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Asia leads fintech market growth as app downloads surge
Covid-19 spurs rapid expansion with crypto apps making a strong showing in Southeast Asia
Patricia Chiu 17 Jun 2022

Downloads of fintech apps from both Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store surpassed 6.1 billion in 2021, up 25.2% from the previous year, indicating robust growth of the digital financial market. Majority of the downloads were from Asia.

In a recent report, Sensor Tower, a market intelligence firm that specializes in the mobile app ecosystem, says the Covid-19 pandemic amplified the growth rate of both fintech and crypto apps worldwide.

Despite a brief decline at the beginning of the pandemic, fintech apps in Asia have been flourishing, with India and Southeast Asia as the leading markets, according to the company’s State of Fintech and Crypto Apps 2022 report.

Total downloads in Asia reached 880 million the first quarter of 2022, a 44% increase from the fourth quarter of 2019 before the pandemic, the report says.

Latin America saw 340 million downloads in Q1 2022, while North America and Europe recorded 160 million and 230 million downloads, respectively.

Transaction and payments apps were still the top downloads globally, Sensor Tower says, with Google Pay, PhonePe, Paytm, PayPal and Alipay occupying the top five spots.

Rounding out the top 10 were Binance, Nubank, an app to manage personal income tax developed by China’s State Taxation Administration, Mercado Pago and Cash App.

Of the 10 fintech apps downloaded globally in the first quarter of 2022, seven were from transaction and payment companies, and one each from an e-bank, a cryptocurrency exchange, and a tax agency.

Southeast Asia showed potential as an emerging market for crypto apps, the report says. In Q1 2022, the share of crypto app downloads among the top 50 fintech apps in the region surged to 7%, from just 2% in 2020. While Asia and Southeast Asia trail the rest of the world when it comes to crypto app downloads, Sensor Tower says it is the only region to show growth from end-2021 to Q1 2022.

In the United States, crypto apps’ share of downloads among top 50 fintech apps in the country stood at 43% in 2021, but fell to 33% in Q1 2022.

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