Each month, UKOM’s partner, Comscore, reports usage data for nearly 2800 mobile apps, over 50 of which are in the financial services category. The traditional finance brands Barclays, NatWest, Halifax, Santander, Nationwide, HSBC, Capital One and Lloyds join payment apps including PayPal and Samsung Pay in the top 10, all of which have monthly audiences of at least 2 million in the UK. 

However, as you look further down the list there is a growing number of new ‘fintech brands’ which are gaining traction. With low overheads and advanced tech systems, mobile only finance brands are often able to offer good deals and real-time updates whilst also gaining customer feedback on app development. This month UKOM explores two of the largest fintech apps based on monthly unique visitors, both of whom have entered the Financial Services App Top 20.

One of the most notable mobile-only ‘challenger’ banking apps is Monzo, founded in 2015 and known for its hot coral coloured card.  According to UKOM approved Comscore data, Monzo is now the 12th largest financial services app with an audience of 1.5 million in May 2019. The app, which promises to focus on solving problems rather than selling products, has seen its audience more than double in the last 6 months as it targets a “demographic who value convenience and technical innovation”.  Monzo customers are also consulted when there are changes to the app and are able to suggest ideas.

Starling Bank, which was founded in 2014, is another new app-based bank which didn’t even register in Comscore last year but is now in the top 20 financial service apps. Starling Bank’s vision is a ‘better bank for everyone’ and was built with a goal to build a bank that would help people manage their money all from one app. Starling currently has 870,000 visitors every month according to Comscore – to put things into perspective that is twice as many as those who visit First Direct’s mobile app each month. Starling has also focussed on customer engagement, offering iOS users the ability to test and feedback on features via the app.

So how do the demographics of the top fintech apps compare with apps of the traditional banks? The chart below compares the age and gender profiles of Monzo and Starling Bank with the top two mobile banking apps – Barclays and NatWest.

Monzo is clearly attracting a much younger audience than competitors with well over half its audience aged under 35 whilst Starling Bank has greater appeal among males than females. Admittedly it’s still early days and their audience may broaden as they become more established. Only time will tell if new banking apps start to impact the traditional institutions and whether their customers will move to mobile only banks.  However, with several more fintech apps already being measured by Comscore including Revolut, N26, Tandem and Monese and new ones launching all the time there is a lot more consumer choice. UKOM will keep monitoring usage of mobile only finance apps and will update you with any developments.

Notes on Data:

All data is based on UKOM industry standard approved Comscore MMX data for 2018 and 2019 data.  Please note that ‘mobile’ includes smartphone and tablet usage combined. Analysis is carried out on 18+ mobile app users.

App ranking based on selecting all Apps and filtering on the Category ‘Financial Services’.


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