HomeGrowth & TechMobile Tech is at the heart of the Digital Economy: 10 Facts...

Mobile Tech is at the heart of the Digital Economy: 10 Facts why

Here are 10 need-to-know facts for accountants working in the digital age

The top-level findings of the industry’s leading annual mobile insights report, ‘State of Mobile 2019’, suggest that there is no longer any industry or company that can afford to ignore mobile. The trend toward mobile is set to have massive ramifications for every industry and in the report, compiled by App Annie, mobile is predicted to continue to rapidly grow and deliver a real opportunity for businesses looking to undertake mobile transformation.

Mobile is now firmly at the heart of the digital economy with over 50% of the world’s population – 3.9 billion people – estimated to be online in 2018, and 96% of the world’s population living within range of a mobile network. In 2018, there were over four billion mobile devices, including tablets and phones, with many people in mature markets having multiple devices.

Key findings

Two key findings in the report relating specifically to the mobile effect in the financial sphere will be of particular interest to accountants. The report finds that global downloads of finance Apps were up 75% from 2016 and there has been a significant growth in sessions in fintech Apps. This is said to indicate their ‘stickiness’ and ability to foster habit-forming behaviour.

This is excellent news for accounting firms as it confirms that mobile technology, and specifically Apps, can be leveraged to deliver better and more profitable client relationships. The role that mobile technology plays cannot be underestimated as it allows accountants to engage with clients on their smartphones and tablets digitally 24×7 and they get to live in their clients’ pockets and at the heart of their mobile lives.

So here’s the top 10 facts from the report:

1. Global downloads of finance apps hit 3.4b in 2018, up 75% from 2016 Of the selected markets, emerging ones like Brazil, India and Indonesia saw the strongest growth in app downloads from 2016 to 2018.

2. Global app downloads exceeded 194bn in 2018, up 35% from 2016 Mature markets like the US continue to see large, consistent numbers of new downloads annually, but growth has slowed. However, growth in these mature markets is strongest when it comes to indicators of user engagement – sessions and time spent – and consumer spend.

3. Fintech apps carve out larger user bases and foster habit-forming behaviour Growth in sessions of top fintech apps indicate the stickiness of these services and their ability to become weekly – even daily – habits. 2018 marked a turning point for fintech apps, with many making a move into consumer banking. With strong adoption, and a mobile-first strategy, fintech companies represent a clear disruptive threat to the traditional retail banking industry.

4. Time spent in apps globally grew 50% from 2016 to 2018 The five categories with the fastest-growing global market share were video players and editors; entertainment; photography; tools; and finance. Combined, total time spent in these five categories grew 110% from 2016. Social and communications apps made up 50% of total time spent globally in apps in 2018.

5. The average consumer in the US, South Korea, Japan and Australia has more than 100 Apps on their smartphone South Korea, Canada, the US, Thailand, the UK and Australia all saw significant two-year growth in the average number of apps installed on smartphone devices.

6. Point-of-sale fintech app PayPay saw meteoric rise in user base in first two months PayPay is a fintech app by Softbank in Japan that allows users to pay in-store by scanning a QR code linked to a Yahoo! Wallet account. The app has seen phenomenal adoption since its October 2018 launch.

7. Over 685bn hours spent globally in social and comms apps in 2018, up 35% from 2016 Half of time spent on mobile globally was in Social and Communication category apps in 2018. While time spent in social networking and messaging apps grew year-over-year in 2018, it represented a slightly smaller portion of total time spent on mobile — indicating that mobile’s importance continues to spread into other areas of our lives.

8. Mobile transformation pays dividends and dramatically outperforms GDP growth in key economies Japan, Brazil and the UK were the top three countries where mobile consumer spend advanced significantly faster than overall GDP. This reflects the strength of the mobile economy, and how prioritising mobile through infrastructure, education and legislation will continue to have a positive impact on overall GDP.

9. Gen Z defines the world order through mobile Gen Z (aged 16-24) engages more on average with their most used non-gaming apps than those aged 25 and older. Specifically, Gen Z spends 20% more time and engages with their most-used apps 30% more often than the rest of the population. For Gen Z, mobile is second nature and used across nearly all aspects of life — communication, socializing, shopping, banking, etc. Mobile is non-negotiable to any business hoping to attract this demographic.

10. The average user checks their bank account on mobile nearly daily in 2018, up 35% from 2016 In 2018, users in the UK checked their bank apps over seven times a week, a reflection of the UK as a fintech hub. This has put pressure on traditional banking to maintain their relevance in the face of fintech competition.


This report makes it clear that 2018 marked a turning point for fintech Apps and their strong adoption represents a threat to those businesses that ignore mobile and continue with traditional methods of communication. Increasingly, mobile is becoming non-negotiable and consumers expect their chosen service providers to adopt a mobile strategy that fits in with the always ‘on’ world and the way they prefer to connect.

• Thanks to MyFirmsApp for this article. For more go to www.myfirmsapp.co.uk

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