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Digital Banks Continue to Capture Users, As Android Banking App Downloads Increase by 13% in 2023

While digital banks continue to sit at the forefront of innovation and agility in the banking world, traditional banks continue to dominate regarding the number of customers they serve. However, a shift away from legacy banks may be well underway, according to a new study by App Radar and SplitMetrics.

In a new study of Google Play Store downloads, App Radar has revealed that digital banking apps have made the biggest user gains in 2023. Tandem Bank, the green UK-based digital bank, saw new app downloads increase by 110 per cent in 2023, compared to 2022.

Revolut (46 per cent), First Direct (41 per cent), L’Appli SG (39 per cent), Santander Spain (23 per cent) and Monzo (20 per cent) followed.

Overall in 2023, Revolut increased its user base the most with 13 million accounting for 38 per cent of new banking app downloads; followed by Monzo with 1.8 million, Santander Spain with 1.7 million, Credit Agricole with 1.6 million, Lloyds Bank with 1.3 million.

In a separate study of Apple Search Ads by SplitMetrics, acquiring new users in the finance category is the most expensive out of all app categories with a Cost per Acquisition (CPA) of $8.57. This marks a 71 per cent difference in the average cost for a finance app to acquire a new install in the app store when compared to the second most expensive category, news, which has a CPA of $4.01.

Similarly, finance is heading the Apple Search Ads Cost per Tap (CPT) category with a CPT of $4.77 – a 65 per cent difference from the second most expensive category (sports) on the list.

Revolut claims the download crown as digital banks close the gap

Overall, app downloads for Android banking apps have increased by 13 per cent in 2023, when compared to 2022. UK legacy bank NatWest experienced the biggest growth with 18 per cent more downloads in 2023, while other UK legacy banks saw less: Lloyds (12 per cent), Royal Bank of Scotland (six per cent), Halifax (six per cent) and HSBC (five per cent).

The most popular apps in terms of estimated lifetime downloads (as of 31 December 2023) are Revolut with 38 million followed by Credit Agricole with 15 million, Barclays with 12 million, Santander Spain with 12 million and Intesa Sanpaolo with 11 million.

Thomas Kriebernegg, general manager at SplitMetrics Agency, commented: “This is fantastic news for the banking and finance app category. The sector is growing with 13 per cent more downloads on Android devices in 2023. Fintech and neobanks are continuing to close the gap with legacy banks, which is not surprising as it is a trend we have been seeing for the past four or so years.

“Revolut is the kingmaker of the apps when it comes to acquiring Android downloads. If they continue in this direction and get even more downloads in 2024, this may be what pivots neobanks away from legacy banks. Growth comes at a cost though, as our Apple Search Ads study has shown. With such a high CPA of $8, it could mean that it will be a very expensive challenge for neobanks as the sector tries to sustain its growth.”

Author

  • Tom joined The Fintech Times in 2022 as part of the operations team; later joining the editorial team as a journalist.

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