Navigating the Dynamic Terrain of Fintech Apps: Insights for Marketers and Developers

By Ender Ozcan, SVP Global Revenue, Adjust

The fintech revolution has transformed the way we interact with money, ushering in an era of unprecedented innovation and accessibility. From mobile banking to cryptocurrency trading, fintech apps have become integral to our daily lives, offering convenience, security and financial empowerment at our fingertips.

With the value of Bitcoin more than tripled since the start of 2023, which was also the year mobile payments emerged as the preferred mode of transaction, the fintech app market is experiencing a period of extraordinary growth and opportunity. Looking ahead, key trends such as the mainstream adoption of digital wallets, real-time cross-border payments and enhanced mobile banking security are expected to shape the future of fintech.

Developers and marketers have a unique opportunity to capitalise on this evolution and ensure continued growth for their fintech apps. That’s why Adjust, jointly with AppLovin, examined our data to analyse exactly how fintech apps are performing, outlining the key areas for improvement, and proposing how developers and marketers can benefit from this fast-evolving app vertical.

Ender Ozcan

The Low Down

According to our recent research, published in the latest Mobile App Trends Report, fintech app installs and sessions globally soared by 42% and 24% respectively in 2023, reflecting a seismic shift in consumer behaviour and preferences. Session lengths for fintech apps also increased globally between 2022 and 2023, up from 6.1 minutes per session to 6.4 minutes.

Regionally, the biggest installs uptick was seen in APAC (48%), while the biggest boost in sessions was charted in EMEA (31%). North America was the only region to see decline, dropping 12% in installs and 16% in sessions, which can partially be attributed to the sharp fall in funding for fintech companies throughout the year. Nonetheless, positive signals such as the increase in banking app sessions in North America underscore the resilience and adaptability of the market.

While regional differences in the fintech landscape are influenced by a number of factors, including economic, regulatory, and cultural dynamics, the overarching trend is one of growth and innovation. As the industry continues to evolve, understanding and adapting to regional nuances will be essential for marketers and developers seeking to capitalise on the vast opportunities presented by the global fintech revolution.

The Challenge

However, for the developers and marketers of these apps, amidst the optimism lies a pressing challenge: user retention. While the initial surge in app downloads is encouraging, sustaining long-term engagement remains elusive for many developers and marketers. According to our research, while day one retention rates showed a modest increase year over year, from 22% to 24%, overall retention rates dipped in 2023. The data shows that retention tailed off throughout the rest of the 30-day post-install period, ending at 7% – down from 9% in 2022.

While install and session data is encouraging and shows continued momentum, retention is a crucial metric that cannot be overlooked: simply acquiring a large number of users does not guarantee success.

So how can this be rectified? To address the challenge of user retention, marketers and developers can implement targeted strategies tailored to their audience’s needs. This includes providing a personalised onboarding experience to quickly demonstrate the app’s value, segmenting communication to deliver relevant content, and leveraging in-app messaging and push notifications for timely updates.

Incorporating gamification elements, such as challenges and rewards, can also incentivise continued engagement, while fostering a sense of community among users encourages peer-to-peer support.

What’s more, by continuously gathering feedback and optimising the app experience based on data-driven insights, marketers and developers can create a more engaging and valuable user experience, leading to improved retention rates and long-term success in the competitive fintech landscape.

There is a silver lining, too. Retention may have fallen, but stickiness – how often users are returning to an app – increased globally for fintech generally and for banking apps—dropping one percentage point for payment apps. This demonstrates that of installs that are converting into daily active users, an increasing proportion are also converting into monthly active users. An improvement on the retention side would push these figures up even higher.

A Bright Future

As we navigate the dynamic terrain of fintech apps, it’s evident that the road ahead is filled with promise and potential. As illustrated by the surge in app installs and sessions in 2023, the potential for innovation and growth in the fintech industry knows no bounds.

Amidst this optimism, though, the challenge of user retention looms large. To take advantage of this momentum and ensure continued success, marketers and developers must remain agile, adaptive, and innovative. By leveraging emerging technologies, embracing data-driven insights, and delivering compelling user experiences, they can address challenges faced in the vertical and continue the trend of resilience we have seen in recent years.


Explore more