Use of finance apps has grown significantly in Ghana, Nigeria & Kenya

Google and AppsFlyer have released a report on how mobile apps are transforming finance in Africa. The data reveals that there’s been a significant increase in finance app installs across the African continent. This shows that more people are turning to Apps and technology as a way of managing finances and navigating economic uncertainty, while moving to financial freedom.

The report analyzed more than 140 million installs, across 3,000 finance apps, and found that installs across the continent grew 25%. 

Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya were the main contributors to this rise in finance app installs, with the former largely bolstering this by a massive 200%; followed by Nigeria, which saw an increase by 33%. Kenya’s growth was recorded at 5%, while South Africa witnessed a decline by 11%.

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Google Search:

Google search trends between May 2021 & May 2022 showed that lending and currency conversions dominated in terms of interest related to finance – an indication of exactly how uncertain the economic situation has become for most people on the continent, particularly post-pandemic. 

Key countries contributing to the increase in Google Search trends include South Africa, who led the way in “grant status” and “loan application searches”, recording 700% & 51% increases in search intent respectively. They also led the way in “payment date” searches, with a 700% increase in search intent. There was also a large increase in South Africans searching for “currency conversions”, with a 74% increase in search intent for “euros to rands conversion rates”. 

Nigeria topped the list in terms of “loan app” searches, with an increase in search intent of 68% in the country. In Kenya, the majority of people searched for “currency conversion”, with a 52% increase in search intent for “USD to KSH” searches. 

How Marketers are responding

According to the report, app install ad spend for finance represented approximately 87% of total spend across the continent between January 2021 and September 2022, confirming exactly how dominant the finance industry is.

This figure represents the amount of money invested in advertising campaigns aimed at driving users to app stores to download an app. Indeed, there was a 45% increase in finance apps install ad spend across Africa on Android devices between H1 2021 & H2 2022. Marketers have been forced to up their budgets in order to run marketing campaigns to acquire new customers, as well as re-engage dormant users. As a result of this, installs from remarketing campaigns tailored to re-engage customers surged 55% between H1 2021 and H1 2022. 

Commenting on findings gathered from the report, Otávio Tranchesi, Industry Lead Finance, AppsFlyer stated, “Once again we are thrilled to collaborate with Google, exploring one of the most exciting industries across the continent. The tech sector in Africa has experienced tremendous growth over the last few years, but one industry that stands out is the financial sector – and with smartphone penetration increasing, mobile is crucial for success. We’re proud to be working alongside so many companies spearheading this growth.”

Lizzie Kondowe, Africa Apps Lead, Google added “When we look at Google’s search trends, it’s clear that financial uncertainty is weighing heavily on many people across the continent. We’re seeing more and more apps come to market that aim to solve these problems, and so it’s no surprise to see installs rising. We’re proud to be working alongside AppsFlyer, to bring marketers the insights and tools they need to grow their apps.”


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