Revolut is beating off competition from fellow neobanks and incumbents in Android app download numbers, posting 38% growth in 2021, according to data from App Radar.
The study of Google Play Store downloads from January to the start of November 2021 versus the same period in 2020 has shown that neo banks have generally had a much tougher year. Monzo has seen app downloads fall by 12%, Metro by 7% and Starling by 3%. In contrast, Revolut has posted growth of 38% or 5.23 million more downloads in 2021. N26 has also had a solid year with 15% growth in 2020 in new Android users which translates to 1.32 million new users.
There have also been contrasting fortunes for legacy banks with HSBC and NatWest seeing a 10% drop in Android downloads and RBS a 9% decrease. Lloyds and Barclays saw growth of 6% and 5% respectively, but the biggest winner was digital only bank First Direct which saw 26% or 102,000 new users.
Digging a little deeper, download numbers in 2020 were at a record high due to the pandemic, so falls in growth figures for 2021 should be seen in context. Overall both the neo and traditional bank sector saw more than 13 million new users between January and November 2021.
Thomas Kriebernegg, CEO & Co-Founder, App Radar, says; "It is worth remembering that each download for neobanks is most likely a new customer, whereas traditional banks may simply be converting their existing customers to mobile banking. Neobanks should also be buoyed by the fact that downloads have not fallen off a cliff edge from the surges we saw in 2020. This tells us that sizeable customer growth isn't being generated by the unique conditions created by lockdowns, but rather from a more sustained shift in behaviours.
"With competition in the banking sector so fierce, one of the main differentiators is how these companies market their apps. When scaling into a new country, localisation and app store optimisation can be the difference between success and failure. Revolut is currently playing a blinder in this respect."