Adobe and Adjust: fintech trends and the state of mobile finance
App usage patterns and habits changed drastically in 2020, with unprecedented installs and sessions growth clocked across all verticals. One of the verticals that saw the biggest increases was fintech, and that growth has shown no signs of slowing down in 2021.
Adjust’s Global App Trends Report found that installs grew by 51% from 2019 to 2020 and are already up by another 23% so far this year — sessions grew by an impressive 85% from 2019 to 2020, and are also continuing to surge in 2021, reaching 49% growth already. Adobe’s Digital Trends Report aligned with these findings, reporting that 54% of respondents saw unusual growth in the number of digital and mobile visitors in the months following the outbreak of the pandemic.
6 months into 2020, 25% of all banking app downloads were digital banks (compared to just 1% in 2017) and the average user now rounded out the year with 2.5 finance apps installed. The global mobile payment market size is now expected to grow to USD $8.94 trillion by 2027 - with a compound annual growth rate of 29% forecast. Markets across the globe reflected this, posting significant growth in payment-app adoption, with China reaching as high as 81%. India and Japan followed at 37.6% and 25.4% and even France and Germany, traditionally resistant to mobile payments, hovered at 20% growth.
"Coming out of the pandemic, the focus of the financial services industry is to create more meaningful digital experiences that improve the financial health and well being of their customers. As mobile becomes the primary channel for customer interactions, the mobile experience needs to shift from money movement to helping consumers make smarter financial decisions."
So how do apps in the fintech space proceed, and how does the traditional finance sector work to compete with digital-first businesses and neo banks?
Understanding the user journey
Adobe found that the top strategic response (stated by 50% of respondents in their report) is to launch new digital offerings and to focus on digital customer engagement. A further 48% highlighted the importance of developing deeper customer insights to understand evolving needs. That level of understanding of customers’ in-app expectations and behaviors is required to better inform new digital products and services. Segmenting and determining how these users engage is integral to success.
MMPs like Adjust provide the insight necessary for clients and app developers to shape their UA understanding while equipping them with the knowledge and technology required to build impactful user journeys. The Global App Trends Report found, for example, that users of fintech apps spend a very consistent amount of time in-app - starting with 3 minutes on day0, increasing to 5 minutes on day 1 and back to 3 minutes on day 30. This shows that the users tend to be loyal, offering high lifetime value (LTV) — and that day 1 is a key moment to focus on retention.
This is mirrored in the figures on overall session length, where banking increased from 4.95 minutes per session in 2019 to 5.5 minutes in 2020. So far in 2021, this has decreased slightly to 5.2 minutes but is still performing well above the 2019 average. The number of sessions per active user per day also increased throughout 2020, reaching its peak in Q3 - with day 30 results of 1.7 sessions per day compared to 1.6 in Q1.
Balancing UA and retention
Adobe’s report uncovered that the top marketing priority is to enable customer acquisition (34%) and that the top area for investment to meet these marketing priorities is to “improve insights and analytics capabilities” (49%). When we strategize around user acquisition (UA) in fintech, we’re looking to bring in the largest volumes of high LTV users as possible - maximizing retention and minimizing churn.
The Global App Trends Report found that fintech has a comparatively high retention rate - with 18% of users returning on day 7 and 12% on day 30 (compared to the all-verticals average of 15% and 8% for the same days). Measurement and attribution are the key to improving insights and analytics and in turn delivering the best users - with Adjust’s Automate, for example, dynamic audiences that update automatically can be created instantly.
Another area to explore when looking into growth through UA is the number of partners developers are working with per app, which for fintech is comparatively low. The average for all verticals is 5, but fintech apps only work with 3 - meaning there is ample potential to enable further acquisition from new sources.
A mobile-first mindset for financial services
Traditional financial service businesses are now competing with fintechs, and need to develop a mobile-first mentality to ensure they’re meeting their customers’ needs while remaining competitive. Australian fintech and Adobe Experience Cloud client HAY, for example, recently launched with the goal of improving people’s lives by giving them more financial access and flexibility. As an entirely mobile-first business, they give users increased control to manage and better understand their money - offering customers an online account that can be opened and added to their digital wallets within five minutes. The key to establishing this purely digital experience is their cloud-native platform that allows for rapid innovation through a microservice architecture and APIs.
This is distinctly different from legacy banking platforms, which are built on complex, stacked systems, are less agile, and are far more costly to run. These are the business models that financial services need to monitor and compete with if they’re to continue to flourish within the industry. By understanding user needs, expectations, and in-app habits, they can make informed decisions and craft data-driven strategies that pioneer. Things like account fees, fee-free international purchases, instant payments and insightful interfaces and capabilities are the new norm.
“We work with some of the largest financial institutions that offer a range of digital and traditional channels. The discussions have been around shifting to a digital-first, but not digital only mindset. The reality is that they are competing with disruptive companies that are mobile ONLY. This needs to push the industry to focus more on the mobile experience and evolve it beyond purely transactional interactions.”
By benchmarking a fintech app against the industry standards and expectations examined in Adobe’s and Adjust’s reports, marketers and developers can better understand, develop and tweak their strategies and approaches to UA and retention.
From onboarding to user journeys and UX, the insights and data points can best be used to segment users and paint a clear picture of needs, pain points and the moments in which users are most likely to churn. The fintechs that continuously innovate and offer better user experiences are those that will see the most success as markets around the world emerge from lockdowns.