Blog Digital banking apps are on the rise in ...

Digital banking apps are on the rise in Southeast Asia

The COVID-19 pandemic undeniably accelerated digital transformation across traditional-leaning industries like banking and finance. Adjust data shows that fintech apps saw a 5% increase in installs and 14% increase in sessions globally year-on-year (YOY) between the first week of 2022 and 2023.

A surge in digital banking throughout Southeast Asia

Capitalizing on the digitization boom, most banks in Southeast Asia (SEA) have now either developed or are developing digital transformation strategies. Users are rapidly following suit with strong adoption. Average annual fintech app installs in the region have already grown by 32% comparing 2022 and 2023 year-to-date (YTD). This is higher than the growth of the global annual install averages between 2022 and 2023 YTD, which is at 14%.

How has this swift transformation been so successful? Simply put, users are receiving an elevated experience from this move to digital. Now, banking customers can access tailored and specialized services alongside more efficient versions of the processes they are already used to. With increased use comes new revenue opportunities, encouraging businesses to continue developing their digital offerings.

“The digital banking revolution is here. With more and more consumers turning to online banking, it’s critical that banks focus on developing their app’s UI and mobile marketing. Stay ahead of the curve of this digital boom with airtight analytics.”

-April Tayson, VP, INSEA/ANZ, Adjust

Vietnam and Thailand are rising to the top

Two countries experiencing this swift advancement in SEA are Vietnam and Thailand. High internet and smartphone penetration are helping to facilitate strong digital innovation. The rise of young digital natives and the necessity to go digital amidst the pandemic has brought a surge in the adoption of digital financial services. Banking app growth took off over the past year. Adjust data shows that installs are up 47% YoY in Vietnam and 95% in Thailand for the first week of January. Similarly, sessions were up 128% in Vietnam and 141% in Thailand YoY in the first week of January.

Southeast Asia Commercial Joint Stock Bank (SeABank) Vietnam is one such company demonstrating the value of going digital. The bank won "Bank of the Year 2022", awarded by The Banker Magazine in the United Kingdom.

Its latest growth can largely be attributed to the digitalization of its banking services. Specifically, SeABank has focused on digitizing both its products and business processes. The bank has been able to optimize costs and operating time while improving the customer experience.

Overcoming UA and retention challenges

Despite SEA’s growing digital innovations, many financial institutions still face challenges in both user acquisition (UA) and retention. This is largely in part due to a lack of visibility of performance and reliability of data. Here’s what you can learn from SeAbank Vietnam’s obstacles–and triumphs.

SeAbank’s customers benefit from an automatic transaction system at SeATeller counters and a virtual assistant in the palm of their hand. The company also offers a separate app for individual customers and for corporate customers. These advancements have been made possible due to SeAbank’s application of artificial intelligence (AI), Big Data, Google Cloud cloud computing technology, and machine learning (ML).

However, despite its strong offering, SeABank lacked visibility into the performance of its mobile app’s user acquisition campaigns. The company invested marketing budget across many different marketing channels but found it difficult to determine which sources were bringing in high-quality users and which were more fraught with fraud. A lack of trustworthy data made it difficult to evaluate the effectiveness of each campaign, let alone optimize campaigns per channel.

After consulting experts in Vietnam’s financial market, the company selected Adjust as its mobile analytics platform. By leveraging raw data from Adjust, SeABank was able to look closely at every touchpoint in the user journey and identify valuable patterns to act on. The marketing team could now shine a much-needed light on which channels were bringing in the greatest number (and highest quality) of users. This visibility allowed the digital banking app to drive strategic innovation.

“With more and more competitors undertaking this digital transformation, it’s critical to success to have a dependable mobile measurement partner. This way your time (and budget) is freed up to focus on what matters most – your product and its customers.”

-April Tayson, VP, INSEA/ANZ, Adjust

Despite the challenges faced by financial institutions, it’s clear to see that the benefits of embracing digital transformation outweigh the initial hurdles. The key is to provide the best possible customer experience and consistently measure both product and campaign strategies.

Learn more about Adjust’s comprehensive suite of analytics tools to help your fintech app hop on board with this digital-finance boom.

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