Liftoff has released its annual Mobile Finance Apps Report in partnership with App Annie. The global COVID-19 pandemic drove a year of intense economic uncertainty, and users turned increasingly to mobile to help make sense of their financial standing.
This year’s report provides crucial insight into mobile finance app engagement, from the type and cost of activity across apps to geographic differences in consumer usage habits amid a year of global financial uncertainty.
This latest report analysed 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 to find the following:
- 2020 Trends: Finance app installs flourished in 2020, increasing by 15% compared to 2019. Users installed 4.6 billion finance apps globally and spent 16.3 billion hours in-app, up 45% from the previous year.
- APP Sessions: FinTech apps tend to be better at keeping users engaged, with top FinTech app sessions outperforming the best banking apps by a factor of up to 10.8x. In South Korea, the best FinTech apps average around 225 sessions per month.
- Cost Metrics: The cost of install ($2.45) and registration ($7.96) rose in 2020. Activations ($9.78) dropped by 5% versus the 2019 benchmark.
- Conversion Rates: Users activate more readily, as conversion rates (25.1%) increased a third from the previous year (19%). Meanwhile, registration conversion rates (30.8%) fell by a third compared to 2019 (46.2%).
- Platforms: Android offers marketers an opportunity. The cost of installs was 4.5x less expensive than iOS, and the cost of activations an astounding 8x less. Compounding this, Android users are as much as 2x more likely to convert.
In a year characterised by intense economic uncertainty, demand grew for finance apps across investing, banking, cash transfers and government aid.
Downloads increased in April globally amid widespread shutdowns, with the most significant surge occurring in December: a clear indication of the pandemic’s lasting impact on finances.
Time spent in these apps also spiked dramatically: 16.3 billion more hours were spent in finance apps in 2020, up 45% year-over-year (outside of China, where legislation in the peer-to-peer lending space limited use).
Notably, users took to FinTech apps with gusto, with FinTech outperforming even the best banking apps by a factor of up to 10.8x.
Investment and trading apps like Robinhood were among the top downloaded finance apps worldwide as many consumers took to day trading in the COVID era.
This trend was particularly pronounced in the US, where stay-at-home orders were widespread and generally lengthy: US mobile users spent 135% more time in the top five investment and trading apps in 2020 compared to 2019.
Canada and Mexico were close behind, with a 115% spike in time spent, and South Korea saw the greatest increase in the Asia Pacific region (APAC), with 120% growth. Indeed, this interest wasn’t exclusive to any one region – global time spent in these top five apps grew 55% year-over-year.
“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%,” explained Mark Ellis, CEO and co-founder of Liftoff. “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.”
In a Post-IDFA World, Android Offers Big Opportunities for Finance App Marketers
iOS has historically been a reliable choice for mobile markers, with high revenue and generally strong retention rates across the board. But in the finance app category, Android seems to be the platform to beat, with its performance in 2020 eclipsing that of iOS.
The platform’s performance in the finance app category eclipsed iOS in 2020, with a cost-per-install ranging from 4.5 to an astounding 7x less expensive than that of iOS. At the same time, Android users are as much as 2x more likely to convert.
With IDFA on the horizon and many marketers considering their options to drive the most value with their marketing efforts, Android offers finance app marketers a valuable opportunity.
“In 2021, more financial decisions are being made from our mobile devices than ever before, illustrating a powerful shift in consumer decision making. Time spent in finance apps grew 45% year over year globally outside of China in 2020 — including retail banking, investment and trading apps, loans, retirement funds, government payment apps, FinTech apps, and more,” says Lexi Sydow, Head of Marketing Insights, App Annie.
Stock market participation soared in 2020 amidst financial headwinds and market concerns from COVID-19, and consumers turned to apps, with time spent in top investment apps up 55% worldwide and 135% in the US. Top FinTech apps outperformed top banking apps by a factor of up to 10.8x in key markets across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.”
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