Android Users Cost 50% Less Than iOS, Activate Accounts 2X More Frequently

New fintech customers onboard via mobile apps at half the price on Android compared to iOS, according to a new report. Despite that, they’re twice as likely to register an account in the app.

The average cost to acquire a new app user in the fintech space via advertising dropped from $2.45 last year to $2.33 this year: $4.35 on iOS, $2.09 on Android.

Of course, getting an app installed is the easy part. Converting that app install into an actual sign-up is harder, and activating that sign-up into a customer who deposits money, purchases insurance, or transfers crypto is much more expensive. According to the report by app marketing company Liftoff, only about 20% of app installers actually sign up, and only about 11% actually activate their account (full disclosure, I co-host Liftoff’s Mobile Heroes Uncensored podcast).

And that means real costs of acquiring new mobile customers in fintech are not cheap.

Finding a new app user who actually signs up in-app to create an account costs over $8 on Android (over $22 on iOS). And acquiring active customers is even more expensive: $13.17 on Android, and almost $67 on iOS.

Why the disparity?

“Traditionally iOS users monetize better, providing higher ROI than Android,” says Liftoff CMO Dennis Mink. “But that’s evolved over time, and given that Android users now cost so much less to acquire and are activating at more than twice the rate of iOS users, finance app marketers would be wise to invest further into growing their Android customer base.”

There is some good news across the board in the new report: the cost to get new users has been declining for all of 2022.

In November 2021, activating new customers in fintech mobile apps peaked at nearly $25, averaged across both major mobile platforms. That same active customer only costs an average of $13.55 to acquire now.

Interestingly, banking app users are the cheapest to acquire, at only $1.50 per user, while fintech users are $2.41 and investment app installs are the most expensive — and hardest to convert to actual customers — at $2.65.

The report is based on an analysis of 182 billion ad impressions, 2.4 billion consumer clicks, and 16.5 million app installs. It is available on Liftoff’s website.


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