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10 Best Mobile Banking Apps In Canada for 2023

Mobile banking apps make managing and accessing your funds more convenient anytime and anywhere.

These applications help you pay bills, deposit cheques, transfer funds and even withdraw from an ATM with the help of your mobile device.

This article covers a list of mobile banking apps from Canada’s best banks and Fintech companies. Continue reading to learn the all-in-one banking app best suited to your needs.

Key Takeaways

  • Some of the best free mobile banking apps in Canada are KOHO, EQ Bank, Simplii Financial and Wise.
  • The best banking app features you should prioritize are advanced security measures, financial planning and tracking tools, and real-time app notifications.
  • Mobile banking presents potential downsides, such as its reliance on the internet and the associated risks of cybercrimes.

Best Free Online Banking Apps In Canada

1. KOHO

Despite not being provided by a bank, KOHO has some of the best banking app features. It gives you access to a reloadable prepaid Mastercard, which you can use to earn cash back, build your credit, and earn interest on your savings and spending account.

Its base version is completely free. But if you want to take this app up a notch, its Extra plan only costs $9 monthly or $84 annually.

When you sign up here, you get a $20 welcome bonus. A downside, however, is that some businesses don’t accept prepaid cards.

Ratings:

  • Google Play: 4.6/5.0
  • iOS App Store: 4.8/5.0

2. EQ Bank

EQ Bank is a digital bank that offers all its banking services through its mobile application and online website. It offers various financial products, including general savings, Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA), Registered Savings Plans (RSP), guaranteed investments, and more.

With the EQ Bank app, you can transfer funds, pay bills, deposit cheques and send money on the go. You also have the choice to buy GIC in seconds with this mobile app.

Remember, though, that when using EQ Bank, you won’t have access to in-person support for your banking needs as it doesn’t have physical branches.

Ratings:

  • Google Play: 2.9/5.0
  • iOS App Store: 4.7/5.0

3. Tangerine

Tangerine offers one of the best free online banking apps in Canada.

Its top features include secured biometric identification, easy mobile wallet addition, ATM locators, and helpful money-management tools.

As a digital bank, however, Tangerine doesn’t offer in-person support or branches, which can be an issue if you conduct lots of cash transactions.

Ratings:

  • Google Play: 4.5/5.0
  • iOS App Store: 4.7/5.0

4. Simplii Financial

Simplii Financial is another mobile banking app under the management of CIBC.

This digital bank offers many free features, including a chequing account that allows unlimited transactions and sending money internationally with zero transfer fees. Moreover, you can also apply for a personal line of credit.

Unfortunately, despite Simplii Financial being under the management of CIBC, you can’t visit CIBC branches for your Simplii Financial’s banking needs. Hence, expect to have no in-person support for your banking needs.

When you open a Simplii account and meet the eligibility conditions, you get a $400 bonus.

Ratings:

  • Google Play: 3.8/5.0
  • iOS App Store: 4.1/5.0

5. Scotiabank

Here’s a mobile banking app offered by one of the best banks in Canada.

Scotiabank mobile banking aims to make your everyday transactions more accessible and secure with its next-level security features, mobile cheque deposits, and budgeting tools.

It also makes mobile banking highly accessible with its dynamic font sizing customizations and TalkBank/VoiceOver compatibility.

Heads up, though, some users have been experiencing log in issues with the Scotiabank mobile banking app lately.

Ratings:

  • Google Play: 4.8/5.0
  • iOS App Store: 4.7/5.0

6. BMO

BMO, one of the best banks in Canada, also offers an excellent mobile banking app for its users.

Some of its main features include overviewing your account’s standing at a glance, transferring funds in seconds, and setting up current or future-dated bill payments. You may also book appointments and find the nearest BMO branches and ATMs through this app.

It’s an overall great application. However, there have been reports of the BMO mobile banking app not sending in-app notifications despite the said feature being enabled.

Ratings:

  • Google Play: 4.2/5.0
  • iOS App Store: 4.6/5.0

7. CIBC

Another all-in-one banking app that millions of Canadians use is CIBC mobile banking.

You can use this application to apply for bank accounts, set up payments, conduct Interac e-Transfer transactions, and quickly search for nearby branches and their working hours. For frequent travellers, CIBC also offers its Travel Tools, which help you convert currencies and get a hold of emergency numbers in the country you’re visiting.

Unfortunately, CIBC’s mobile banking app’s interface is not so intuitive. So, using it for the first couple of days could be confusing.

Ratings:

  • Google Play: 3.9/5.0
  • iOS App Store: 4.3/5.0

8. RBC

Another member of the best banks in Canada, RBC, also offers a mobile banking app wrapped in an intuitive workflow.

On top of regular mobile banking transactions, this application offers NOMI, a feature that gives you personalized tips on improving your current financial standings. Hence, you’ll make saving money easier and more manageable.

Note, though, that this mobile bank limits its 2FA authentication to SMS messages, which some find rather inconvenient.

Ratings:

  • Google Play: 3.6/5.0
  • iOS App Store: 4.8/5.0

9. PC Financial

Like other banking apps, PC Financial lets you see your transactions and account balances in seconds. However, what sets it apart is its outstanding ability to let you personalize alerts and set budget goals according to your preferences.

