When is Peak Season for Financial Apps? Not Yet

With the many lessons one can learn about monetary habits from preparing your tax returns you might expect that the early months of the year leading up to April would be when mobile FinTech apps would see the most downloads and purchases. However it seems like that assumption would be wrong. According to a new report by Liftoff financial apps actually have two different peaks — installations and purchases — but neither of them falls in April.

In its research Liftoff looked at data from the top finance applications in the United States. These included apps involving banking services, credit score monitoring, investing, managing expenses and others areas. Each of the apps they looked at also had some form of monetization, including one-time purchases and/or subscription services. The research included looking at the download figures for these applications as well as the number of registrations and the purchases within the apps.

What the report found was that attracting customers grew more expensive in the winter months, while prices dropped significantly during the summer. Overall July marked the month where the most financial services were purchased on these apps. On top of that the cost of acquiring a registered user was at it’s cheapest in July — costing approximately $10.84 compared to a high of $17.02 in December.

One explanation offered by Tech.Co in regards to this revelation is that families are spending more in the summer because of vacations, back to school supplies, and other such expenses. While that does make a certain amount of sense, one would then also expect the holiday season to be a peak time when in fact the opposite is actually true. On the other hand another set of data shows that money is often on the minds of consumers as the new year rolls in, yet that doesn’t correspond to app monetization.

Although the summer months were the most popular time for purchases, peak download times for finance apps occurred in January and February. While many users downloaded applications at these time and even registered for them, these two months also saw the lowest amount of purchases. This would imply that New Years Resolutions and the looming tax deadline do get consumers to think about their finances but it takes several more months until they’re ready to pay for services.

Even though it might seem like tax time would be a windfall for financial apps the truth is far more complicated than that. This seasonality is just one of several challenges that FinTech applications have faced and will face down the road. In spite of that it’s still encouraging to see that these apps continue to gain popularity and help push the FinTech movement forward.

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Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded DyerNews.com in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

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