Coronavirus causes spike in bank app downloads

Between 14 March and 14 April, around 12 per cent of the adult population in the UK - some six million people - downloaded their bank’s app for the first time.

This is according to a survey of 1,000 UK adults, commissioned by FinTech firm Nucoro, which led to an estimate that between those dates, around 200,000 people downloaded their bank’s app for the first time every day. Some 21 per cent of those aged 35 to 44 did this, as did just over five per cent of people aged 55 or more.

The rate of new downloads is now slowing down though. One in three of these new downloads happened between 14 and 21 March, compared to around 17 per cent between 7 and 14 April. A further six per cent of people who don’t yet have their bank’s app plan to download it over the next three months.

In terms of the level at which people are using their bank’s app overall, Nucoro’s research found that 22 per cent are using them more, compared to five per cent who have seen their use of them fall. Of those people who are using them more, 62 per cent have seen usage increase by over 10 per cent since the Coronavirus crisis, and 11 per cent are using them by over 50 per cent more.

Nikolai Hack, chief operating officer at Nucoro, said: “A combination of people going out less because of Coronavirus and their finances coming under growing pressure means many people are more worried about bills and money - this has clearly led to a surge in people downloading their bank’s app for the first time and people generally using them more to keep a closer eye on their finances.

“However, once the Coronavirus crisis passes, for many people the way they interact with their banks will have changed permanently," he continued. Many are increasingly happy to use apps, so there will be much more digital interaction - this will represent a strong opportunity for banks to improve customer service, reduce costs and cross sell more products and services such as investments and savings to their core banking clients.”

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