* If you get bored about blah blah blah, go to session “The Contest” to see the results by topics, much easier than read a whole context.

About the post

This is the first post from a serie that will (weekly) explore many aspects around Bankings in Canada in the following order:

  1. Customer experience at first sight – account opening to daily mobile banking
  2. Internet Banking and an overview about security
  3. Saving accounts, mobility and investments. How the products work
  4. Choosing your the right bank


According to the Canadian Bankers Association, 99% of Canadians have a Bank account, what suggest that Banking technology is near almost each citizen in this country.  

Following the changes, Banks in Canada, that represents about 3.3% of the GDP, still investing more than 9 billion dollars each year in technology. To follow these investments, this analysis is guided to observe the contrast among the Canadian Banks and a Worldwide comparison, seeing through the customer’s eyes, and reporting a real experience about account opening process and daily using mobile banking.

As a newcomer and lover, I have to experience this wine: aroma, texture, appearance, aftertaste; I mean: customer experience, materials, technology, security, and treatment.


Let’s experience it! But how?!

As a general information, Canada has a wide pool of banks (about 80) and most of them are small and focused in the farmers. The comparison scope is around the five largest banks in Canada with the most amount of capital in assets, and the two more recognized digital banks. The reason of this choice is connected to the opportunity about analyse Banks with exponential growth and have consistent IT investment related, the digital banks, and also a pool of the most used mobile and Internet Bankings through the largest chosen. There is the list:

  1. Royal Bank of Canada – RBC
  2. Toronto-Dominion Bank – TD
  3. Bank of Nova Scotia – Scoatiabank
  4. Bank of Montreal – BMO
  5. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)
  6. President’s Choice – PC Financial
  7. Tangerine (fastest grew recently)

The following informations about the Canadian day-by-day are also important to give a background before the comparison, once it’s is possible to change a point of view:

  • Rental fee: Most of the apartments are leased by companies and most companies only accept Cheque, Money Order and cash.
  • E-transfer: there is no “account number” to send easily money to another bank. The most accepted way to send money is through e-mail transfer. The process is simple and most people are really familiar with this concept. There is no account number!
  • Cash still in usage. There are few people who still using cash to pay daily expenses. In some cases, this is encouraged by limiting transactions or charging them.

The equipments to make this research was a MacBook Air and an iPhone 6, both with the latest version to all softwares, including all mobile apps, in Jun-22-2016. All versions of software updated after this date can not reflect the review reported below.

“The Contest”

In general the to be a customer among the Banks have almost the same steps: give information, sign a contract, get a tool (card or other), and start the transactions and daily usage. There is two focus: in the process to Opening Acoount category and Technology to daily usage of mobile.

The concept of Customer Experience focuses on the emotional, psychological and physical aspects related to the experience of a customer on interacting with a Brand or Company, it means the way the customer feels about the interaction, or according to Gartner, “the practice of designing and reacting to customer interactions to meet or exceed customer expectations and, thus, increase customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy.”

Opening Account Process – Customer Experience


Fast and pleasurable. In general about thirty minutes to one hour, between the first contact, through delivery the documents and have the card and passwords set ready for use. No exception, all the account managers were solicitous and with a large repertoire to answer about many questions. The negative spot goes to Scotiabank, once they needed an appointment and they had failed in their appointment. The positive spot goes to Tangerine, because the whole process was 100% online and faster than the average, about 20 min, also saving the travel time.


During the opening operation, a wide options of plans were showed, most of them based on documents (as study plans) and savings (as investor plans) that will make the person a customer. The factor that draws attention is that most of the banks offer some types of plan that limit the transactions like debit and withdraw around 25 transactions, and also indicate to the customer that get a big amount of cash and use it as day-by-day expenses. In the wrong way, doing this incentives, they lose data of their customer expenses and behavior and also lose in intraday rates (Particularity, I didn’t understand).


Fast and Works. During the process most of the Banks gave a Card to start transactions instantly, and this card number also allows access to Internet Banking and Mobile Banking. Breaking the general concept, RBC gave a plastic card, with numbers in blue pen to throw away after a week, when the definitive card arrives.  Tangerine, as an online banking, sent to the residence, disallowing any shopping personally in the first days, but also completely without human interactions.


The most obnoxious experience about connection with tools was about do not use any biometry at all. None of banks works with biometry, and so, no one of them set this information in the beginning. Generally, people can not get cash without their cards and documents, there is no other option unless carry a wallet to pay something and get cash. In other banks around the world, new tech are at the customer service, allowing them get cash without their cards and phones, just understanding their bodies as veins map and fingerprints in ATM machines, what give to this banks advantage in supporting unexpected situations in their customer’s life.


In this category there is no uniform answer, in contrast to Tangerine, PC Financial, and RBC what gave no paper or only one paper sheet; TD, BMO and CIBC gave a bunch of papers plus folder, what is understandable to carry the contracts but also an assassination with the nature and only make them keep high unnecessary expenses. Between the two digital banks, that being digital encourage not using paper, PC Financial has some paper folders to explain basic products as Chequing and Saving accounts, and their rates while Tangerine only offers a coffee house with people to help you personally, showing and experiencing whatever the customer doubt is, no paper at all.

Clustering all the factors, the experience was rich in all the locations with Scotiabank as an exception, may vary according to generation and values of the person who is experiencing it. As a digital person, I liked most the digital environment that Tangerine offers.

