Review
19MANULIFE BANK OF CANADA46 %Detailed Company Review
T-20ALTERNA SAVINGS45 %Detailed Company Review
T-20MOTIVE FINANCIAL45 %Detailed Company Review
22LAURENTIAN BANK37 %Detailed Company Review
23HSBC CANADA36 %Detailed Company Review
24SERVUS CREDIT UNION33 %Detailed Company Review

The Surviscor Difference

The Surviscor Canadian Mobile Banking Experience review is the largest and most unbiased evaluation in North America, known for its uncompromised facts and truth about true retail banking customer experiences and mobile journey. The differentiation between Surviscor reviews and all other review and ranking firms and individuals who claim to cover the Canadian banking industry is that Surviscor is the only ranking firm that includes both credit unions and neo banks in its public-facing reviews and evaluates all of them alongside the big banks which typically garner all the attention. The reviews are based on facts, and a lot of them, not on subjective, and often firm-sponsored or limited sample size results that are unfortunately all over the internet.

The Surviscor Mobile Banking Experience review was officially introduced in 2015 after a small review in 2013. The review explores a typical mobile device-based investor experience, including both the pre-login and login areas, that evaluates the mobile journey through each individual banking consumer's process and typical banking experience. The analysis primarily uses the available mainstream applications but also looks at a mobilized website experience if a dedicated application does not exist.

The Afterthought

Keep in mind that the depth of the Surviscor reviews means an environment of tough marking and firms being required to earn rankings not be given them by ghost writers or false marketing messages. In addition to being tough, Surviscor will also give credit where credit is due, and you can trust that the money Canadians work hard to make is being considered by identifying the premier digital banking partners who deserve consideration. The hope is that all Canadians hold each bank and credit union accountable to the highest standards of customer experience.

Learn More about Other Canadian Consumer Banking Experience Rankings

Rates and Fees Experience Rankings: 2022 Canada's Best and Worst Consumer Banking Rates and Fees Experiences

Service Experience Rankings: 2022 Canada's Best and Worst Consumer Banking Service Level Experiences

Online Experience Ranking: 2021 Canada's Best Online Banking Experiences

Surviscor Personalized Validation and Selection Tool scorChoice for Consumer Bankers and Online Investors to find their own #1 firm

Explore other Surviscor Rankings

This review is only one of many Surviscor yearly digital experience reviews for Online Self-Directed Brokerage and Consumer Banking firms. Take a look at your current firms, firms you always thought about using, and maybe you'll even find a new firm to consider.