4 Best Apps for Banking Abroad (or Travelling with Banking Apps)

Photo Credit: Creative CommonsBanking apps enable you to use your mobile phone to keep an eye on your finances whilst travelling – but not every bank has nailed mobile banking. The leading apps are easy to use and offer robust features that give you all the info you need at glance and enable you to make transfers and payments with the minimum of fuss.

According to Misys, a leading financial software company, banks must strive to “allow customers to engage via different channels throughout the sales process,” but banks are still catching up with this fast-growing technology. So which banks do offer the best mobile banking platforms?


The Spanish giant gets almost everything right when it comes to mobile banking and offers more features than most banks. You can check your balance, make payments, report lost or stolen cards and find the nearest branch to you in an unfamiliar city. Its beacon however is that you can set an alert to notify you when your account falls below a pre-determined amount.

However, Santander’s app is not perfect. One major gripe that could be easily fixed is that it does not give you a balance on your statements, only the ins and outs. Also, if you want to make a payment you have to set up the payee via online banking before you can make a transfer using your mobile.

Photo Credit: Creative CommonsBarclays Mobile Banking

If we were dishing out awards for the best mobile banking app, Barclays would be in with a good shout of taking the crown. This feature-loaded app supports accounts for both business and personal users and is as easy to navigate as their online banking circuit.

You can actually do practically everything on the app that you can online. The only exceptions are payee setup and paying credit card bills. The app also lets you contact the bank directly and the call centre automatically recognises who you are.

BBVA Compass

Another mobile banking leader is BBVA which provides a user-friendly app which allows you to check your cheques and make credit card payments directly from your handset.

Another bonus is that you do not have to enrol for online banking to use the app and it is widely available on every mobile platform including Kindle Fire, something which most other banking apps cannot offer. The only downside for UK residents is that the French bank does not have any branches outside London.


Photo Credit: Creative CommonsThe outstanding feature of the Halifax banking app is that it allows you to make payments to new payees without having to log into your online account – something which its competitors do not offer.

If the Halifax app does have a fault it is that you have to scroll down to see your credit card balance, although you can see all your current accounts, savings and mortgage on the webpage.

Mobile apps make banking easier when you are away from home so you can easily and conveniently keep a close check on your spending. When travelling abroad with electronic equipment, remember to take your adaptors and set your phone to flight mode when aboard a plane.