Verto Index: Fiscal Properties
As the new year (and new tax season) begins, many Americans are turning their attention towards getting their personal and business finances into shape. The latest Verto Index looks at nearly 40 fintech, banking, and financial properties among U.S. adults (ages 18 and older) and shows a ranking of the 10 most popular and engaging, from PayPal to Citi. For the purpose of this Index, “properties” refers to apps, websites, and services found under the same brand name (eg., Paypal refers to the Paypal website as well as the mobile app).
Big Banks Still Rule the Top 10
Based on monthly unique user numbers, Verto Analytics data shows that the 10 most popular banking and financial properties are largely dominated by major banks, with a few notable exceptions. PayPal is the top-ranking banking or financial property, with nearly 90 million monthly users – more than twice the user numbers and reach as Chase, its second-ranking competitor.
Moreover, PayPal’s user base is evenly split between mobile-only users and those who access Paypal through a PC or across multiple devices – a strong indicator of PayPal’s entrenched dominance across screens. PayPal has a significant early-adopter advantage: the company launched its first payment service in 1999, and unveiled the PayPal brand in 2001. By contrast, Android Pay, the only other non-bank backed payment service in the top 10, did not launch until 2015, more than 15 years later.
While nationally-recognized banks and credit card companies are jockeying for position in our rankings, other payment services lag far behind: Venmo comes in at number 20, with just over seven million monthly users, Square Cash ranks at number 37 with 1.4 million monthly users, and Google Wallet (which has suffered criticism as a clunkier predecessor to Android Pay) ranks at 39, with just 1.2 million monthly users.
Big Banks Don’t Mean Big Consumer Engagement Numbers
Verto’s stickiness rating compares daily and monthly users to quantify the most engaged users. According to Verto Analytics data, some of the stickiest banking and financial properties aren’t necessarily the ones with the largest monthly user numbers. Revisiting the payments subgenre, Venmo has less than 10% of PayPal’s user numbers, but its stickiness rating is 17% compared to PayPal’s 12%. And Venmo attracts repeated visits – the average user engages with Venmo 10 times per month, compared to PayPal users, who use the service an average of five times per month.
While several national banks are represented, the stickiest property on our Index is Quicken, a personal finance and management tool. Its 44% stickiness rating is nearly double that of any other property across our entire Index.
Although its nine million monthly users only account for a 4% overall reach, those users spend an average of four minutes using Quicken per session, and the majority of users (90%) use a PC to access Quicken for some portion of their sessions. These metrics are even more impressive when you consider that finance properties are not a popular place for consumers to spend their time: according to Verto data, the average U.S. adult spends only 1% of his online time engaged with banking and finance properties (in comparison, U.S. adults spends 34% of their time online with social media and communications properties, and 11% of their online time with games).
Is Mobile-Only an Effective Strategy for Banking?
Major banks and startups alike are closely watching the rise of the mobile payments industry. A recent report projects that up to 70% of Americans will make at least one mobile payment in 2017, and that number may be even higher in other key markets in Asia and Europe. Two of the stickiest properties on our Index are mobile-only, and some of biggest national banking and credit institutions are vying for with a mobile-first (or mobile-only) strategy.
However, American Express appears to be the only major credit card company with a mobile-only app that ranks on our Index, which supplements its other existing online properties. American Express claims nearly 16 million monthly users, while its mobile app has nearly half as many monthly users. And TD Bank (a major American retail bank that advertises itself as a “convenient” institution) is the only banking institution to roll out a mobile-only app.
Other large, national banks, such as Chase, Wells Fargo, Citi, and Bank of America are clearly still catering to a wide variety of customers across multiple devices; none of these properties have more than a 50% mobile-only audience.
The Future of Banking and the Role of Fintech
According to our Index, the most popular is PayPal, a payments system, and the stickiest is Quicken, a personal finance tool; until last year, neither of these were owned by a traditional banking institution (Quicken was sold to HIG Capital in 2016) and at their core, both properties are software companies rather than banking institutions. How will traditional banks and fintech intersect as each develops new products, services, and apps? As the mobile payments ecosystem continues to grow, and consumers increasingly expect a consistent cross-device experience from their financial institutions, major banks may find them fighting among themselves while startups hustle to gain credibility and greater market share.
Interested in our insights on banking and finance properties? Download a PDF of the Verto Analytics Banking and Finance Index. And for the latest updates, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.