Finance App Downloads Spike 15% to 4.6 Billion in 2020, Amid Year of Intense Economic Uncertainty Says New Report from Liftoff and App Annie

  • Data
  • 15.04.2021 09:45 am

Liftoff, the leader in mobile app marketing and retargeting, today released its annual Mobile Finance Apps Report in partnership with mobile data and analytics platform 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 analyzed 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:

Amid Economic Uncertainty, 2020 Saw 4.6 Billion New Finance App Downloads and a Major Spike in Mobile Trading

In a year characterized by intense economic uncertainty, demand grew for finance apps across investing, banking, cash transfers and government aid. Finance apps were downloaded 4.6 billion times in 2020 (up 15% year-over-year), outpacing overall downloads by 2x. 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 United States, where stay-at-home orders were widespread and generally lengthy: U.S. 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. 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. ” - Lexi Sydow, Head of Marketing Insights, App Annie


To learn more about Liftoff and view the full report here.



The Liftoff 2021 Mobile App Trends Report is based on an analysis of internal data from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020, including 57 billion impressions across 188 mobile apps, 81 million clicks, 12 million installs and 20 million first-time events. Moreover, the report breaks down key trends and metrics impacting user acquisition, engagement and retention by month, platform and region (APAC, EMEA, LATAM and North America), and explores time spent per app session. For this report, Liftoff partnered with App Annie to deliver a deeper understanding of the key trends marketers must consider as they develop strategies to target territories, define audiences and craft consistently relevant experiences that engage users - and keep them coming back. App Annie’s market estimates span Finance apps globally from January to December 2020.


About App Annie

App Annie is the industry’s most trusted mobile data and analytics platform. App Annie’s mission is to help customers create winning mobile experiences and achieve excellence. Founded in 2010, the company launched the first mobile market data solution. In 2019, App Annie acquired Libring, an advertising monetization and spend offering. Together, these solutions comprise the industry’s most complete mobile performance platform. More than 1,100 enterprise clients and 1 million registered users across all geographies and industries rely on App Annie to drive their mobile business. The company is headquartered in San Francisco with 12 offices worldwide.


About Liftoff

Liftoff is a complete mobile app marketing platform that helps companies acquire and retain high quality mobile app users at scale. Liftoff uses prediction intelligence and unbiased ML to find engaged users at scale for mobile app marketers, creative testing to deliver the most engaging ad experience and a unique cost per revenue model to optimize for LTV goals. Liftoff is proud to be a long term partner to leading brand advertisers and app publishers since 2012. Headquartered in Redwood City, Liftoff has a global presence with offices in New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Berlin, London, Paris, Singapore, Seoul, and Tokyo.

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