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The mobile finance report: A global benchmark of banking and payment apps

The world of finance has undoubtedly been disrupted by mobile, with FinTech companies offering innovative digital services, including in-store mobile payment apps and non-bank money transfers.

EY’s Global FinTech Adoption Index 20191 suggests that internet users’ adoption of financial technology services almost doubled over the past two years, and 64% of digitally active users engage with fintech.

In a new report, The Mobile Finance Report 2020 by Adjust and app intelligence provider Apptopia, focuses on the growth of install and session rates for FinTech apps over H1 2020, how much time users are spending in-app, and how retention rates perform in this vertical.

The report looks at a selected geographic spread of apps that paint a picture of finance apps’ health in 2020. Diving into data from Brazil, Great Britain, Germany, Japan, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the US, it outlines regional trends and broader tendencies.

“The impact the pandemic has had on banking and the increase in mobile digital services should not be underestimated,” notes Paul Müller,  Co-founder and CTO of Adjust. “While the banking sector has been adapting to digital disruption for several years, COVID-19 is accelerating the transformation, opening up access and opportunity to millions of un- and under-banked consumers around the world.”

The report also looks at the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on user behaviours patterns and the industry as a whole.

Global rise of bank and payments apps

Key findings include:

  • Activity in investment apps, which allow users to trade stocks directly from their phone, is booming — with an 88% growth in average sessions per day from January to June 2020. Globally, investment apps are the second-fastest-growing vertical tracked by Adjust in 2020, with Apptopia’s data also showing massive growth across the board.
  • Emerging markets are driving global growth. With low market saturation of existing solutions, a pool of unbanked users, and demographic factors offering a prime growth opportunity, emerging markets are once again posting massive numbers across all the indicators measured. In these markets, fintech is less seen as disruptors, but rather filling a need that many traditional banks did not supply.
  • The number of sessions in payment apps increased by almost half (49% on average across the countries in our survey). The most impressive growth rates were seen in: Japan (75%), Germany (45%), Turkey (39%), the US (33%), and Great Britain (29%). Users are increasingly using mobile to carry out transactions while complying with social distancing.
  • Sessions for banking and payment apps combined increased 26% on average across the countries in our survey. While all countries saw an uptick in sessions, stand-out markets by growth rates were Japan (142%), Germany (40%), Turkey (31%), and the US (27%).
  • Super-apps remain one of the top trends in mobile. Asia gave rise to the super-app via big names such as WeChat and KakaoTalk, but other regions are catching on, with Revolut — for example — pursuing a ‘super-app’ strategy. A report by KPMG suggests that super- apps could be one of the most disruptive forces in the financial sector. With WeChat and Alipay having exceeded one billion users, and Zalo surpassing the 100 million mark, this forecast looks like a safe bet.

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