February Mobile Trend of the Month – Banking Firms Top the List of Android Financial App Downloads

by on Feb 26, 2013

As shown by last month’s Mobile Trend blog post, mobile finance is booming. As customers are looking to create new accounts at financial services firms, questions like “do you have a mobile app?” and “what can your mobile app do?” are becoming increasingly important to the decision. Apple and the iTunes store may be tight lipped about the download numbers of their mobile apps, but the Google Play store (formerly the Android Market) makes download statistics readily available to their consumers. Using the Mobile Monitor coverage group, which spans across the banking, credit card, brokerage and asset management financial segments, this month’s mobile trend take a look at the popularity of financial offerings on the Android OS.

As seen in the chart below, mobile finance, and specifically mobile banking, has become an integral part to millions of Android user’s daily lives. Nearly 32% of the firms tracked by Mobile Monitor have sailed past the one million download mark, while 59% have eclipsed the five-hundred thousand downloads plateau.


Download Statistics According to the Google Play Store (click to enlarge)
This chart also shows an interesting trend: of the top two tiers; The firms listed have a banking division, and offer apps which span across industries (mainly credit card and brokerage). Apps which serve only one financial sector have consistently been downloaded less. However, developers at these firms are trying to add functionality to their app. American Express, for example, exclusively deals with credit cards but provides users with the ability to view and redeem points in the app’s rewards section.

As innovation continues and smartphone users increase, it will be interesting to see in the coming years what financial firms offer within their apps, and how consumers respond to those offerings. As it currently stands, apps are beginning to level the playing field slightly between a major financial institutions and relatively smaller banks. If it is possible for a bank like ING Direct (now Capital One 360) to use online banking to become prosperous, perhaps a small bank with an excellent mobile platform could be the next to close the gap.