State of Mobile Finance in 2021

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    Uncover the global and regional benchmark for mobile finance apps across payment, banking, lending, and investment

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    Dive into download, usage, time spent in-app, and other business metrics across the mobile finance sub-segments

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    Explore the emergent trends in the mobile finance ecosystem from open banking to big data and more

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    Access expert insights and emulate successful strategies from global mobile finance leaders

Access benchmarks and actionable growth strategies!

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As you can see, emerging market countries of South America such as Brazil and Argentina lead the way in terms of year-on-year growth in downloads for payment apps. They are closely followed by the US, Germany, UK and Japan.


Emergent Trends in Mobile Finance Ecosystem in 2021

Open Banking Connects Banks & Fintech

Expected to generate $43.15 billion by 2026 with a CAGR of 24.4%, Open Banking helps fintechs and banks share data mutually.

This provides a consolidated view of users' financial holdings, improving decision making and long-term wealth generation and lowering debt.

Growth of Digital-only Banks

New age digital-only banks are flexible and offer innovative products at lower rates.

By 2022, branch visits are expected to drop by 36% while mobile transactions grow by 121%, further dropping from six visits to two a year by 2022 among millennials aged 18 to 24 years.

Growing Role of Technology in Banking

48% of banking representatives believe Blockchain will have an even bigger role to play ensuring end-to-end data security.

Used in fraud and identity theft prevention, authentication, and voice payments, AI is expected to save $1 trillion in operational expenses by 2030.

Rise of RegTech in Financial Services

Regulatory Technology or RegTech leverages automation, big data, and machine learning to handle massive volumes of regulatory requirements.

The automated solutions are programmed to analyze, learn, and identify patterns amidst large data pools to pinpoint problems and reveal fraud.

Successful Growth Strategies From Leading Mobile Finance Brands

  • Pre-launch Referral Programs
  • Fine-tuning Product Design
  • Incentives Program & Optimization

The no-commission-fees trading app played to the innate psychology of moving ahead in a queue by creating a priority referral program. Leveraging the human desire to jump up in a long waitlist enabled Robinhood to create product evangelists among their users. What followed next was unprecedented growth.


The team at Mint tailored used color grading to boost credibility, using complementary colors viz. green and orange to provide a strong sense of contrast between data points and other fields. This seamless navigation built trust among users.


Eliminating new page load for referrals increases chances of referral by 4 times. Acorns provided inline options to share referral codes. Once the user clicks on ‘send message’, the next screen is populated with an auto-filled text message including the unique referral link.

Insights From Top Global Finance Brands

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We really see two trends driving everything. One, unbundling and re-bundling of services, with very differentiated offerings which gradually incorporate traditional banking offerings. Second, banking as a service. Everything is an API away meaning fintechs can go to market faster.

AJ Shanley
Head of North America

The pandemic acted as an accelerant to the user behavior shift which we were already seeing in some form. This behavior, however, has become primary much faster. We see that for customers, having a mobile-only bank as their primary financial institution is more normal now than it was even a year ago.

Adam Hadi
Vice President, Marketing

In terms of upcoming trends, we expect to see more partnerships across industries with lines between traditional banking and ntech blurring. The main goal of collaboration between companies is to offer new and innovative features for users given their increasing familiarity, receptiveness and trust in digital banking.

Alethia Tan
Head of Growth

Almost 30% of new businesses coming onboard the digital ecosystem are moving over from traditional brick and mortar setups. We observed a 3X increase in scale in 2020; in 2021, so far, we are seeing a 50% higher momentum.

Vedanarayanan Vedantham
SME & Startup Business Head

Trusted By Banking and Finance Brands Globally

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the larger scope of mobile finance and what are sub-segments that are being covered here?

The mobile finance industry experienced a pandemic-induced surge in adoption in 2020, with users shifting to digital modes of payment, financial transactions, and banking. The spikes in transaction volumes of mobile banking and trading apps meant that the industry was able to weather the challenges brought on by COVID-19, while paving the way for permanent changes in user behavior. This is evident from the over 4.3 billion downloads of finance apps between September 2019 and August 2020. There is a real change in user mindset and a renewed interest in improving financial outcomes amid the economic uncertainty brought on by the pandemic. Mobile banking and finance apps rank third after social media and weather apps among the most used smartphone applications. In this ebook, we look at mainly four sub-segments within the mobile finance vertical: payment, investment, lending, and banking.

What data trends do you capture in the state of mobile finance, 2021?

In the MoEngage x Apptopia, State of Mobile Finance, 2021, we cover the benchmark and data trends focusing on downloads, usage (daily and monthly active usage data), session, time spent in-app, and new user growth. We look at the change in trends going into 2021 from the last quarter of 2020.

What are the different regions covered in this ebook?

The ebook through its data, emerging trends, and actionable strategies, focuses on regions of North America, Europe, Southeast Asia, India, and the Middle East.

What are the some of the actionable growth strategies for mobile finance brands covered in the state of mobile finance, 2021?

Building a successful mobile finance app that guarantees regular usage, requires an innate understanding of the dynamics of user acquisition and growth. We have extracted real-world insights and use cases from top global financial institutions like Robinhood and Mint, to provide you some actionable strategies you can implement right away:
i) Using referral programs and pre-launch promotion to boost product adoption and usage
ii) Fine-tuning product design according to user demographic to improve credibility
iii) Reducing acquisition costs through a combination of well planned incentive programs and UX optimization

What are the topics covered in this e-book apart from benchmarks and data trends from the finance vertical?

Apart from the data trends, in this ebook we focus on expert insights and successful growth strategies from leading mobile finance brands viz. Visa, Kredivo, Current, Razorpay, Mint, Robinhood, Acorns and more.

Are the trends and actionable strategies covered in the ebook subject to change?

The emergent trends covered in depth, in the state of mobile finance ebook are based on current changes foreseen in the market and are expected to continue in the near future. Similarly, the actionable growth strategies are borrowed from organizations currently implementing these successfully. In short, both the trends and strategies are powered by very recent changes and current situation, so you can implement them for the future without any worry.