This month’s Verto Index explores banking and finance properties, focusing on the most popular websites, services, and apps based on monthly user numbers among U.S. adults (ages 18 and older).
While this sector has largely been dominated by mainstream financial institutions and more recent mobile and digital payment providers, the rising interest and volatility in cryptocurrencies has introduced several new properties to our rankings.
Household Names in the Top Ten
The 10 most popular financial properties are largely comprised of familiar names, with PayPal dominating our rankings: with 129 million monthly users (and a 61% reach), it boasts more than double the number of monthly users as the second-ranking property, Chase. And while half of PayPal’s user base accesses its services via smartphone, less than 40% of its user base is mobile-only, indicating PayPal’s continued popularity across screens and its success in marketing itself as a viable payment-service alternative for enterprise clients as well as more casual peer-to-peer transactions.
Among the incumbent financial institutions, Chase continues to hold a clear lead among its peers. It’s comfortably ahead of rivals like Capital One and Citi, and has nearly double the monthly user base as Wells Fargo and Bank of America. And while Chase and Wells Fargo report relatively high numbers of monthly sessions per user, these metrics pale in comparison to session numbers for some of the stickiest (most engaging) properties, which we address in the next section.
Can You Build an Addictive Financial App?
“Stickiness,” a metric that compares daily users to monthly users, is how Verto measures the user engagement of a particular property. Financial properties are generally far less sticky than other types of digital properties (for example, social media properties like Facebook have a 70% stickiness rating); Quicken, the bookkeeping mainstay of many small businesses and households, ranks 38th on our Index overall, but leads our stickiness ratings at 49%. And despite the fact that Coinbase recently claimed to have more monthly users than Charles Schwab in active monthly accounts, the two properties both claim a stickiness rating of 25%. Incidentally, Verto data shows that Coinbase’s 13.6 million monthly users far surpass Charles Schwab’s 4.7 million monthly users.
A Focus on Cryptocurrencies
While it ranks 17th on our Index overall, the cryptocurrency exchange site and app Coinbase has proven one of the most engaging properties on our Index, with 13.6 million monthly users active on the site or app an average of nearly once per day (27 sessions per month).
While other cryptocurrency properties have far smaller monthly user bases and stickiness ratings, their presence in our rankings indicate increasing consumer interest not only in cryptocurrency exchanges, such as Kraken, but also in cryptocurrency news sites and information clearinghouses, such as CoinDesk and 99Bitcoins. As ICOs gain traction in companies from Kodak to entire nations like Gibraltar, it seems likely that cryptocurrency-related properties may become a financial subcategory as popular (and contentious) as mobile payment services once were.