For all of the progress that fintechs have brought in terms of what banking products could and should feel like, new data show that very few people are using these services as their main bank and shines a light on the UK’s mobile banking behaviour.

This is according to new figures from the mobile advertising technology company Ogury, reported in the FT’s Alphaville blog, which looked at the mobile banking habits of 688,000 UK adults over three months in the summer of 2019.

At the core of the findings is the headline that traditional banks continue to enjoy not only the largest user base but also the most exclusive audience (as in, using only that bank’s app). By contrast, for Monzo, the most exclusively used of the challenger banks, just a fifth of its customers are entirely faithful. For many customers, the Ogury data suggests, challenger banks are still a kind of payment product rather than customers’ core bank into which salaries are paid.

This is, presumably, depressing reading for the app-based bank, which has in the last few years invested heavily in creating features similar to those of a traditional bank. Though not entirely new findings, Ogury’s figures indicate that challenger banks have a long way to go yet, a distance that might indicate a strategy shift toward becoming more of a platform layer to banking products.

In comments to Alphaville, Charlotte Diemer, head of insights UK at Ogury, explained that the differences between some of the challengers that presented themselves from the tech side – Monzo and Revolut – and challengers that positioned themselves from the banking side – N26. Whereas Monzo and Revolut had been used “as an alternative debit card, with a nice function to look at the spends and analytics”. In terms of branding, this led to very different stances in branding.

Oddly, this has led to N26 sharing its users with other challengers Starling and Monzo (as well as Barclays), while Monzo and Revolut must share their customers with all traditional incumbents.

However, there is still an advantage on the fintechs’ side: they lead the pack in terms of new downloads and young users, though the path to becoming people’s main bank is not yet clear.

“Despite the hype around UK fintech, challenger banks are only just starting to compete with legacy institutions in terms of market share. What’s more, users who own challenger bank apps usually have at least two or three different banking apps. This suggests that for the vast majority of consumers, neobanks like Monzo, Revolut and Starling are used as a secondary account”, said Diemer in a statement.


  • Challenger banks only hold a 14% market share of mobile banking users.
  • Legacy banks made up the UK’s top five banking apps for audience size, with Barclays at number one with 25% market share (followed by Lloyds, Natwest, Halifax and Santander).
  • Despite only having a 6% market share of the mobile banking sector at present, Monzo will likely catch up to its rivals in the coming months - over this time period, 15% of all downloads (within this vertical) were for Monzo’s app. 
  • The majority of users only had one mobile banking app installed on their phone, however for challenger banks 80% of users had two apps or more.

Sourced from Financial Times, WARC