Liftoff’s Data Shows Mobile Users Increasingly Engaged with Finance Apps

Ahead of Regulatory Changes, Liftoff Data Reveals Now is the Time for Finance App Makers to Capture Market Share in EMEA 

Despite having considerably lower registration and activation rates compared to APAC, financial apps in Europe have a chance to seed usage by capitalizing on a low cost-per-install before the Payment Service Directive (PSD2) increases competition.

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Liftoff, a leader in mobile app marketing and retargeting, has released a new report with valuable insights into behaviors and trends in the rapidly growing world of mobile finance. Notably, it found that while EMEA at first may like a bad bet, coming regulatory changes and a rising tide of young consumers could make it a place to invest early as a marketer for potential future wins.

Additionally, the data shows that consumers have become more at ease managing wealth on smartphones and that a hyper-competitive market is driving up costs per acquisition.

Liftoff’s cost-per-action model helps customers scale and grow by acquiring users that actively spend in revenue-producing events.

APAC is Dominating Finance Apps, But EMEA Offers a World of Potential 

At first glance, EMEA looks like a dead end for mobile banking. At a mind-numbing $93.02, the cost-per-acquisition in EMEA is over 240 percent more expensive than APAC ($38.46) and 355 percent higher than NAR ($26.15). And not only does EMEA have the steepest cost-per-acquisition, the region saw the lowest app activation rate (2.7 percent) compared to APAC (18 percent) and NAR (25.2 percent).

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However, when zooming out from the numbers, one sees a shift on the horizon, specifically for Europe and the UK. On the legal and technical end, the Payment Services Directive (PSD2) forces banks and other traditional financial institutions to open their APIs considerably more than they are now. This will result in a wave of new technologies and solutions for European consumers to choose from when it comes to payments.

Meanwhile, recent research from Accenture found that, in the UK, millennials are ready to embrace financial apps and lead the way when it comes to sharing personal financial data with third-party providers.

While not a place for random experiments, there is an opportunity for savvy marketers now to break into the EU, capitalizing on the lowest cost-per-install ($2.49) of the three key regions before the competition gets tough.

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Fierce Competition Drives Up Costs as Users Bank More On Mobile

It’s now ten years since the launch of the App Store and people are more at ease sharing sensitive financial details with apps. To this point, Liftoff’s data shows that over the last two years people have increasingly engaged with finance apps, with the install-to-register rate rising 28 percent and nearly one-third of app users now completing a registration after installing.

And, with more consumers available as potentially meaningful users, competition has risen in the space as well. For instance, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Capital One and other financial institutions launched their own peer to peer payment app, Zelle, in 2017, to combat upstarts like Venmo. Such competition has buoyed the cost to acquire a user almost 85 percent in just two years, from $3.56 to $6.58.

It’s clear that people around the world are getting increasingly comfortable with banking on mobile, and regulations are encouraging innovation in this space. Anticipating and embracing these regulatory and cultural shifts will be key for marketers looking to gain a competitive advantage in an increasingly crowded arena.


The 2018 Liftoff Mobile Finance Apps Report is based on an analysis of internal data from February 1, 2017 through January 31, 2018, spanning 8.7 billion ad impressions (8,692,833,948 to be exact) across 2.6 million (2,581,791) app installs, 102 million (101,904,980) clicks and 1 million (1,041,250) activations and registrations. Specifically, the report tracks costs and conversion rates across engagement activities, the time it takes users to complete in-app actions post-install, as well as usage trends across platform (iOS and Android), user demographics (gender) and region (APAC, EMEA, and North America).

Currently, Liftoff is recognized as a performance-based mobile app marketing and retargeting platform. It uses post-install user data to run true cost-per-action user acquisition and re-engagement campaigns. Powered by advanced machine learning and lookalike targeting, Liftoff campaigns are optimized to drive actions beyond the install, like booking a hotel, making a reservation, or renewing a subscription.

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