The heaviest adopters of fintech products in major global markets have a lot in common: They’re young, urban and tech-savvy, and their use of digital financial services tools could double in the next year, a study from by Ernst & Young Global Ltd suggests.
While 24% of respondents 18 to 34 years old earning between US$30,000 and $70,000 annually said they’ve used a fintech product recently, 49% said they expect their future use of fintech products will rise within the next 12 months, a trend that was consistent across all age and income groups in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, the U.K. and the U.S., according to the study.
Fintech products were defined as financial services products developed by online, nonbank companies.
Sixteen percent of respondents said they’ve used at least two fintech products within the last six months, but rates were much higher among the wealthiest. Fintech usage was highest—at 44%—among respondents earning at least $150,000 annually. By age, younger adults between 25 and 34 are the heaviest fintech users, at 25%.
New Yorkers beat out overall Americans in fintech product usage, at 33% versus 17% for the U.S. as a whole. Britain reflects a similar situation: 25% of respondents in London are heavy fintech users compared with 14% in the U.K. overall. Hong Kong has the highest single market penetration of heavy fintech users, at 29%.
Ernst & Young examined fintech use in four major areas: savings and investments; money transfer and payments; borrowing, and insurance. Of those, payments and savings products showed the highest adoption rate, at 18%, including services for online payments, online foreign exchange and overseas remittances.
Savings and investments came in second for overall fintech tool popularity, at 18%, including online budgeting and planning, online investments, equity and rewards crowdfunding and lending. Insurance services came in third, at 7.7%, and borrowing—including peer-to-peer lending—ranked last, at 5.6%.
Consumers who haven’t used a fintech product lately probably have no idea the option exists, the study suggests.
More than half, or 53%, of respondents who haven’t used at least two fintech products within the last six months weren’t aware of the option, while 32% said they saw no need for them and 28% said they prefer to use a traditional financial services provider. Less than a quarter, or 21%, said they didn’t use fintech products because they didn’t understand how they work.
The report suggests consumer security concerns might be abating for the most digitally active: Only 11% of survey respondents said they didn’t trust fintech products.