Most Salient Banking Apps In Nigeria – Report


A new report titled ‘Nigeria Smartphone Study’ (NSS) has identified Access Bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA) and the GTBank, as the three most salient bank’s apps in Nigeria with 11per cent, 10 per cent and nine per cent rating respectively.

These banks were followed by First Bank Zenith banking apps with six per cent each while StanbicIBTC and eNaira polled 1.0 per cent and 0.2 per cent respectively.

The report, which was carried out by the Orange Business Intelligence Technology (ORBIT) and dated March 2023, also identified OPay, PalmPay, Kuda and PayPal as the most popular fintech apps in the country with 14 per cent, 7.0 per cent, 4.0 per centand 2.0 per cent respectively.

The report also covered 10 top global and regional apps in Nigeria as well as the most widely used e-commerce, crypto currency, social media, entertainment, messaging, ride-hailing and betting apps in the country.

The ORBIT team, which is a research and tech unit of Orange Group Nigeria, sought to assess the trends and ascertain which apps are used with smartphones in Nigeria.

The latest report was based on a study that was done in Q4 2022 in 12 cities across Nigeria that focused on smartphone and application penetration. It followed ORBIT’s initial 2019 survey, which was carried out solely in Lagos.

The study was carried out in Ilorin, Kano, Kaduna, Lagos, Ibadan, Benin, Onitsha, Aba, Port Harcourt, Owerri, Abuja and Jos.

The study further revealed that 64 per cent of Nigerians use smartphones against 36 per cent that use non-smartphones, adding that Andriod, Windows and IOS are patronised by 86 per cent, 13 per cent and 1.0 per cent respectively of smartphone users in the country.

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The report stated that Access Bank, UBA, and GTBank “are the study set’s top three most salient banking apps,” adding that “Access Bank remains Nigeria’s largest bank, with a total of $17.7 billion in assets and just under 50 million customers.”

It also stated that the eNaira’s app, a payment app developed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to make its cryptocurrency more accessible to consumers, “currently has limited downloads, it possesses great potential to improve Nigeria’s payment infrastructure.”

The report added: “OPay had the highest salience across fintech and banking apps. In addition to its mobile wallet, OPay offers payments and Point of Sale (POS) services,” adding that “Kuda, a digital bank, had impressive salience, with almost four times the salience of Stanbic IBTC’s banking app.”

The study on e-commerce apps found that Jumia, Jiji ng and Konga scored 12 per cent, 4.0 per centand 2.0 per cent respectively. It said: “Jumia is Africa’s largest e-commerce platform.”

The report noted that Jiji and Konga are e-commerce platforms founded in Nigeria in 2014 and 2012, respectively. Although Jiji expanded outside Nigeria to other African countries, Konga remains largely focused on Nigeria.

On cryptocurrency apps, the study showed that, “Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency platform, has the highest salience across the survey group.”

The report added: “Although Nigeria is known to have a high adoption of crypto, researchers did observe peculiar feedback while asking respondents about cryptocurrency apps.

“Respondents noted that given CBN’s restriction of banks and other financial institutions supporting crypto transactions, most respondents were hesitant to show their crypto apps. Moreover, some respondents recalled random police checks where police would ask to see their phones and further harass them if they found any crypto apps on their phones.”

The report on social media showed that Facebook, Instragram, TikTok are the most popular apps with 77 per cent, 39 per cent and 36 per cent respectively.

They were trailed by Snapchat, Twitter and LinkedIn with 29 per cent, 19 per cent and 4.0 per cent.

It said: “Facebook remains the most salient across social media apps due to its low data usage.

“The study revealed a steep increase in TikTok downloads compared to the 2019 study in Lagos. Researchers believe that compared to other social media platforms, TikTok gained the most popularity in 2020 and 2021 as a result of COVID-19 lockdowns.”

However, the entertainment media were dominated by Boomplay, YouTube, Audiomax with 33 per cent, 29 per cent and 5.0 per cent respectively.

The study found that, “Boomplay is most salient in the entertainment category. It offers a wide selection of Afrobeats available for streaming and downloads.

“YouTube continues to be popular, especially with its growing selection of Nigerian channels and content.

“The Ayoba app is Africa’s first super app, owned by MTN, and it offers chat, calls, content sharing, music, gaming, and financial services all in one app. Established in late 2019, it currently has over 20 million users across Africa in 22 languages.

“It was launched in Nigeria in 2020 and has rapidly grown to over five million users. Based on the study’s findings, it is a platform to watch in the future.”

Also, the study showed that the dominant messaging apps in the country are WhatsApp 96 per cent, Facebook Messenger 32 per cent and Telegram Messenger 12 per cent.”

Moreover, the Bolt, Uber and Gokada are popular ride-hailing apps in Nigeria with 16 per cent, 2.0 per cent and Gokada 0.2 per cent.

The report said: “WhatsApp dominates across all apps surveyed in the study. Given its multi-functionality, ability to use little data and large network of users, it has become almost essential to Nigerian smartphone users.

“Bolt is a European four-wheeler ride-hailing service that has become popular with Nigerians due to its better rates and efficient service compared to Uber.

“The salience of betting apps was relatively low compared to the high presence of betting outlets across most cities in Nigeria. Thus, mobile betting transactions are much lower than offline betting through physical agents. The assumption can be made that the market needs time to get comfortable with online betting.”