Pulse on Current App Trends, Finance Apps in 2020

Naomi Shebah | July 28, 2020
Director of Account Management

Since lockdown started, more and more consumers have turned to finance apps to manage their money and invest. As we reported in our last Pulse on Current App Trends Report, finance apps saw record growth in the first half of 2020. Namely, finance app revenue grew 75% since lockdown started. As people increasingly rely on digital products to manage their money transactions, finance apps have surged.

Finance Apps See Exponential Growth in 2020

Since the coronavirus pandemic started, like many app verticals, personal finance apps have seen record levels of engagement. Consumers have begun accessing their banking apps daily. Since consumers rarely go into a bank branch every day, this is an entirely new behavior created by mobile.

In the U.S., there was a 55% growth in time spent in finance apps overall between the week of December 29 to peak weeks in March and April. South Korea and Japan also saw massive growth in time spent at 90% and 85%, respectively, during the same time period. 

Source: App Annie

The Google Play store currently offers a larger share of finance apps at 154,877 apps versus the 68,139 apps on the App Store. In June, Android outperformed iOS with 27 million downloads versus the App Store’s 26 million downloads, respectively. In terms of revenue, iOS outperformed Android at $2.6 million, versus Google Play’s $1.5 million in revenue.

Stock Trading Apps Ramp Up as the Economy Slows Down

Time spent in investment apps also grew at record rates. Session time in the top 10 stock market monitoring and trading apps grew 80% between the first week of January to the week of March 22-28, 2020 in the US. While finance apps generally see higher engagement in January when users are making new year’s resolutions that prioritize budgeting, this vertical saw strong growth throughout the spring, inline with lockdown measures. Consumers are increasingly looking to get involved and stay informed about the stock market, particularly in the face of an economic slowdown. While the stock markets plummeted in March, interest in stock trading apps reached a new high. 

Source: App Annie

Stock trading app, Robinhood, saw roughly 10x the net deposits for the month compared to its monthly average in Q4 of 2019. Daily trading volume was also up more than 3x the monthly trading volumes the company recorded in Q4 of 2019.

Investing app, Acorns,  also saw record levels of engagement early on in the pandemic. On March 19, 2020 — a day that stock markets recorded their second-worst day of trading since 1987 — new customer growth at Acorns  hit a record high of 9,800 signups.  That was a 45% boost over what the company normally records. The company hit a milestone of 7 million sign ups in total shortly thereafter.

App Spotlight: Robinhood

Of the 5 million downloads of the top 10 brokerage apps in the U.S. in Q1 2020, Robinhood installs accounted for 35%. Robinhood accounted for over 50% of the downloads for the top 10 active trading apps.  

Source: App Annie

During the week of April 12-18, 2020, Robinhood alone accounted for over 40% of time spent in the top 5 apps. Robinhood also grew 260% in time spent on Android phones during the week of April 12, 2020 compared to the weekly average for Q4 2019. As the economy and stock markets reacted to the pandemic, average session time in the Robinhood app increased.

Source: Apptopia

According to Apptopia, the download surge of the Robinhood app has quieted since the start of the pandemic. Current daily downloads are back to pre-lockdown levels. While daily active users remain much higher than pre-COVID standards, they have leveled out. After a high of 2.23 million DAU in mid-June, numbers have dropped back down to 1.96 million. This matches the app’s DAU at the start of lockdown.

It’s clear after the initial boom in downloads and engagement, it’s time for finance apps like Robinhood to invest in retargeting to maintain users and drive continued revenue.

Source: AppsFlyer

Takeaways

Since lockdown started, personal finance apps have seen record levels of engagement as more users manage their money using apps.

  • Consumers have begun accessing their banking apps daily, an entirely new behavior created by mobile.
  • In the US, finance app usage grew 55% between the end of December and peak weeks in March and April.
  • Time spent in stock market monitoring and trading apps grew 80% amidst market volatility in March.
  • After growing 260% in session time during the beginning of the pandemic, Robinhood engagement has leveled out. This indicates an opportunity for the app to retarget and retain new users.