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New data show UK fintech apps’ popularity peaked in 2019

Apps from incumbent banks now dominate the top five most-downloaded apps in the UK.

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In 2020 it seemed like everyone had downloaded a banking app, mainly because all the banks on the high street were closed by Covid-19 lockdowns.

This boom wasn’t great news for fintech, however.

A new ranking, collated by App Annie, looks Apple and Android app downloads’ year-on-year growth and found that traditional banking players in 2020 clawed back dominance from their tech-savvy, digital-first fintech rivals.

2020 saw incumbent banking apps like NatWest, Lloyds Bank and HSBC creep into the top five most popular finance apps, unlike 2019, when the rankings were fintech-heavy.

PayPal rounded off the top five after having not made an appearance on the list last year, propelled by the shift to online shopping in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Fintechs couldn’t even rely on their typical customer base either. Millennials’ most downloaded app was the Halifax banking app, followed by eBay, Barclays,PayPal and professional social media network LinkedIn.

Trading 212 even took App Annie’s crown of ‘breakout finance app of the year’ away from Monzo, with users spending the most time on the trading app over other finance apps.

Theodore Krantz, CEO of App Annie, said: “The world has forever changed. While people stay at home across the world, we saw mobile habits accelerate by three years.” 

Across the world, time spent on finance apps jumped up by 45 per cent compared to 2019 and, in Europe, Russia spent the most time in financial apps while Turkey saw the most downloads.

Investment and trading apps, in particular, jumped up by 55 per cent, with the UK seeing a 60 per cent leap, as more people turned to trading under lockdown. 

The US saw the most significant jump, with time spent in trading apps leaping by 135 per cent, as a result, trading apps dominated the top apps in the States.

Across the pond, trading platform Robinhood was the most popular finance app, with TD Ameritrade, Yahoo Finance and Webull Stocks also featuring in the top five.

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