Money & Banking

Fintech vs traditional banking apps: Fintechs dominate breakout apps list of 2019

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on January 17, 2020 Published on January 17, 2020

Fintech apps are on the rise, according to the latest State of Mobile 2020 report by global analytics company App Annie.

The report categorised the overall mobile app market into five different industries, including finance and retail.

Globally, finance apps are gaining rapid popularity as consumers accessed finance app over one trillion times in 2019, an increased usage of 100 per cent compared to 2017.

“From stock management to mobile banking to payment apps, this showcases the mobile’s central role in managing our daily finances,” the report said.

The increased usage of finance apps can also be attributed to the increasing digitalisation of banking activities along with the loyalty programs offered to digital consumers. According to a report by Citi cited in the study, 83 per cent of consumers, of which 94 per cent were millennials, were more likely to participate in a loyalty program if it’s on mobile.


Monthly active users for fintech vs banking apps


Categorising finance apps into banking and fintech apps, App Annie reported that the monthly active users (MAU) for fintech apps grew by 20 per cent, compared to traditional banking apps that saw a growth of 15 per cent in MAU. In India alone, finance apps clocked over 100 billion sessions in 2019. Fintech apps in India witnessed a growth of approximately 60 per cent in monthly active users while traditional banking apps received MAU of about 30 per cent, according to the report.

“While banking apps tend to have higher existing user bases, this illustrates fintech’s disruption — enabled and accelerated by mobile — of traditional banking services,” the report said.


Globally, wallet apps by fintech companies engaged far more users as compared to wallet apps by traditional banking companies. Fintech wallet apps received one session more time per user each, compared to wallet apps by banking companies, leading to 52 additional sessions per year for users of fintech wallets app users.

PayPay, Google Pay, Monzo and Nubank were among the top 10 breakout finance apps in 2019 globally. In India, Google Pay, formerly known as Tez, topped the list of breakout finance apps in 2019. Google Pay had 36 million new downloads and year-on-year growth of 50 per cent. Phone pe ranked fourth on the list. PayTM also ranked among the top 10 apps in India overall by monthly active users.

Fintech apps already had a majority market share in India in terms of UPI transactions in 2019, according to reports. Nearly 10 per cent of the UPI transactions in FY19 were accounted for by banks and the rest were carried out through consumer-facing fintech apps, Financial Express reported.

The preference of fintech apps over traditional banking apps is testament to the success of fintech companies’ mobile-first approach, focusing more on user experience and app functionalities.

App Annie in its report said, “The key to mobile is ease, accessibility and simplicity. Features like the face or finger recognition streamline the user journey. This underscores why companies can’t port over an existing experience to mobile. Mobile requires deliberate planning to meet consumers’ expectations.”

The overall mobile app market grew tremendously in 2019 with a record 204 billion worldwide downloads and over $380 billion global consumer and mobile ad spend as per the report.


Published on January 17, 2020
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