|By Jim Bruene on August 5, 2008 4:40 PM | Comments (2)|
It's been almost a month since Apple launched its App Store for native iPhone apps. According to the company, 25 million have been downloaded, an impressive one-million-per-day pace (11 Aug update: The company reported 60 million downloads, with $30 million in sales, during the first 30 days.)
Luckily for banking geeks, Apple added a Finance category (see screenshot below), so it's easier to track what's popular in our sector. As of early today, a total of 42 finance apps were listed. The 20 most popular were (note 1):
|2||CheckPlease||Tool to split dinner bills||Free||31 July||3||77|
|3||Mobile Banking (BofA)||Banking||Free||4 July||2.5||323|
|5||Balance||Expense register||Free||30 July||4.5||41|
|6||Puluwai Real Estate Search||Real estate||Free||20 Jun||3.5||38|
|7||3in1 Mortgage Calc||Calculator||Free||30 Jul||3.5||7|
|8||TipCalc||Tip calculator||Free||19 Jul||3.5||6|
|9||TipTap||Tip calculator||$0.99||1 Aug||4||30|
|10||Budget||Personal finance mgr||$1.99||24 Jul||3.5||37|
|11||MyAccounts to Go||View accounting info||Free||15 Jul||2.5||16|
|12||Swissquote||Stock quotes||Free||17 Jul||3||2|
|14||Mortgage Payment Calc||Calculator||$0.99||2 Aug||3||9|
|15||Day Bank||Expense register||$3.99||14 Jul||3.5||64|
|16||SplashMoney||Banking & PFM (note 2)||$9.99||24 Jul||3||84|
|17||iXpenselt||Expense register||$4.99||9 Jul||3.5||52|
|18||PocketMoney||Personal finance mgr||$9.99||1 Aug||3||55|
|20||Tipulator||Tip calc||$0.99||30 Jul||4||33|
Source: Netbanker/Online Banking Report analysis of Apple App Store data, 5 Aug 2008
PFM = Personal financial management
*Release date of latest version; there may have been previous versions released earlier; currently reviews carry over from previous versions
**Average user rating on 1-to-5 point scale
***Number of user reviews posted
- Nine apps have a download fee ranging from $0.99 to $9.99
- Only four have a user-rating of 4.0 or better (on a five-point scale): Balance (4.5), Bloomberg (4.0), LoanShark (4.5) and TipTap (4.0)
- Three apps, including two of the most popular, are rated below 3.0: BofA (2.5), PayPal (2.0) and MyAccounts to Go (2.5)
- The most-reviewed apps are Bloomberg (337 user reviews) and BofA's mobile banking (323) (see previous coverage)
I haven't used any of the apps yet, but from reading the descriptions, there's not much new here (notes 3, 4). The apps fall into four main categories:
- Tip calculators
- Other financial calculators such as loan payments
- Expense/check registers
- Personal finance tracking apps
Even though these functions aren't very advanced, the ability to access them easily from your mobile phone makes them more interesting. And banks looking to create a useful iPhone app should take note. BofA was criticized in early user reviews for posting little more than a landing page for its normal mobile banking screen (see screenshot above).
Financial institutions would likely find a more receptive audience if a couple useful functions were added to the application besides an online banking login screen. It would be relatively trivial to add an expense register, tip calculator and other calculator functions to the banking app.
1. Apple does not provide any metrics on how many times the apps have been downloaded. It just lists them in rank order.
2. Download transactions from more than 200 financial institutions supporting Intuit's DirectConnect
3. The most interesting app is SplashMoney's account aggregation app that allows you to download transactions from more than 200 financial institutions that support Intuit's Direct Connect.
4. See our Online Banking Report on Mobile Banking for more info.
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