Surviscor Canadian Online Brokerage Experience Reviews - Surviscor and Partnership

A Look Into the 2024 MoneySense Best Online Banks and Credit Unions in Canada Rankings

TD Canada Trust takes the top spot in the Inaugural MoneySense Best Online Bank and Credit Unions Review

TD Canada Trust gets the nod for MoneySense's Best Online Bank in Canada in the 2024, narrowly beating out fellow big bank rivals CIBC and RBC Royal Bank. The review analyzed hundreds of data points at firms across the Canadian digital banking space, including traditional banks, credit unions, co-operatives and neo/branchless banks.

The inaugural review was written by our President and CEO, Glenn LaCoste, and powered by Surviscor's extensive data but the methodology used for the MoneySense review is different that the methodology used in our first ever proprietary Digital Banking Review that was also launched in 2024. The methodology was re-designed for you, the average day-to-day digital-based banking consumer, to provide a comprehensive look at different areas of banking experiences, allowing you to better - and easily - narrow in on where you would like to learn based on your personal needs and preferences.

The review provides digital banking customers of all ages with the real truths to help make informed choices between the merits and weaknesses of each online banking firm and as usual, the review does not hold punches. Each firm is graded and called out for both its strengths and weaknesses, something that we take pride in at Surviscor, and the goal is to update the rankings yearly. Whatever your banking needs, challenge yourself to explore other firms and Explore the Pros and Cons at Each Firm to ensure you fully understand if you are partnering with a firm for the right reasons.

Are you aware that you have an abundance of digital-based banking choices outside of the popular, and traditional, big banks? Hopefully you do but if not, this analysis will open your mind to more choices including regional-based credit unions and co-operatives, and neo or branchless virtual banks

Glenn LaCoste - Surviscor President and CEO

2024 MoneySense Best Online Banking Rankings

It's important not to confuse digital banking with digital bank. Digital banking refers to our use of phones, tablets, laptops and desktops for banking, and every firm in this review offers digital banking. Most of the neo/branchless banks are discount subsidiaries of a larger bricks and mortar firm; they do not have branches for you to visit or use, and they offer either full or partial traditional banking services. The analysis also includes credit unions and Desjardins - a co-operative that is hugely popular in Quebec and stands in a category of its own.

Here is the list of the best online banking firms in Canada ranking for 2024 which is derived by drilling down into the four pillars of investor experiences at each firm - desktop platform, mobile platform, rates and fees and service availability and responsiveness

2024 RankBanking Firm# of PointsRead Company Review
1TD Canada Trust72 ptsView Pros & Cons
2CIBC70 ptsView Pros & Cons
3RBC Royal Bank68 ptsView Pros & Cons
4Desjardins44 ptsView Pros & Cons
5National Bank38 ptsView Pros & Cons
6Scotiabank34 ptsView Pros & Cons
7BMO Bank of Montreal33 ptsView Pros & Cons
8Coast Capital Savings31 ptsView Pros & Cons
9Tangerine27 ptsView Pros & Cons
10Conexus Credit Union25 ptsView Pros & Cons
11Meridian Credit Union22 ptsView Pros & Cons
12motusbank16 ptsView Pros & Cons
13Simplii Financial14 ptsView Pros & Cons
T-14ATB Financial10 ptsView Pros & Cons
T-14Manulife Bank10 ptsView Pros & Cons
16Servus Credit Union8 ptsView Pros & Cons
T-17Alterna Savings7 ptsView Pros & Cons
T-17EQ Bank7 ptsView Pros & Cons
T-19Motive Financial6 ptsView Pros & Cons
T-19Vancity6 ptsView Pros & Cons
21Alterna Bank5 ptsView Pros & Cons
T-22Laurentian Bank4 ptsView Pros & Cons
T-22PC Financial4 ptsView Pros & Cons
24 - LastBlueshore Financial72 ptsView Pros & Cons

Read the in-depth 2024 MoneySense Best Online Banks and Credit Unions Analysis to learn more about the overall best and worst firms and a breakdown of each of the 10 categories that contributed to the overall rankings.

Go to the Methodology Used

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Key Excerpts from the 2024 Review

Blind Trust in Banks

The majority of Canadians love and trust banks - sometimes blindly. It's unclear if this loyalty stems from familiarity, tradition, or a general lack of trust in financial institutions. But many Canadians stick with big banks, even when they know they might find lower costs and fees elsewhere. The reality is that there are many exceptional banking firms across Canada.

