Australians more reliant on bank apps than the UK

Posted: 17 January 2019 2:38 pm
checking smartphone app

checking smartphone app

We're checking our bank apps nearly 10 times per week.

According to a new State of Mobile 2019 report from App Annie, an app analytics and app market data platform, Australians check their bank apps nearly 10 times per week while those in the UK managed just over seven times each week. The findings reveal an increasing reliance on financial apps globally, with global downloads of finance apps hitting 3.4 billion in 2018, an increase of 75% from 2016.

The difference in the usage of apps between Australia and the UK in particular is surprising considering how much more developed the fintech banking space is in the UK compared to Australia. Often referred to as challenger banks, they have been able to start up and compete in the UK since 2010 when the first banking licence in 100 years was issued.

In Australia, the regulation change to allow new banks to be established with fewer regulatory hurdles only happened in May 2018. Two neobanks, Xinja and Volt, have received the new restricted licence since, with a number of others launching under alternative licensing arrangements.

Australia's neobanks have all adopted a mobile-first strategy where all banking services will be available in your smartphone app. None have launched Internet banking services via desktop yet. According to App Annie's report, the growing session numbers of top fintech apps shows the stickiness of these services.

"[They have an] ability to become weekly — even daily — habits that slot into existing preferences like checking the stock markets and shopping," the report said.

The report found that finance was the fifth fastest-growing category in terms of market share globally. It was behind video players and editors, entertainment, photography and tools. The total time spent in these categories combined grew 110% from 2016. The finance category grew 65% in the same period.

App Annie also found that Australians do not shy away from trying new apps, which, along with consumers from South Korea, Canada, the US, Thailand and the UK, all saw 2-year growth in the average number of apps installed on smartphones. The average consumer in Australia has over 100 apps installed on their smartphone.

But how many of these apps are Australians actually using? The top-performing apps from the past year show where our attentions were spent. In Australia, the only bank app to rank in the top ten for monthly active users in 2018 (Android and iPhone combined) was CommBank. Taking out the top spot was Facebook Messenger followed by Facebook itself, Instagram, WhatsApp and Spotify. App Annie's top apps of 2018 in Australia by downloads don't show any banking apps at all.

Only time will tell whether the neobanks continue to crack the top downloads list, as neobank Up did on 7 January this year. But considering the growth of the app finance category and Australians not shying away from downloading multiple apps on their phones, 2019 may be the year for the fintech app.

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Picture: Shutterstock

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