Britain’s fastest growing category of apps? Banking

By Oliver Smith 16 September 2016

Forget games and social media, according to new research, all the app action is in banking and finance.

Pokémon Go has turned us all into wandering Poké-hunters, while with Instagram we’re photographing literally everything, but it’s not games or social networking apps which are growing fastest in Britain these days.

Nope, it’s actually financial apps that are booming in popularity.

According to App Annie, one of the largest analysts of app usage, Britain’s monthly usage of banking apps has more than doubled (2.9x) since 2014, making finance apps the fastest growing category of apps on the app store.

We know that mobile banking apps are killing off high street bank branches.

Lloyds for example says 60% of their mobile banking usage is just people checking their balance, something that a few years ago would be done via internet banking, an ATM or in a bank branch.

An older opportunity

But the booming mobile banking revolution isn’t affecting everyone equally, App Annie found huge differences in mobile banking use around age, with older users shying away from smartphone banking apps.

In the UK over 45s were found to use mobile banking 85% less than 25 to 44-year-olds who were among the most common mobile bankers.

“This disparity is greatest in the UK where the digitization of banking is already well established — this suggests an opportunity for UK banks to appeal more to older users.”

Younger users were also found to be far more curious and willing to try out new financial apps like TransferWise, iZettle and Nutmeg.

“This is driven by the overwhelming perception that they are easy and quick to use, and provide a good experience. In fact, more than half of banking executives believe that within the next five years more payments will occur via fintech firms than through traditional banks,” said App Annie.

So, if you’re thinking about making your millions with a flash smartphone app, forget games and social networks, try banking.