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App data suggests UK consumers are saving money rather than investing as cost of living crisis bites

An analysis by app marketing and analytics platform App Radar has revealed that the top ten UK apps with money management functionality have gained 9 million Android users in the period 1 January – 31 August 2022 and experienced an average user growth of 22%. That is a 40% increase when compared to the same period in 2021, which saw the apps analysed reach 6.4 million app downloads in the Google Play store.  


In total, the top ten money management apps have been downloaded by 40 million people on Android up until the end of August 2022. 


Investment apps have not fared as well as money management apps. From January to August 2022, the top ten UK apps saw an average Android user growth of 15%. At the same time, this growth was down 36% from the same period the year before. 


These Google Play download trends are suggesting that people are looking at options to make their money go further in the short term, rather than invest for the long term, as they attempt to weather the cost of living crisis. Nevertheless, in 2022 nearly 885,000 new Android users have downloaded UK investment apps, bringing the total number of the apps analysed on Android to 5.96 million. 


The analysis shows that pension-related apps and those focused on money management have both continued to grow during these difficult times. PensionBee, for example, has managed to increase its user base by 41%. At the same time, money management app Plum had a user growth of 24% and banking app Revolut saw a user growth of 25%. 


The fastest-growing apps with money management functionality, in terms of Google Play store downloads, for the year to August 2022, were: Revolut (5.86m), Monzo (968k), Chase UK (496k), Curve (481k) and Starling (395k). 


Google Play store downloads
App Estimated lifetime downloads (31 August 2022) Estimated downloads 1 January – 31 August 2022
Revolut 23m 5.86m
Monzo 5m 968k
Monese 3.78m 364k
Starling 2.58m 395k
Curve 2.30m 481k
Moneybox 1.04m 94k
Plum 820k 200k
MoneySupermarket 666k 125k
Uswitch 617k 18k
Chase UK 531k 496k


Silvio Peruci, Managing Director, App Radar, said: “As the cost of living crisis starts to bite, people are more conscious of where they spend and invest their money. This is starting to reflect on the investment app sector as growth is naturally decreasing, whereas apps with money management functionality are faring much better as they enable people with limited savings to try and make their money go further in the short term. 


“The investment market will either slow completely as people save money, or these companies will find a new audience of non-investor savvy people who have savings and don’t want inflation to erode the value of their funds. This will be no easy feat and these companies will have to work hard to attract such an audience with a smart app marketing strategy that will combine targeting via app store ads and organic growth via app store optimisation.


“As the cost of living crisis continues, the money management sector will be even more competitive. With more choices available than ever for consumers, companies will have to fight for new users with innovative functionality and smart marketing techniques to attract and retain users.”


Google Play store downloads
App Estimated lifetime downloads (31 August 2022) Estimated downloads 1 January – 31 August 2022
Freetrade: Invest, Trade, ISA 659k 88k
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL) 850k 65k
IBKR Mobile 1.68m 230k
interactive investor (ii) 74k 10k
Moneybox 1.04m 94k
Nutmeg 112k 22k
PensionBee: Combine Pensions 297k 123k
Plum – Save Money and Invest 820k 200k
Wealthify Saving & Investments 237k 32k
Wombat: Investing Made Simple 191k 20k