The Global Impact of COVID-19 on Fintech Adoption

Key findings from mobile application data from 74 countries
A man on his mobile speaking to a fruit vendor. Photo by Sambrian Mbaabu, World Bank.

This publication draws on mobile application data from 74 countries to document the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the adoption of digital finance and fintech.

It estimates that the spread of COVID-19 and related government lockdowns have led to between a 24 and 32 percent increase in the relative rate of daily downloads of finance mobile applications in the sample countries. In absolute terms, this equates to an average daily increase of roughly 5.2 to 6.3 million application downloads and an aggregate increase of about 316 million app downloads since the pandemic’s outbreak to the present, taking into account prior trends. Most regions across the world exhibit notable increases in absolute, relative, and per capita terms. Preliminary analysis of country-level characteristics suggest that market size and demographics, rather than level of economic development and ex-ante adoption rates, drive differential trends.

About this Publication

By Jonathan Fu & Mrinal Mishra