Top Personal Finance Apps August 2023: Google Pay vs. PayPal

Google Pay was a dominant force among “Personal Finance” apps in July. However, as PayPal’s performance indicates, there’s reason to be bearish. We breakdown the top “Personal Finance” apps in August 2023.

Welcome to the first edition of our monthly roundup of “Personal Finance” apps! Each month we’ll cover trends among the top American “Personal Finance” apps, as defined by the IAB’s cross-platform app content taxonomy. Come here for monthly updates on the top performing apps, download trends, monthly active user (MAU) insights, and more!

Here’s what we covered this month (click the links to jump to the corresponding section):

Want to keep an eye on the top banking and financing apps? Try the 42matters App Watchlist for free!

Current Standings: iOS and Android Downloads

To begin, let’s look at platform-specific rankings for the month of August. Below are iOS and Android download counts for the top performing US-based “Personal Finance” apps. For each platform, we looked at the top 10 best-performing apps over the last 30 days. So, in this case, we looked at the period between July 8th, 2023 and August 7th, 2023.

First up, iOS…

iOS Downloads: July 8, 2023 - August 7, 2023

PayPal was the Apple App Store’s top “Personal Finance” performer. Tallying some 7,831,495 global downloads over the last month, it had more than twice as many as the next closest app in the same period. Check it out, here’s the rest of the list:

  • Venmo: 2,862,981 downloads
  • Cash App: 2,851,778 downloads
  • TradingView: 2,375,119 downloads
  • Chase Mobile: 2,239,454 downloads
  • Capital One Mobile: 1,551,475 downloads
  • Google Pay: 1,282,978 downloads
  • Zelle: 1,258,199 downloads
  • Schwab Mobile: 897,561 downloads
  • Binance: 852,544 downloads
  • Bank of America Mobile Banking: 806,185 downloads

Android Downloads: July 8, 2023 - August 7, 2023

Now let’s turn to Google Play. Among Android “Personal Finance” apps, Google Pay was far and away the most successful, with 20,979,221 downloads over the last 30 days. That’s roughly five times more than PayPal, which had the next most downloads. Here’s the rest of the list:

  • PayPal: 4,291,507 downloads
  • Binance: 2,024,054 downloads
  • Cash App: 1,990,203 downloads
  • Trust: Crypto & Bitcoin Wallet: 832,051 downloads
  • Venmo: 621,910 downloads
  • TradingView: 591,345 downloads
  • Capital One Mobile: 440,562 downloads
  • Chime: 412,796 downloads
  • Zelle: 400,374 downloads

Is Google Pay really that dominant? PayPal gives us pause

Clearly, Google Pay dominated on Google Play. However, it didn’t fare exceptionally well on the Apple App Store, where it generated fewer than one-tenth as many downloads as its Android counterpart (20,979,221 versus 1,282,978).

So, what’s the deal? Well, it’s pretty simple. Google Pay comes pre-downloaded on most Android devices. This gives it a natural advantage on Google Play when it comes to downloads, but it doesn’t mean people are actually using the app in those numbers.

To double check, let’s take a peek under the hood. Here are the monthly active users (MAUs) for the Android version of Google Pay:

We’re still waiting for the final July numbers to come in, but as of June, Google Pay had 22,977,776 active users.

Compare that with PayPal:

While Google Pay had roughly one million more MAUs in June than PayPal, two things are hard to ignore.

The first is that PayPal had a fraction of the downloads that Google Pay had — 4.2M versus 20M. The implication here is that Google Pay’s downloads don’t appear to translate too well into usage. Indeed, it seems like Google Pay’s iOS download total (~1.3M) is a more accurate representation of the app’s popularity.

The second thing is that these apps are going in dramatically different directions. While PayPal’s Android MAU’s climbed from 16.9M in January to 21.8M in June, Google Pay’s fell from 86.2M to 22.9M in the same time period.

Final Thoughts

While the numbers might not necessarily reflect it, PayPal is probably the true leader of the pack among “Personal Finance” apps. It was the App Store’s top July performer, and number two on Google Play despite Google Pay’s inherent advantage on the platform.

By comparison, Google Pay is popular among Android users (although its popularity is flagging) but only somewhat popular on the App Store, where it ranked just 7th among July’s top performers.

In any event, we’ll be monitoring changes in this space on a regular basis. So, be sure to keep an eye out for future iterations of the 42matters “Personal Finance” app roundup!

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