FinTech marketers invested $3B on user acquisition in 2020 according to AppsFlyer

New report finds that despite a challenging 2020 for the financial sector, remarketing efforts soared 3x and non-organic installs increased 70% globally


AppsFlyer, the global marketing measurement leader, today released its 2021 edition of The State of Finance App Marketing. The COVID-19 pandemic directly impacted how consumers interact with financial institutions and how the institutions themselves operate. According to the report, Financial Technology (FinTech) apps are in high demand, experiencing a 132% leap globally in downloads in the last two years, and a 110% increase in the US alone.

“FinTech experienced rapid digital transformation over the last year, with the pandemic leading to a shift in mindset even for those that have been slow to adapt,” said Shani Rosenfelder, Head of Content & Mobile Insight, AppsFlyer. “Marketers should strive for efficiency with their spend by following the rising Cost Per Install trend and focusing on user acquisition to meet new demand. Marketers should also explore more affordable remarketing campaigns to keep their brand top of mind amid rising market competition.”

Key US insights

  • Non-Organic Installs doubled between Q1 2020 and Q1 2021. The higher cost of media in iOS made it harder for the average Finance app to scale user acquisition as much as Android, with a significant 50% gap between the share of non-organic installs on both platforms. Most of this gap was driven by investment apps as marketers looked at this target audience to scale.
  • Finance apps from North America spent $985 Million on User Acquisition in 2020, with Q1 2021 already at $1.2 Billion Globally. Following the rise in demand for contactless financial services during the first lockdowns in North America, apps had a hard time scaling because the cost of media increased. As financial activity picked up and the stock market rose, Finance app marketers doubled down on Android. This trend continued in Q1 of 2021, leaping almost 2.5x since Q3. On iOS, in addition, the new year brought an 85% jump in marketing activity.
  • 81% decrease in fraud rate between Q1 2020 and Q1 2021. In the 2020 edition of the Finance App Marketing report, AppsFlyer disclosed that 28% of Finance apps suffered an install fraud rate that exceeded 30%. However, with greater awareness of fraud among marketers and stronger anti-fraud solutions, between Q1 2020 to Q1 2021, Android’s fraud rate sank 80% while on iOS the decline was similar despite the fact that its overall fraud rate was much lower.

Key Global Insights

  • Digital banking installs up 45%, while traditional banks gain 22% in 2021. Finance app installs increased 20% overall, but financial services and traditional banking app installs saw only a 15% increase between Q1 2020 and Q1 2021. However, only in the first quarter of 2021, traditional banks picked up speed with a 22% rise in installs.
  • 3.3x growth in the number of remarketing conversions between Q1 2020 and Q1 2021. Following a 32% drop in spend in Q2 of 2020, efforts rebounded in Q3 and with rising user acquisition costs, marketers increased activity in remarketing, which soared 3x by Q1 2021. Overall, the growth path of non-organic installs continued upward, hitting 172% growth between 2019 and now.
  • Demand for Finance apps is rising across the globe. 29 of the top 40 finance markets (by app installs) enjoyed a growth of at least 20% YoY, however it was the developing markets that dominated the number of installs. The average number of downloads in developing markets was 70% higher than the average in developed markets, with India, Brazil and Indonesia making up almost half of the global number of downloads.

“According to our research, only 50-60% of users who register during the first 30 days post-install do so on the first day, and that’s excluding churned users,” said Brian Quinn, President & General Manager, AppsFlyer, North America. “With this year heading for a record with total spend, reaching no less than $1.2 billion in Q1 alone, we believe that combining different types of marketing activities in addition to improving the registration funnel by optimizing and shorten the time from install to registration will give marketers the edge to utilize their 2021 budget to the fullest.”


The State of Finance App Marketing from AppsFlyer is an anonymous aggregate of proprietary global data collected from 4.7 billion finance app installs. Of this, 400 million installs and 120 million non-organic installs were North American based.

About AppsFlyer

AppsFlyer, the global attribution and marketing analytics leader, empowers marketers to grow their business and innovate with a suite of comprehensive measurement solutions. Built around privacy by design, AppsFlyer takes a customer-centric approach to help 12,000+ brands and its marketplace of 8,000+ technology partners make better business decisions every day, while delighting their end-users.

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