Coronavirus-triggered social distancing, isolation and lockdowns have driven-up the use of financial apps in Europe by 72% in a week, according to new data.
The sharp increase, from a survey from deVere Group, comes as the world readjusts to life fighting against the global health crisis and economic downturn caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
James Green, deVere Group’s Divisional Manager of Europe, notes: “The world has changed in the last few weeks. The measures we’re now all taking to help the fight back against coronavirus are affecting the way we interact, live, work, and take care of our finances.
“A new era has already begun, with digitalisation and new technologies driving the shift. This can be seen by demand soaring for video-calling platforms such as Google Hangouts, Skype, FaceTime and Zoom amongst others, as more people from ever work remotely. Indeed, Zoom Video Communications has been a remarkable performer in recent times, with its shares gaining more 32% since the market began its decline in mid-February.”
“This new era has also been evidenced this week with a staggering 72 per cent jump in the use of our fintech [financial technology] apps from existing clients and a sharp increase in enquiries from potential ones.”
He continues: “Since the 2008-2009 financial crash, fintech has been filling the void left between what traditional financial services companies are offering and what clients are now expecting, especially in terms of customer experience.
“In broad terms, this means immediate, on-the-go, 24/7 access to, use and management of their money. It means personalised, on-demand services. It means lower costs.
“It can be expected that due to the Coronavirus pandemic and the steps being taken to combat it, this move towards fintech will be significantly accelerated.
“Fintech is fast-becoming the new normal.”
deVere is one of the very few financial advisory organisations that has been actively pushing into fintech and is now widely regarded as one of the leaders in the sector.
Over the last three years, the company has developed and rolled out a suite of ground-breaking fintech apps.
These include deVere Vault, a global e-money currency app and multi-currency prepaid card; deVere Crypto, a cryptocurrency app to store, transfer and exchange major cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin; deVere Core, an app that allows clients to monitor their investments in real-time on-the-go, keeping them informed with news and events that impact investor returns; and deVere Catalyst, a low-cost investment and savings app that offers best-in-class globally diversified funds.
James Green observes: “deVere Catalyst, in particular, has seen a surge in usage over the last week. This app takes the hassle out of investing and gives those with little or no investment experience the opportunity to invest in well-balanced funds at a fraction of the price – thereby helping them to reach their life-enhancing long-term financial goals.”
Against the backdrop of Covid-19, last week, deVere Group, which operates in more than 100 countries worldwide, launched its Contactless Advice service.
At the launch deVere Group CEO and founder Nigel Green said: “Experts agree that very seldom is it a good idea to take a DIY-approach to something so fundamental to your life as your finances. With the financial and economic landscape shifting and evolving so rapidly, this, I suggest, is certainly not the time.
“With this free service that offers professional, independent advice, there’s no need to do that.”
deVere’s Divisional Manager of Europe concludes: “Fintech – a significant driver of the so-called ‘fourth industrial revolution’ – is going to become an increasingly dominant part of our lives and coronavirus is fuelling the shift.
“I believe it’ll have a positive impact. Why? Because it is meeting evident and growing client demand for on-the-go service, it is speeding up the advance of financial inclusion across the world, plus it gives firms the opportunity to diversify, cut costs, meet regulatory requirements and further enhance the client experience.”