Nearly a third of Brazilians are using an app-only bank, while men are more likely than women to use neobanks

By Aisling Finn on Friday 8 October 2021

Digital Banking

While digital banking is still on the rise, new data from Finder suggests most consumers still won’t ditch their traditional bank accounts in favour of a digital or app-only bank.

Nearly a third of Brazilians are using an app-only bank, while men are more likely than women to use neobanks
Image source: Tran Mau Tri Tam/Unsplash

Digital-only banking taking over the world is a theme AltFi has been covering for years, but new data from Finder shows that it is becoming a reality for millions of people around the world.

Finder surveyed nearly 42,000 people across 30 countries to get a sense of how many use app-only banks (i.e. those available only via a smartphone app).

Brazil came in first place with just over 32 per cent of adults using an app-only bank, while Ireland came third, with nearly a quarter (24.8 per cent) of adults having an app-only banking account.

Ireland placing so high on the table could be largely down to the fact that Revolut has signed up more than one million Irish citizens for a Revolut account—equating to 1 in 4 adults.

As it stands the US comes in last place, with just six per cent of American adults holding a digital or app-only banking account.

Read more: AltFi’s Digital Banking State of the Market Report

The survey also predicted how many adults would have an app-based banking account five years down the line.

Finder predicts that 21.2 per cent of UK adults will have a neobank account in 2026, while Ireland could have roughly 35.5 per cent and the US is still trailing behind with just 11 per cent of Americans predicted to have an app-only banking account in five year’s time.

“Consumers aren’t necessarily ditching their legacy bank in favour of a digital-only bank – they’re potentially engaging with multiple brands to meet their needs, whether that’s account aggregation, the ability to send remittances or invest at the click of a button, or to get a better interest rate on their savings,” Elizabeth Barry, Finder’s global fintech editor, said.

“Overall, the data suggest that digital-only banking adoption will increase from an average of 17 per cent to 28 per cent by 2026—a jump of 11 percentage points.”

Finder’s data also highlighted a gender divide within neobanking. 

Overall, seven per cent of men have an app-only banking account, compared to just five per cent of women.

The data also showed that those aged 25-34 are most likely to use an online bank, with 11 per cent of millennials shown to be tech-savvy. 

Surprisingly, over 65s were the second most likely age group to have a digital banking account, with six per cent having a digital bank account.

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