Consumer reliance on finance apps spiked because of coronavirus

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A survey commissioned by Plaid found that customers handled the coronavirus-imposed transition to digital channels gracefully — and they’re using mobile apps from traditional banks and fintechs at an accelerated rate.Sixty percent of the 2,000 U.S. adults participating in the survey, conducted by Harris Poll, said they were using more apps to manage their money than they did before the pandemic. And 56% said they could not have coped with their finances without such apps.“We had a hunch as COVID was starting up that we were going to be seeing a rise of consumer engagement with fintechs across the board, for obvious reasons such as people can’t go to branches anymore, people have more time on their hands, and people have more uncertainty,” said Lowell Putnam, Plaid’s head of partnerships. The Paycheck Protection Program also blew a tailwind fintechs’ way, he said.The pandemic “is putting an urgency and a value on fintechs that I think historically we haven’t seen before,” Putnam said. “It’s easy to dismiss fintech applications as secondary or tertiary or backup or hobby applications for people who are really into managing their money. But what we’re seeing here is this is a critical lifeline.”More …

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