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Fintech app usage climbs amid digital boom

Read time 2min 50sec

The use of fintech apps has increased more than 61% year-on-year since the start of COVID-19 in 2020.

So says Swiss-based financial advisory organisation deVere Group, which notes the jump is the result of the shift in the way people manage their finances in light of the pandemic.

COVID-19 has hastened the growth of the digital economy, with contactless transactions, e-commerce and fintech becoming a key feature the world over.

BuyShares.co.uk expects contactless payments to continue rising worldwide and hit a $665 billion transaction value in 2021, with the total value of contactless transactions doubling up and reaching over $1.6 trillion by 2024.

On the other hand, e-commerce’s share of global retail trade grew from 14% in 2019, to about 17% in 2020, based on research by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

Closer to home, First National Bank (FNB) says its customers sent R28 billion via 7.3 million active eWallets in the last 12 months. eWallet is FNB's mobile money service that allows banking customers to send money to individuals with an active mobile number.

“Pre-coronavirus, we were already in an exciting new era driven by the lightning pace of the digitalisation of our everyday lives,” says James Green, deVere Group divisional manager of Europe. “But like so many areas of our lives, the pandemic has accelerated this trend.”

Green continues: “The jump in usage of fintech apps from existing clients, and a sharp increase in enquiries from potential ones, underscores that people are becoming more tech-savvy than ever.

“Like never before, people are embracing the convenience of immediate, low-cost access to, use and management of their money.”

deVere Group CEO and founder Nigel Green believes the fintech app usage trend will further increase. “The financial services sector is currently undergoing, I believe, possibly the most profound transformation in history.

“We’re seeing seismic and far-reaching shifts in client expectations. As the world moves towards an ever-more digitalised and globalised future – which is increasingly influenced by those who’ve grown-up with 'on-the go' tech − this phenomenon can only be expected to gain momentum.

“The way we save, invest, use and manage our money has changed forever. We are witnessing a personal finance revolution.”

According to Nigel Green, fintech allows all clients’ personal financial services to be dealt with online and/or on their mobile devices, wherever they choose to be.

“It will speed-up financial inclusion around the world, especially for those who aren’t able to use financial services because of the biases of traditional financial firms.

“In addition, it allows firms within the financial sector the opportunity to diversify, reduce costs, fulfil regulatory requirements and further enhance the client experience.”

Commenting on the year-on-year jump in fintech apps usage, James Green concludes: “Whether the trend in the usage of fintech is a long-term one will be demonstrated as lockdown restrictions are eased around the world and we look ahead to a post-pandemic future.

“I will be surprised if those new users of fintech will ever go back to traditional methods of accessing, using and managing their money.”

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