Banking On Mobile Up 35-85% Thanks To Coronavirus (After 1 Trillion App Opens In 2019)

via Forbes

Banking and finance apps had a big 2019. Thanks to Coronavirus, they’re likely to have an even bigger 2020.

Consumers accessed finance apps over one trillion times and registration in apps grew 71% in 2019, according to a report released today by Liftoffand App Annie. Now, thanks to Coronavirus and shutdowns, that growth is accelerating.

Breakout finance apps of 2019, including Google Pay, PayPal, PhonePe, and Cash App.
Breakout finance apps of 2019, including Google Pay, PayPal, PhonePe, and Cash App. LIFTOFF AND APP ANNIE

“In the U.S. we saw 35% growth in time spent in finance apps overall from the week of December 29 to peak week in March (Mar 15, 2020),” a Liftoff representative told me via email. “Japan and South Korea have also seen phenomenal growth in time spent finance apps at 85% for the same time period.”

It’s not shocking.

If you can’t go to the bank thanks to COVID-19 shutdowns, the bank has to come to you. And the easiest way to do that, for many, is via a mobile app.

Among the global leaders is Google Pay, which grew the most in Russia and in France. Tex was a leader in India, and Cash App, along with Zelle and Venmo, grew the most in the U.S.. PC Financial and Scotiabank were the top fintech apps in Canada, along with Credit Karma, while China Individual Income Tax and JD Finance led the leaderboard in China.

The good news for consumers is they can bank wherever and whenever they want. The good news for banks and fintech startups is that it’s getting easier and cheaper to onboard new customers to their mobile experiences.

According to the report, which analyzed 22 billion ad impressions, seven million app installs, and five million first-time events in 117 different banking and fintech apps, conversion costs — what it costs to get an app install — dropped by over 76%. Meanwhile, registration rates rose by more than 71%. 

In other words, it’s cheaper to get app installs and more of your app installs are resulting in a sign-up or activation.

And, according to Liftoff, that’s resulting in more time spent in fintech apps. Popular budgeting and banking app Mint, for example, has seen a 20% increase in monthly active users.

Year-over-year growth of finance and banking app downloads
Year-over-year growth of finance and banking app downloads LIFTOFF

As we’re seeing in other areas of the economy, digital transformation is accelerating thanks to Coronavirus. 

“Consumers are turning to finance apps at record levels amidst volatility in the market and uncertainty over the economy,” the Liftoff representative said.

Still, tough times are ahead.

While people may have downloaded and installed banking and finance apps more than ever before, with unemployment rates skyrocketing, there’s less money to invest and manage. That could make things more challenging over the next three to six months.

The full report is available here.

by John Koetsier