July 16, 2024

While the number of downloads for Android banking apps rises by 13% in 2023, digital banks continue to draw in customers.

April 10, 2024
2Min Reads

Traditional banks still have a disproportionate amount of clients, even if digital banks are leading the way in innovation and agility in the banking industry. However, a recent analysis by App Radar and SplitMetrics suggests that a move away from legacy banks may already be well under way.

App Radar's latest analysis of Google Play Store downloads shows that the most popular applications in 2023 were digital banking apps. The number of new app downloads for Tandem Bank, a green digital bank with headquarters in the UK, rose by 110% in 2023 over 2022.

The remaining companies were Revolut (46%) First Direct (41%) L'Appli SG (39%) Santander Spain (23%) and Monzo (20%).

With 13 million users overall in 2023—or 38% of all new banking app downloads—Revolut grew its user base the fastest. Monzo, Santander Spain, Credit Agricole, and Lloyds Bank followed with 1.8, 1.7, and 1.3 million users, respectively.

According to a different SplitMetrics analysis on Apple Search Ads, the financial sector has the highest cost per acquisition (CPA) of any app category at $8.57. When compared to the second most expensive category, news, which has a CPA of $4.01, the average cost for a finance app to gain a new install in the app store is 71% lower.

Similarly, with a CPT of $4.77, finance leads the Apple Search Ads Cost per Tap (CPT) category, which is $65% more than the second-most costly sector (sports) on the list.

Revolut overtakes digital banks in downloads as the former pulls ahead.

In comparison to 2022, the total number of app downloads for Android banking apps climbed by 13% in 2023. In 2023, the UK legacy bank NatWest saw the largest growth, with 18% more downloads than in the previous year. Other UK legacy banks showed lower growth, including HSBC (5%), Halifax (6%), Lloyds (12%), and Royal Bank of Scotland (6%).

As of December 31, 2023, Revolut had 38 million downloads, Credit Agricole had 15 million, Barclays had 12 million, Santander Spain had 12 million, and Intesa Sanpaolo had 11 million. These are the most downloaded applications overall.

This is great news for the banking and finance app industry, said SplitMetrics Agency general manager Thomas Kriebernegg. By 2023, there will be 13% more downloads on Android smartphones, indicating the sector's growth. As we have been witnessing for the last four or so years, it is not surprise that fintech and neobanks are continuing to reduce the gap with conventional banks.

In terms of getting Android downloads, Revolution is the app industry leader. This could be the turning point that separates neobanks from traditional banks if they keep going in this route and acquire even more downloads in 2024. However, as our analysis of Apple Search Ads has demonstrated, growth has a price. Given the high CPA of $8, neobanks may face a highly costly battle as the industry attempts to maintain its development.


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