Toronto-based Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) earned top marks in mobile banking functionality among Canada's Big Five banks as well as best mobile usability worldwide in Forrester Research Inc.'s 2017 Mobile Banking Benchmark.

Forrester evaluated the functionality and usability of mobile services offered by Toronto-based Bank of Montreal (BMO), Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), CIBC, Bank of Nova Scotia and TD Canada Trust as part of a larger study on leading retail banks across the world.

Following CIBC's lead, with a combined functionality and usability rating of 80 out of 100, are Scotiabank (70), RBC (67), TD (67) and BMO (58).

Forrester lauds CIBC for offering clients a wide range of options to interact with the bank, including smartphone and tablet apps, wearable technology and services delivered via third-party messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger.

CIBC also received top ratings for its mobile cross-channel guidance and navigation. Furthermore, the bank was praised for its recently launched in-app voice commands enabling clients to access multiple banking tasks and use voice prompts to explore products and services.

Other mobile functions, such as the ability to order foreign cash, buy precious metals, book in-branch appointments and offer pre-paid cards, also boosted CIBC's mobile banking scores.

"We believe Forrester's recognition speaks directly to how CIBC continues to build a complete end-to-end personalized mobile banking experience that puts the client first," says Aayaz Pira, senior vice president of CIBC digital retail and business banking, in a statement.

Canadian banks across the board are succeeding in encouraging mobile transactions and payments, the report says. However, many banks are not up to speed with their in-app service options, such as updating personal information and reporting fraudulent activity.

"Our benchmark reveals a relatively sorry state for Canadians looking to complete service tasks in banks' apps," the report says. "In addition, too many Canadian banks still do not offer contextual help or app-wide search."

The report advises that leading banks worldwide have developed strong relationships between digital business strategy and technology management teams in addition to "an agile approach of experimenting, measuring, and quickly adjusting [to help] drive success."

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