Pandemic Has Surprising Effect On FinTech Sector With App Usage Surging

While the global economy is feeling the pain from the spread of COVID-19, the pandemic has led to a 72 percent boost in the use of FinTech apps in Europe.

The data from Swiss-based deVere Group shows how the current situation is leading people to turn online for their day-to-day activities.

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“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,” said James Green, deVere Group’s Divisional Manager of Europe. “A new era has already begun, with digitalization and new technologies driving the shift.”

As a result, FinTechs that can help people live and work remotely are thriving. Green points to the rising demand for video-calling platforms such as Google Hangouts, Skype, FaceTime and Zoom. Zoom, for instance, says it has had a 78 percent increase in revenue over the past year to $188 million and its share price has risen 67.27 percent, even though the stock market has been in freefall.

In addition, Symphony, which provides instant messaging for bankers, has seen a recent boom in its activity, with the volume of messages rising 40 percent since mid-January. The volume of attachments to instant messages has gone up by 500 percent.

And digital mortgage software provider Blend reported that usage has been up 1500 percent to 2000 percent since March 4, compared to the same time last year. The company has also seen an 85 percent to 95 percent increase in mortgage applications from the same time last year, with the platform processing 15,000 to 20,000 applications per day.

While FinTechs such as payment platforms and challenger banks have been rivals to traditional banks, Sandeep Todi, chief business officer and co-founder of payments platform Remitr, told Finance Magnates that this current crisis is the perfect opportunity for the two to figure out how to work with one another.

“The relationships between banks and FinTechs are playing to each other’s strengths more than ever,” he said, adding “this is where FinTech makes it possible to face crisis situations like this with agility.”