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The Rise of Personal Finance Apps

20 April 2022
Carrier Billing

With National Financial Awareness Day around the corner on April 25th, it’s time to talk money.

‘Personal Finance’ and ‘Personal Finance Apps’ as search terms on Google Trends have been rising especially over the last 12 months worldwide. It’s no surprise, since money plays such a big part in our daily lives, with a trend showing that many of us review our personal finances after the new year.

Personal Finance App Growth Drivers

The increase in personal finance apps has, no doubt, been heightened due to COVID-19. A completely understandable pattern during a time of economic uncertainty, with many worried about the future and seeking to improve their financial situations.

Mobile apps are an easily accessible way to manage personal finances. Especially useful during previous lockdowns, when in-person contact was reduced and banks closed. Back in 2019, finance apps were being used over “1 trillion times on Android devices”, while in 2020 finance apps were downloaded close to 1.3 billion times. Growth in average weekly usage of finance apps was evident between December 2019 to March 2020, with Japan in particular seeing a 55% increase during this period.

Looking at today, post-pandemic app habits have stuck. Again it’s unsurprising, giving that the cost of living has risen. Many people worldwide are planning to make cutbacks, invest or earn more, where possible. Google research shows that smartphone users download around 3 personal finance apps to their mobile, with “4 in 10 using their devices for managing finance, checking account history, tracking investments, paying bills among other financial activities”.

In the personal finance category, average weekly time spent in-app has increased to 57 minutes, led by Millenials and Gen Z categories. A strong weekly session duration, even in comparison with “retail and ecommerce apps (65 minutes), entertainment apps (67 minutes), and music apps (80 minutes).”

The Rise of Cryptocurrency

It wouldn’t be right to talk about the rise of personal finance apps without mentioning cryptocurrency. Crypto interest is at an all-time high, and apps make it easier than ever to learn about, invest in and manage cryptocurrency.

Data AI shows that crypto features heavily in today’s search terms. During the first quarter of 2021 “cryptocurrency and trading mobile app Binance recorded almost six million downloads from users in Europe”. Pi Network, Papara and eToro were also popular during this time.

Another notable trend is that the cryptocurrency exchange “branded keyword ‘binance’ appears in the French, German and UK charts and is at #1 in Turkey.”

Which Mobile Finance App is Best?

There really is something out there for all finance goals and interests. It all depends on which finance app features that app users require or prefer. Whether that’s gamification to make finance more fun and (dare we say it – ‘enjoyable’), a personal finance budgeting app to help keep track of spending and saving all in one place, goal setting, easy payment apps, or apps to help with investing.

Country search comparisons are key to understanding consumer patterns here. Interestingly “the only app that users in all countries search for is PayPal. Otherwise, the chart is dominated by local terms – especially those related to challenger bank apps.For example, the USA has developed a strong market for P2P payment apps” making it easy to push small sums to friends with apps like Venmo.

What features are important to Personal Finance App Users?

Finance can of course be a worrying issue for app users. As with making any habit stick, it is helpful to have the right support when it comes to personal finance. Building trust, providing helpful information, engaging and interacting with users to solve problems is a great way to aid users – like You Need a Budget have been doing via their social channels.

It’s key that finance app developers personalise their users’ app experiences and understand which app features users require, as well as researching/predicting what users would like to see next. Take Spendee App for example. Spendee have just added a new feature, allowing users to also tracking ‘Crypto Wallets’, so that all wallets are easily visible and accessible in one place.

Safety, accessibility, and ease of use were all factors that users are considering when searching for Mobile Finance Apps.

Carrier Billing and Personal Finance Apps

There are completely free budgeting and finance apps out there such as Mint and Personal Capital. However other finance apps only allow access to certain features through one-off payments or subscriptions – such as Goodbudget, with their Goodbudget Plus option.

This is where carrier billing comes in. Allowing users who may not have a bank account to access personal finance apps. Or for personal finance app users to pay one-off fees to access apps and features, as well as monthly subscriptions.

With more users opting for mobile apps to keep track of expenses, manage money and invest, the growth of the personal finance app market is not set to slow any time soon.

Make managing money easier for your Personal Finance app users, by offering carrier billing as a payment method. Unlock new revenue streams. Get in touch with SLA Digital today for a seamless and secure setup.


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