Usability – Mobile Tech Profile

According to the CWTA acts, a company that study trends in the Canadian Market, the estimated grow of mobile data usage is about 600% until 2020, already following an approximated 42% rate each year that is already happend. This rates shows plainly spoken the importance of mobile to the Bank’s Market in the future, and also how customer experience will be affected by this numbers. The explanation ahead, shows nowadays experiences by factors in this context:


The basic transactions considered, each bank well fulfill it role, offering services as: Access Balance, Saving Acounts, Payments, Interac and e-transfer, e-Deposits, contacts, and nearby branch locator. This umbrella of basic needs are covered and well rated by consumers as Capgemini rate of bank customer satisfaction in Canada. All activities related as Basics, Banks make happen with less than 2 clicks after authentication, which don’t let the customer with a feeling that it’s difficult, likewise sounds easy, sounds simple.

On the other hand, some banks are audacious and offer a compliment to the basics through other factors as possible see in the other topics.


The alternative way that the application provides to the customer that allow them to be hear in their hesitation, concern or doubt.

Screen Shot 2016-06-26 at 8.18.47 AM.png

Tangerine shows an innovative, quick and near way to being present in their customer’s needs, following the international trends. This type of interaction affects even in the internal culture of the company and generally is not easy to be deployed. But in my opinion sounds really old fashion don’t have chat in app among the 5 biggest.

Complementary services

Some banks are proactive in providing things that are not in their customer’s needs pool, but in their customer wants, giving early and holding the customer loyalty through making the difference in their lives.

Screen Shot 2016-06-26 at 8.20.28 AM.png

Integration with Apple Products

According with MobileSyrup, the current number of iPhone is proportionally the largest share in the mobile market in Canada, with 38.3% against the second position Samsung with 32.4%. About having a notable usage, the analysis is done by this integration and offered features on bank mobile apps.  

Screen Shot 2016-06-26 at 8.21.28 AM

* The iPhone 6 came with a more accurate touch ID than iPhone 5s, what makes it trustful enough to be used as a security authentication, however still without recognition if the finger still alive, and can be tricked by a fake finger, which is among the risk accepted standards in Canada, but not in other countries.

Apple users Rate: It’s a common sense among the companies that most customers show more their complaints than their good feelings in app rates, thus systems are more biased to have opinion from dissatisfied people than the opposite.

Screen Shot 2016-06-26 at 8.22.20 AM.png

★ Complete star ; ☆ Half star

Considering the size of this market and the low number of rates to CIBC and BMO, is not possible to draw a conclusion. On the other hand, RBC has an average rate, overcoming weakly the ordinary, but not exceeding expectations while Tangerine start running to better rates.


As instructed by customer experience concepts, the subject analysis matter. Factors as “response time” can be countable, but not by an user; however there is other types of feelings as “pleasurable” that hardly can be scored, but not exactly measured in numbers. Therefore, follows in a more subjective analysis purposely about General perception: interface, colors, and impressions about the distribution of artifacts on the screen.

Screen Shot 2016-06-26 at 8.23.44 AM.png

* Important factor to be considered: this information reflects a non-exhaustive usage of this apps, what can contain errors about how their operation.
** CIBC and PC Financial are business related and use similar features in their Mobile app.

More supplementary informations can be found in the attachment Table Comparison.


As a result of the customer experience in opening account process, was observed a fast way since delivery documents to have the card in hands; all in the first contact. This assertiveness allows to start transactions quickly and with a well-connected digital portfolio. In all aspects for each bank, tech works really well and is operated by people incredibly trustful and well surrounded by knowledge. However, tree improvement opportunity were observed: Firstly, about learning how to work in a more ecologically way, spending less papers which can also affect positively their daily costs. Secondly the use of biometry, understanding not just the customer’s mind but the customer’s body, connecting with them in a deeply way; Subsequently that people are using more and more electronic media to make their daily activity, contradictorily most Banks have plans that charge for transactions.

About tech profile, all banks do basics in a great manner. All of them have integration with unless one aspect of Apple products. Highlight can be observed to two Banks (RBC and TD) that offer a wallet, providing more than just customer needs, and it’s also good way to make their customer gripped in their financial lives and loyal with their technologies. Overall in this category, Tangerine is a step ahead, providing a closer contact with their customer and showing transparency through chat and updated rates online and also supporting a friendly environmental idea of non using paper.

Starkly, I noticed some product features versus incentives that do not seem yet to make much sense, but this topic is for one of the next posts.

Different than in Brazil, here I’m not “Personnalité”or “Van Gogh” any more to experience this situation here. However, I clearly put Tangerine a step forward after analyse it.

Next Steps

The following posts will be about:

  1. Internet Banking and an overview about security
  2. Saving accounts, mobility and investments. How the products work
  3. Choosing your the right bank


“Canadian Bankers Association – Association Des Banquiers Canadiens.”Canadian Bankers Association – Association Des Banquiers Canadiens. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 June 2016.

Dodds, Don. “What Is Customer Experience?” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, n.d. Web. 24 June 2016.

“Customer Experience Management What It Is and Why It Matters.” SAS The Power to Know. SAS, n.d. Web. 24 June 2016.

“Apple Tops Samsung in Canadian Smartphone Market Share: ComScore.”MobileSyrupcom. MobileSyrupcom, n.d. Web. 24 June 2016.


Table Comparison – Unused elements for textual comparison:

Screen Shot 2016-06-26 at 8.25.09 AM

This post may be updated with complements.