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The global impact of Covid-19 on fintech adoption

We draw on mobile application data from 74 countries to document the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the adoption of digital finance and fintech. We estimate that the spread of Covid-19 and related government lockdowns have led to between a 22 and 32 percent increase in the relative rate of daily downloads of finance mobile applications. In absolute terms, this equates to an average daily increase of roughly 5.1 to 6.3 million application downloads, an increase of about 280 million app downloads since the pandemic outbreak and compared to a priori trends. Most regions across the world exhibit notable increases in absolute, relative, and per capita terms. Preliminary analysis of country-level characteristics suggests that market size and demographics, rather than level of economic development and ex-ante adoption rates, drive differential trends.

Lead investigator:

Jonathan Fu


University of Zurich

Primary topic:

Business, big & small

Region of data collection:


Status of data collection

In Progress

Type of data being collected:

From private company

Unit of real-time data collection


Start date




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