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Neobanks Outpace Legacy Banks in European Customer Adoption of Super and Banking Apps

A recent study by App Radar has shown that neobanks are leading the way in European customer adoption of banking apps and super apps.

The study, which analyzed Google Play Store downloads, revealed that neobank offerings are outpacing those available from traditional banks.

Neobank App Downloads Increase by 101%, 54%, 53%, 49%, 31% and 28%

The analysis of Google Play Store downloads showed that neobanks made the biggest gains in 2022, with Atom Bank leading the way with an increase of 101% in app downloads.

Other neobanks such as Viva Wallet, Tandem Bank, Monzo, Revolut, and Metro Bank saw increases of 54%, 53%, 49%, 31%, and 28%, respectively.

UK Neobanks Fair Better than European Counterparts

UK neobanks saw a slightly higher increase in app downloads compared to their European counterparts, with an increase of 15% in 2022.

When combined, both European and UK neobanks saw an 11% increase in Android users. In contrast, legacy banks did not gain as many Android downloads as neobanks, with European and UK legacy banking apps down by 1.5% in 2022 compared to 2021.

Swiss Legacy Banks Fare Better

Swiss legacy bank UBS experienced the biggest growth, with 79% more downloads in 2022, while UK legacy banks such as Lloyds, Halifax, and HSBC saw gains of 16%, 12%, and 12%, respectively.

Revolut Leads the Way in User Base

In terms of 2022 downloads, Revolut increased its user base the most with 8.5 million downloads, followed by Credit Agricole with 1.6 million, Monzo Bank with 1.5 million, Santander with 1.4 million, and Intesa Sanpaolo with 1.2 million.

The most popular apps in terms of estimated lifetime downloads (as of 31 December 2022) are Revolut with 26 million, followed by Credit Agricole with 13 million, Barclays with 11 million, Santander with 10 million, and Intesa Sanpaolo with 9.7 million.

Neobanks on the Rise

Silvio Peruci, Managing Director, App Radar, said: “Following a brief slow down in 2021, the fintech banking sector is continuing its upward march. 2022 saw a 5% increase in banking app downloads (26m) from 2021’s 25 million.

Generally, neobanks have made the biggest advances, especially when you look at percentage growth with an 11% increase in 2021. Also, the majority of the top ten banking apps that experienced growth in 2022 are all neobanks: Atom Bank, Viva Wallet, Tandem Bank, Monzo Bank, Revolut, Metro Bank, First Direct and Monese. 

“This shows that even though legacy banks may still have a larger general market share than neobanks, the gap is decreasing and competition is increasing. 

“UK legacy banks’ gains are smaller when looking at percentage growth. However, none of those legacy banks analysed experienced a decrease, which points to the fact that they are steadily adding new younger customers or converting existing customers to mobile banking. 

Peruci added, “We’ll have to see how these apps fare in 2023, but with the on-going cost of living crisis, both sides of the market will have to zero-in on their user acquisition strategy. With more choices available than ever for consumers, companies will have to fight for new users with innovative functionality and smart marketing techniques to attract and retain users.”

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