FinTech apps outperform banks during pandemic

The pandemic drove a 15 per cent spike in FinTech app use during 2020, with 4.6 billion downloads as consumers sought to take control of their finances amid the uncertainty.

A report from mobile and data analytics platform App Annie and mobile app marketing firm Liftoff found that FinTech apps outperformed even the most highly rated banking apps by a factor of up to 10.8 times over the course of 2020.

The report is based on analysis of 57 billion ad impressions across 81 million clicks, 12 million app installs, and 20 million first-time events in 188 apps for the full 2020 calendar year.

It found that investment and trading apps like Robinhood were among the top downloaded finance apps worldwide as many consumers took to day trading and alternative investment activities as interest rates remained low.

Finance apps downloads outpaced overall downloads by 2x from January to December, with the rate increasing in April globally amid widespread shutdowns, with the most significant surge occurring in December.

Time spent in these apps also spiked dramatically with 16.3 billion more hours spent in finance apps in 2020, up 45 per cent year-over-year (outside of China, where legislation in the peer-to-peer lending space limited use), the report said.

Commenting on the findings, Mark Ellis, chief executive and co-founder of Liftoff, said: “COVID-19 and the ensuing financial uncertainty resulted in users spending massive amounts of time on finance apps throughout 2020, and more readily activating in-app, with rates up a third to 25.1 per cent.”

“With many exploring new financial interests, marketers may want to consider tactics that offer resources to nascent users, encouraging retention and increasing confidence in in-app actions.”

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