Banking, finance and payment apps this year have seen a
surge in activity as consumers use their mobile devices to help manage their
money. The time spent in banking and payment apps rose 8.9% to an average of
8.4 minutes this year from 7.7 minutes in 2019, per study results from app
marketing platform Adjust and analytics firm Apptopia.
Acorns, Gatsby and Stash are among the investment apps that
have seen a surge in activity this year. With more people trading securities on
their smartphones, investment apps saw an 88% jump in the average number of
daily user sessions from January to June. That growth was faster than the
increase for casual and hyper-casual games, the study found.
Financial institutions are seeing lower costs to acquire new
users, with the effective cost per install (eCPI) rate falling 77% from
February to May, a period when pandemic lockdowns were going into effect,
leading people to use banking and payment apps more often, according to the
study of more than 270 finance apps worldwide.
Financial services companies must offer a broader range of
services in their mobile apps as consumers use their smartphones to handle
everything from payments to stock trades during the pandemic. The health crisis
has led many banks, brokerages and investment advisers to either close their
offices temporarily or require employees to work from home, while many of their
customers have stayed at home to limit in-person contact. Those sudden changes
in behavior make apps more important in providing financial services,
especially to customers who may be facing economic hardship.
Adjust and Apptopia's study found several regional differences
in the usage of financial apps. Payment apps experienced an average 49% jump in
users sessions worldwide, with notable strength in Japan (75%), Germany (45%),
Turkey (39%), the U.S. (33%) and the U.K. (29%). Banking and payment apps
combined saw a 26% average jump in user activity, with the biggest growth in
Japan (142%), Germany (40%), Turkey (31%) and the U.S. (27%). Those results
indicate that consumers in several countries were more likely to rely on
financial apps during the pandemic.
Fintech apps experienced their strongest growth in Q2 as
many countries enacted lockdowns. Argentina saw a 72% jump in the time spent in
financial apps from a year earlier, faster than the 62% growth for Ukraine, 50%
for Russia and Brazil and 21% for Japan. Those differences may indicate that
lesser developed countries saw the biggest gains in usage from a smaller base,
but they signal that apps are becoming a more significant customer service
channel for financial services companies.
As lockdowns ease, consumers that have become more
accustomed to using apps for financial services may continue to do so, creating
an opportunity for these apps to expand their services. This week, popular
payments app Venmo launched its first credit card as it banks on its userbase to
expand into new areas.
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