Fintech apps continue to grow despite challenges in 2022
Use of fintech apps surged globally in March 2020 as many countries first implemented lockdowns to try to keep the pandemic at bay. Consumers were looking for less physical touchpoints in all aspects of their life, including when it came to money. Over the past couple of years, consumers have grown accustomed to this more digital way of managing their finances. As a result, fintech app growth has continued to build. Now, with a looming global recession, we’re seeing some interesting trends in fintech app usage.
COVID-19 pandemic leads to fintech surge
As previously cash-based businesses turned to digital payments in H1 2020, fintech app installs began to rise rapidly. From February to March 2020, fintech app installs jumped a whopping 26% month-on-month (MoM) globally. After balancing back out, installs continued to increase, reaching a remarkable peak in November 2021. Installs were up 11% MoM in November 2021 and an impressive 32% higher than the monthly average in 2021.
In North America, this surge was primarily fueled by the payment app sub-vertical.. Installs of payment apps in North America increased nearly 60% MoM between October and November 2021. Black Friday has grown in popularity as an e-commerce event over the past several years and has helped to solidify November as the key time of year for e-commerce app marketers. It is likely that Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the related month-long sales throughout November were a primary cause of this rapid escalation, compounded by pandemic-related growth. While November was the top performing month in 2020, YoY growth for November 2021 was as high as 66%
With consumers becoming more conscious of their spending as a global recession looks more imminent, there was a slight decrease in installs in Q2 2022. However, by the end of H1, installs were up 4% year-on-year (YoY), so we are still seeing an overall growth in fintech app installs this year so far.
Taking a closer look at 2022, we can see that all sub-verticals are bouncing back after a dip in the start of the year. Even after the crypto crash mid-year, we're observing a claw back in installs. Similarly, after a difficult year for the stock market, data shows the tide slowly shifting toward a return to growth as of August 2022.
Fintech app sessions are on the rise in 2022
Sessions are a more optimistic story overall. Without the intense spike and naturally subsequent leveling out that installs experienced at the end of 2021, we see a continued increase of sessions from the beginning of 2020 and into 2022.
In fact, in 2022, sessions per user per day have remained higher in Q2 than Q1 for the entire 30 day period following install. On average, users are starting nearly 2% more sessions per day in Q2 than in Q1. Despite a decrease in installs as they even out after such an intense spike, growth in sessions and sessions per user tells us that those installing fintech apps are high LTV users.
During these sessions, users are also spending significantly more money YoY in 2022 compared to 2021. Excluding March, most months this year have had 20-30% higher in-app revenue YoY, with January reaching a 34% increase.
Retention rates indicate an engaged user base
Further demonstrating this highly engaged user base, retention rates have remained relatively steady throughout H1 2022. In the stock trading sub-vertical, apps experienced higher retention rates through the 30 day period following install in Q2 compared to Q1. Even by days 29 and 30, stock trading app retention rates were 13% higher in Q2.
How to make use of this active audience to maintain high retention rates
Take advantage of the increased engagement of 2022’s high-value users with these tips.
- Allocate higher campaign budget to March
Adjust data shows a spike in both installs and sessions across fintech apps globally in March 2020, 2021, and 2022. Although 2020’s March acceleration was largely due to COVID, we still saw a 7% MoM increase in 2021 and a 5% MoM increase in 2022.
March’s high engagement provides an opportunity to ramp up user acquisition campaigns. Similarly, April is an optimal time to plan for re-engagement initiatives to keep retention strong after initial interest.
- Add meta elements to your fintech app
Even though in-app revenue has increased quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) in H1 2022, there are still many users who are wary of the recession and are therefore not spending as much. Create features that compliment your app’s core functionality to encourage continued engagement even when users are not actively spending.
For example, this could look like using social proof to show users how others in their demographic cohort are using the app: 25% of women aged 27-35 are investing 10% of their income on a monthly basis. Or, it could look like in-app rewards: Congratulations on reaching your savings goal this month! You’ve earned the badge Savvy Saver! Get creative and test and learn with varying meta layers.
- Listen to user feedback
While users are interested in interacting with your app regularly, gather their feedback from app reviews, in-app prompts, and email surveys to capitalize on what’s working well and work on fixes for what isn’t as effective. Identify points in the user journey when churn is highest and alleviate pain points or insert prompts at these moments to get clear insights directly from the users themselves.
- Maximize your ATT opt-ins
User-level data is incredibly valuable when it comes to maintaining strong app performance. Especially if your app is only available for iOS, or if the majority of your installs are on iOS devices, you’ll want to make sure you have a robust strategy for securing user consent. At Adjust, we’ve developed next-generation solutions to help our clients navigate the iOS 14.5+ landscape. We’ve also put together a wealth of iOS resources to help you find the tactics that work best for your app’s customers.
It’s clear to see that even after a difficult year in the fintech industry broadly, apps are showing their resilience and are beginning to bounce back. Q4 (and even Q5!) is a great time to lean into this burgeoning growth to look for opportunities to retain valuable customers as we approach the new year.
Learn more about trends in fintech in 2022 with our Mobile app trends report. Or, deep dive into fintech in INSEA with Adjust and MAAS's decryption of the fintech gold rush and learn more about crypto and digital currencies with Adjust and Apptopia's digital currency playbook.