It stands out thanks to its customizing capabilities, but sometimes, it glitches, so it might log you out randomly.

Ratings:

  • Google Play: 4.4/5.0
  • iOS App Store: 4.7/5.0

10. Wise

Wise is the home for some of the best banking app features focused on international money transfers. It allows you to send and receive money from over 170 countries, using 50 different currencies, while maintaining accurate real-time exchange rates.

Money transfers are instantaneous over half the time, and you get a debit card that allows you to spend and withdraw money in over 200 countries.

Ratings:

  • Google Play: 4.8/5.0
  • iOS App Store: 4.6/5.0

What Are Mobile Banking Apps?

Mobile banking apps are applications for mobile devices that allow users to conduct and manage their financial transactions. These apps aim to make banking more convenient by letting you do financial activities, such as transferring funds, paying bills, and checking your balance, without visiting your bank’s branch.

Most banks and many Fintech companies in Canada provide users access to mobile banking apps. However, each app’s features and security measures vary depending on the bank.

Best Banking App Features

Advanced Security Measures

While mobile banking offers a more convenient approach to managing your finances, it also comes with steep risks of exposing yourself to cyber theft or hacking.

Because of the high risks of mobile banking, one of the best features to look out for is advanced security measures. Those may include two-factor authentication, passwords, or biometric verifications.

Financial Planning And Tracking

Some of the best mobile banking apps also double as a budgeting tool thanks to features that help users track and plan how they allocate their funds.

This is an incredibly convenient feature, as your spendings are already automatically recorded when you pay using your credit or debit card.

Cheque Deposits

Despite the rise of direct deposits and P2P transactions, cheques are still widely used in Canada. Hence, depositing your cheques online is one of the most sought-after features of mobile banking.

Real-time App notifications

Receiving real-time notifications about your financial transactions lets you promptly detect any fraudulent activity and notify your bank, thus preventing potential damage to your finances.

With this feature, you’ll also be always updated about your financial standing. Hence, allocating funds for your next transactions or savings will be much easier.

Pros And Cons Of Mobile Banking Apps

Pros:

  • 24/7 access to your bank account 
  • A convenient way to do daily banking transactions
  • Real-time monitoring of your transactions stops suspicious activities early
  • Enjoy value-added services for your financial needs, such as budgeting or travel tools.

Cons:

  • An Internet connection is necessary to use mobile banking apps
  • You risk exposing your money to cybercrimes such as hacking and phishing
  • Non-tech-savvy users might have a hard time adjusting to mobile applications

How To Choose The Best Mobile Banking App

The best mobile banking app for you depends on your specific banking needs. After all, each mobile app offers varying sets of features and has its own pros and cons.

For example, many recommend the Wise app if you often need to send money internationally. However, since it doesn’t have a physical branch in Canada, it won’t be the best choice if you frequently seek in-person support when banking.

That said, the first step to choosing the best mobile bank is to note what you need the application for. After that, compare your needs to the features offered by various mobile banking apps, and choose the application that can cater to your financial needs the most.

FAQs

Can I open a virtual bank account in Canada?

Yes, you can open a virtual bank in Canada. There are several digital banks available in the country, and most traditional brick-and-mortar banks also offer mobile banking services to their users.

What is the most used payment app in Canada?

Apple Pay is one of the most used payment apps in Canada. This app is exclusive to Apple devices, but according to Statista, most Canadian residents own an iOS smartphone.

What money transfer apps does Canada have? 

Canada has many money transfer apps. Some of the best ones are Wise, Simplii Financial, Remitly, PayPal and Western Union.

How safe are mobile banking apps?

Mobile banking apps in Canada are highly secure thanks to the extensive security measures of their developers. However, no technology is entirely foolproof, so it’s always best to learn how to use mobile banking apps safely.

Related: BMO Performance Plan Chequing Account Review

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Author

Gravatar for Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)
Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

Enoch Omololu is a personal finance expert and a veterinarian. He has a master’s degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School (Scotland) and has completed several courses and certificates in finance, including the Canadian Securities Course. He also has an MSc. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Manitoba and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan. Enoch is passionate about helping others win with their finances and has been writing about money matters for over a decade. He has been featured or quoted in Forbes, The Globe and Mail, Winnipeg Free Press, Wealthsimple, CBC News, Financial Post, Toronto Star, CTV News, Canadian Securities Exchange, Credit Canada, National Post, and many other personal finance publications. You can learn more about him on the About Page.

His top investment tools include Wealthsimple and Questrade. He earns cash back on purchases using KOHO, monitors his credit score for free using Borrowell, and earns interest on savings through EQ Bank.

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  • Earn up to 225x more than other banks!
  • Get 2.25% interest rate* on every dollar.
  • No monthly fees and unlimited free transactions ($5 bonus).
Interest is calculated daily on the total closing balance and paid monthly. Rates are per annum and subject to change without notice.
  • Earn up to 225x more than other banks!
  • Get 2.25% interest rate* on every dollar.
  • No monthly fees & unlimited transactions.
Interest is calculated daily on the total closing balance and paid monthly. Rates are per annum and subject to change without notice.