Data Snacks, Member Exclusive

Data Snack: As finance apps’ ad spend soars, their conversion rates are declining

  • The average ad spend on an app store by a finance app rose by 51% between 2020 and 2021, crossing the half-a-million dollars mark.
  • Conversion rates for finance apps fell across the App Store from 6.8% to 5.8%, and Google Play Store from 60% to 55%.

Email a Friend

Data Snack: As finance apps’ ad spend soars, their conversion rates are declining

The proliferation of fintech services into American consumers’ financial lives started building before 2019, but the pandemic dramatically accelerated the trend. Today, digital financial services claim 88% of U.S. consumers, challenging the 95% that traditional banks claim. In this environment, AppFollow’s new study reports on how the finance category is performing in terms of user engagement and satisfaction across the App Store and Google Play Store.

“The category is growing like a jungle,” the app store optimization service found.

The finance category saw a trend of rising downloads between Q1 2020 and Q1 2021, as they increased from 5.9% to 18.6% on the App Store, and 5.4% to 17%.

In addition, the number of apps in the category with over 10,000 downloads a quarter rose by 21% between Q4 2020 and Q1 2021. Much of this can be attributed to financial services’ increase in ad spend, as competition in the space grew over the past two years. Average spending went up by 51%, to more than half a million dollars. The cost-per-install across the industry rose by 46% between Q3 2020 and Q2 2021.


Consequently, conversion rates for finance apps fell in both the stores between 2020 and 2021. As an increasing amount of providers compete for the same pool, customer acquisition generally becomes more expensive.

A breakdown of financial apps into the niche functions they serve — like saving, investing, and paying — helps gauge how conversion rates changed across the market. 

Except for mobile banking, finance apps generally saw a decrease in conversion rates:

  • Mobile banking platforms’ CR increased from 59% in 2020 to 62% in 2021
  • Personal finance platforms’ CR remained at 50% across 2020 and 2021
  • Mobile payment platforms’ CR fell from 51% in 2020 to 50% in 2021
  • Cryptocurrency platforms’ CR fell from 44% in 2020 to 42% in 2021
  • Investment platforms’ CR fell from 50% in 2020 to 47% in 2021

The report suggests that the decrease in conversion rates can be viewed in the light of ad spend, and the general rise of interest in finance apps. 

Another factor that could drive page views could be the increase in the general attention around financial offerings. Today, there is significant media interest in digital finance tools, with social media also becoming a hub for such hype — this could get more people searching up for what’s available in the market. Perhaps some people are researching with less of an intent to download – more to just feed their curiosity. The report speculates that such users may be harder to convince than early adopters. 

How can apps improve performance on app stores?

The average rating by stars for financial apps, which is driven by customer satisfaction, stood at 4.7 for the App Store, and 4.2 for Google Play Store. The average rating in terms of reviews, which is driven by user complaints, stood at 3.7 for the App Store, and 3.8 for Google Play Store. 

Any strategy to improve customer experience and ratings on stores has to start from reviewing customer feedback. The most common topics that customers wrote reviews for fell into four categories: reporting a concern, bugs, monetization, and user feedback.

Reports of bugs dominated the reviews, indicating that financial apps could turn focus to their services, improving their products’ technical performance, to create smoother customer experiences. The second most significant factor is monetization — consumers don’t like hidden fees. Across niches, users complained about poor customer service or dissatisfactory onboarding processes.

0 comments on “Data Snack: As finance apps’ ad spend soars, their conversion rates are declining”

10-Q, Member Exclusive

Back to the future: Jack Dorsey secures the reins of Square once again

  • Can Jack Dorsey's fresh focus on Square help boost stock returns and eventually uplift the Square business after CEO Alyssa Henry steps down?
  • The IPO Index witnessed moderate gains last week.
Sara Khairi | October 02, 2023
10-Q, Member Exclusive

Behind Citizens Bank’s evolving strategy in a crowded BNPL market

  • Citizens Pay's Christine Roberts shares insights on how Citizens Pay has evolved since its inception and if it has an edge over fintech BNPL lenders.
  • In other news, Arm and Instacart IPOs could be meaningful for Goldman Sachs to open new doors of revenue and IPO fees for the Wall Street firm.
Sara Khairi | September 25, 2023
10-Q, Member Exclusive

Chasing ambitions: SoFi elevates its game by participating in underwriting the Instacart IPO

  • Underwriting part of the Instacart IPO can be a big shot for SoFi, which went public in 2021 and is best known for student loan refinancing.
  • Also, Wall Street banks added modest gains to the IPO Index last week.
Sara Khairi | September 18, 2023
10-Q, Member Exclusive

Dime Community Bancshares steps into healthcare lending as part of its commercial banking expansion

  • Dime makes a move into the healthcare sector to offer financing solutions and support capital-intensive projects.
  • The CFPB is keeping tabs on Apple’s policy of limiting access to the NFC chip technology that makes Apple Pay the only mobile payment service that utilizes the ‘tap and go’ technology embedded in iOS devices limiting other companies from developing their own tap-to-pay apps for Apple devices.
Sara Khairi | September 11, 2023
10-Q, Member Exclusive’s shiny IPO debut: Can the mortgage lender pave its way to become a Wall Street darling?

  • Can gain Wall Street's respect?
  • Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Friday warned that additional interest rate increases could be yet to come, as inflation is still above where policymakers feel comfortable.
Sara Khairi | August 28, 2023
More Articles