Time spent on personal finance mobile apps grew the most during year of COVID, fueled by Gen Z

New data in 2021 has shown how consumers have increasingly adapted to mobile apps – financial apps, in particular – during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Call it common sense, call it expected, but it speaks volumes for those financial institutions slow to innovate in this ever-adapting digital era. According to Global Wireless Solutions’ (GWS) The Pandemic Year in Mobile Apps report, consumers spent an average of four hours on their smartphones during COVID in 2020 – an increase of 10 minutes a day compared to pre-pandemic days. When considering the specific apps used like social media, video, and games, the time used on personal finance or trading mobile apps increased the most at 63 percent during the pandemic year. That growth is led by Gen Z consumers who clocked in their social media sessions at a 102 percent increase in total hours compared to pre-pandemic rates.

“When coronavirus took hold, smartphones became further cemented as a link between isolated consumers and the world at large, thus their usage is increasingly becoming an accurate reflection of human behavior on the whole,” says Dr. Paul Carter, GWS Founder and CEO. “We expect that sustained consumer mobile behavior will have a lasting effect on how consumers will engage with businesses over the long term, and will be a major aspect to establishing what normal looks like now.”

Some key results from the report offer a more comprehensive evaluation of a consumer’s average day as it pertains to interactions through their mobile devices. Even as consumers scrambled to day trading and crypto apps, it was clear financial difficulty was front-and-center for many through the massive growth rate of food stamp mobile apps.


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