Desktops the Key to Overall Experience

As far as we are concerned, every banking firm should have a desktop-based platform. You should steer clear of those that don't regardless of your affinity for using your phone for all day-to-day activities. The bottom line is desktop offers more features and functionalities than mobile at almost every firm, and you never know what you don't need until you actually do need it.

Don't Listen to Less is More Messages

But that often isn't the case. Many firms offer fewer features and functionalities on handheld devices than on desktop. Why? Our answer is simply that they choose to. Firms have decided what you want to do on a handheld device, and they market fewer features and less functionality as being better for you.

Beware App Store Ratings

Here's another word of advice when it comes to comparing mobile apps: don't treat Apple Store and Google Play ratings as gospel. These review ratings can be manipulated, and they often emphasize superficial usability factors rather than the comprehensive features and functionality of the app.

Evolution of Customer Service

Prior to digital adoption, customer service was measured by evaluating email, face-to-face and phone interactions between a customer and a service provider. Today, the measurement extends beyond those three types and includes form-based interactions, live chat, virtual assistants, and social media interactions, as well as the ability to book in-person or virtual meetings using digital platforms. It appears that as one method becomes too expensive or poorly serviced, another so-called innovative, marketing-hyped method is introduced with no improvements to the overall service experience.

Service is on a Slippery Slope

Customer service finds itself on a slippery slope. We feel that digital banking firms are prioritizing servicing customers where it is convenient for them - not their customers. For example, virtual assistants are marketed as leading-edge, but are really just a kind of interactive FAQ.

Customer Service is Declining

Overall, despite the increased methods of interacting, our data shows that Canadians are receiving less overall customer service today than a decade ago. For example, in 2023, the consumer banking industry responded to our mystery shopping inquiries in 49 hours on average, up from 34 hours in 2014. A deeper dive into the average of the top 15 firms indicates a 122% rise in response time over that period.

Big Banks Cost More

It's not easy to find the best suited rates and fees on your banking products, considering all the options available today. The gloomy reality is: if you think your big bank provides overall competitive rates and fees, you are very mistaken. The smaller firms offer aggressively low rates and fees to gain traction with Canadians. Larger firms market the whole experience of being a customer and entice you with additional add-ons to mostly distract from the less competitive rates that they offer.

Big Banks Offer More Accounts and Products

The big banks tend to excel over other firms when it comes to digitally opening an account due mainly to the breadth of accounts and products they offer.

Big Banks Excel at Account Information and Management

Account information and management experience accounts for a large portion of the main activities performed on desktop and mobile, including reviewing your balances, past transactions, and account details. The big banks tend to excel over the other firms in this category, but all firms struggle to offer the same features and functionality and level of excellence on both of their digital platforms.

Big Banks Excel at Digital Transactions

Digital transactional experience accounts for a large portion of the main activities performed on desktop and mobile. The big banks tend to excel over the other firms when it comes to digital transactions experiences.

Educational Resources are Lacking

A few big banks tend to provide the best educational experiences. The industry as a whole could do a better job at providing more targeted resources and ensuring the educational experience translates to mobile platforms.

Account Analysis and Budgeting Tools are Weak

There are many firms in the account analysis and budgeting experience race, but the fact is that not many of them do it very well. Only 50% of the firms examined offer some level of coverage and only 25% of them offer what we would call a legitimate account analytics tool that has budgeting and planning features that are based on actual transactional data.

Use the 2024 MoneySense Online Banks and Credit Union Comparison Chart to gauge the differences of key every day banking items amongst all the firms

The MoneySense Methodology

Our staff completed a features and functionality questionnaire of nearly 8,000 questions for each firm in the review, covering both desktop and mobile platforms, while performing hundreds of typical user tasks on each individual digital platform. We also analyzed the firms' rates and fees across five products and reviewed 147 service interactions over a 12-month period ending on December 31, 2023.

Each firm was assigned a score based on its ranking within the 10 sections of our review (10 points for first place; 9 for second; 8 for third; 7 for fourth; 6 for fifth; 5 for sixth; 4 four seventh; 3 for eight; 2 for ninth and 1 for tenth), and the overall score represents the sum of the awarded sections.

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.