Money goes mobile: men are more expensive to acquire than women on finance apps

With more people than ever before managing their money using their smartphones, mobile finance app adoption is thriving. According to a new report from mobile app company Liftoff, 4 in 10 smartphone owners are now using their mobile devices for finance activities.

The cost of acquiring finance app users however is considerably higher than for other app types. Liftoff says it costs $6.58 to acquire a finance app user compared to $3.56 for other app types. At the same time install rates are almost one third.

However, male users cost 30.4% more to acquire than females. At the same time, install-to-register rates for women are generally lower (23.2%) compared to men (35%) signalling more engagement from male users. The gender gap is partially due to female users generally being more cautious.

Commenting on the gender divide, Mara Harvey, a managing director at UBS Wealth Management and head of UBS Unique, wonders:

“Are women taking less risks because they really don’t want to take any risks? Or are they not taking risks that they maybe could take, just because the financial industry has not made them feel particularly welcome and has enabled them to embrace all the tools of the financial industry and to feel confident about the decisions they are taking?”

Although Android users are 45% cheaper to acquire than iOS users, install-to-registration rates are 66% higher for iOS than Android. The install-to-activation rate was even higher at 20.9% for iOS compared to 13.5% on Android.

The report further took a closer look at Millennial finance app usage across various regions. North America thus has the most Millennial users (39%) of banking apps, followed by APAC and Europe (both 32%), Latin America (29%) and the Middle East and Africa (23%).

Interestingly, install costs are lowest in EMEA ($2.49), but highest in APAC ($6.94). Meanwhile, North America sits at $6.58. However, for APAC the higher price correlates with significantly higher sessions. North American marketers may be overpaying compared to EMEA.

Among the leading motivational factors for users to download a mobile banking app are specific tasks (55%), completing a purchase (27%) and recommendations by others (27%).

For marketers interested in targeting finance app users, Liftoff recommends to focus on data-driven decision making and accurate targeting. Good creatives also go a long way.