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Last Updated : Feb 20, 2020 07:50 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Mobile financial services take the Asia-Pacific market by storm

Apps provide a convenient, secure, and personalized service for the ever-connected consumer

Representative image
Representative image

Smartphones and their technological innovations have largely changed the picture of the finance sector today. The growth of finance applications has spiralled rapidly and has hit the global level. ‘Annie’ a mobile market data and insights app studied this disruptive trend and its effect at banking and finance level and produced a report. And this report reveals that Asia-Pacific is the world leader in financial app usage.

The report mainly covers the growth of retail banking and Fintech applications and solutions focusing on emerging markets, including China, Japan, Singapore, Australia, and South Korea.

The Rise of Finance Apps

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There was a boom in finance app download during 2014-16; it topped all the other app categories except gaming. In the last two years, the total finance app sessions have amplified by more than 100% worldwide. America and Europe picked the pace quickly, but APAC topped the chart with the strongest growth.

In 2016, APAC had more than 110 billion sessions in finance apps. With services like mobile banking, mobile payments, and P2P transfers to personal investment and budgeting, these apps provide unrivalled accommodation to customers and open new avenues for financial institutions to develop their businesses.

Danielle Levitas, SVP of Research at App Annie, says, “Apps provide a convenient, secure, and personalized service for the ever-connected consumer to execute financial transactions. They provide banks and other financial institutions with a unique opportunity to enrich relationships with customers, reduce costs associated with in-branch transactions, and create new growth opportunities.”

The report shows that the mobile finance apps and neo-banking have tapped into the demographics that the conventional banks failed to reach. Such connectivity has fueled the growth of finance apps in APAC. According to GSMA, in 2018 alone, 143 million mobile money accounts were opened, which has a majority of Southeast Asian and African users.

Role of Super Apps

The rise of Super Apps also drives the finance app surge in APAC. These apps act as a beacon for multiple service users that include messaging, social-networking, financial services, booking rides, and so on. Super apps offer an innovative integrated customer experience by combining the retails, financial, and social services on a payment space.

China, the home to WeChat Pay and AliPay, has the highest mobile finance penetrated by these apps with usage penetration that is approximately 7x greater than the average of the top five banking apps in China.

In short, payment apps are soaring at this point. However, to maintain stability, they have to gain reliability similar to banking apps and also compete with the rival players by steering the customers towards digitization.

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First Published on Feb 20, 2020 07:49 pm
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