The Mobile Finance Report 2019 highlights the high-growth markets for banking apps and details the benchmarks and metrics marketers must aim for, to acquire and retain high-value audiences. The global report — which draws from Adjust and App Annie internal data from January 1, 2019 to June 30, 2019 — analyses more than 90 apps from 36 countries.
Mobile has created radical innovation, with a fundamental shift taking place in personal finance. “Mobile banking has disrupted traditional banking to an extraordinary extent over the past two years, and traditional banks are only catching up to the digital revolution,” says Monty Munford, venture partner and tech speaker.
Here are three quick takes on the state of modern finance:
The Unbanked Are Hotspots of Growth
Mobile has opened personal finance to the world’s unbanked. A massive 143 million mobile money accounts were opened in 2018 globally, according to mobile trade body the GSMA. These users were concentrated in Southeast Asia and Africa, areas with few banking options. While there’s still room to scale — 1.7 billion adults remained unbanked — reaching them remains a challenge, with infrastructure and local regulation slowing progress.
Meet the Neobanks
Neobanks are new contenders that offer online only services that skirt regulation by partnering with established institutions. Neobanks create an edge with superior data and analytics capabilities to build deeper relationships with customers. Traditional banks are mobilising to compete: “We have already started to see impact with several established banks launching services to defend against upcoming virtual banks,” says Deniz Guven, CEO of Standard Chartered’s Virtual Bank.
Super Apps Gain Traction as Payments Soar
Another revolution is happening, with payment apps primed to become the new way to pay. Physical currency is disappearing as people handle more transactions with their phones. Asia has given rise to the “super app,” which combines aspects of social media with the ability to transfer money. The West is only just catching on.
APAC: Follow the leader
- Finance app downloads in Asia, driven by the uptake of super apps such as WeChat and Alipay, have grown by nearly 4x in just four years. Downloads have jumped from 383 million in 2014, to peak at 1.84 billion in 2018.
- App uptake in Europe and North America is in the early stages of a powerful growth trajectory. This strong momentum, fueled by increased consumer interest in mobile-only app banks and frictionless financial services, suggests these regions are on the “cusp of exponential growth.”
Finance apps retain long and strong
- Nearly one-third (32%) of users return on Day 1, and 15% are still using the app by Day 30. Compared to 15 app verticals, Banking apps come in a strong third, with a Day 30 retention rate trailing only News (18%) and Music (17%).
- Overall, banking app performance is far more consistent — and less erratic — than many other app verticals. The retention curve for banking apps reveals ample opportunities to re-engage and retarget users early in the life cycle who are showing signs they may lapse.
Payment apps are driving the next wave of financial innovation
Payment app uptake is strong; however, moderate retention rates suggest marketers would do well to use more channels and approaches to activate and motivate their audiences. An analysis of retention rates across 15 app categories shows Payment apps have room to grow.
“Given the growth and retention rates we’re seeing for finance apps, mobile is becoming the de facto channel for managing money,” said Danielle Levitas, EVP Global Marketing and Insight of App Annie. “The winning apps will be those that offer users simple in-app onboarding, intuitive UX, strong security, and a more personalised experience.”
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