Mobile Monday: Top 50 iPhone and iPad Apps in the Finance Category

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I knocked around Apple App Store last week researching our year-end Online Banking Report. Below are the current top free finance apps in the U.S. store (note 1). While there are not a whole lot of surprises, several are notable:

  • Credit Karma maintains its top-10 ranking (#9)
  • Intuit has three of the top-10 apps (#4, 6, 8) plus #30
  • Two of the top-5 financial institution iPhone app providers (PayPal and Capital One) do not yet have iPad apps
  • Three credit-monitoring apps are in the top 32 (Credit Karma #9, Intersections #23 and Experian #32)
  • Two banks each have two apps in the top 50: Capital One (#6 and #34) and PNC (#25 and #42)
  • Five fintech startups made the top 22 (Credit Karma #9, LearnVest #15, Lemon #19, Pageonce #20, Manilla #22); all but Lemon are Finovate alums (note 2)

Methodology: I first listed the top 50 iPhone apps from the “Free Finance” category (column 2). Then I went to the iPad store and found their corresponding iPad app rank (column 3). I then listed all the remaining iPad apps in the top 50 and their corresponding iPhone rank (last 20 rows below).


Top iPhone/iPad Finance Apps in Apple App Store (USA)

Company iPhone Rank iPad Rank
PayPal 1 none
Chase 2 3
Bank of America 3 1
Mint (Intuit) 4 5
Wells Fargo 5 2
TurboTax (Intuit) 6 31
Capital One 7 none
TaxCaster (Intuit) 8 16
Credit Karma 9 none
American Express 10 7
Discover 11 13
Citibank 12 10
USAA 13 8
State Farm 14 47
LearnVest 15 none
Yahoo Finance 16 11
Easy Envelope Budget 17 42
US Bank 18 26
Lemon 19 none
Pageonce 20 23
Fidelity 21 12
Manilla 22 none
Identity Guard (Intersections) 23 none
Navy Federal FCU 24 none
PNC 25 19
iSpending 26 116
Barclaycard 27 35
Mortgage Calc (Zillow) 28 20
TD Bank 29 none
Quicken Money Management (Intuit) 30 17
TD Ameritrade 31 27 (Experian) 32 55
Pocket Expense 33 15
ING Direct (Capital One) 34 none
Quicken Loans 35 none
E*Trade 36 33
Spending Tracker 37 28
SunTrust 38 none
Western Union 39 none
iSpreadsheet 40 9
BB&T 41 46
Virtual Wallet (PNC) 42 40
Bloomberg 43 22
Budget 44 none
Expensify 45 53
Ally Bank 46 none
HSBC Personal 47 none
H&R Block 48 24
Bluebird (AmEx) 49 none
Seeking Alpha 50 none
Below top 50 iPhone    
Craigslist mobile not in finance 4
Money Magazine none 6
ShareBuilder (Capital One) 114 14
CNBC 55 18
Real-time stock tracker 64 21
Vanguard 58 25
Morningstar Stockinvestor 198 29
Personal Capital 92 30
Regions Bank 54 32
Visual Budget 62 34
Merrill Lynch 84 36
Bloomberg TV 125 37
Mortgage calculator (Trulia) 102 38
SmartMoney Retirement Planner (Dow Jones) none 39
Bills for iPad (iBear) not in top 300 41
Budgets for iPad (iBear) 162 43
Checkbook free 53 44
Smart Budget 120 45
TD Ameritrade Mobile Tracker 86 48
EZ Financial Calculators 63 49
Schwab 60 50

Source: Netbanker observation of Apple App Store directly from iPad and iPhone around 6 PM Pacific, 7 Jan 2013

None = No app listed with the App Store for that device


1. The Apple ranking system is a bit of a black box. But it’s generally believed to weigh heavily recent download activity.
2. Easy Envelope Budgeting (#18) is from a San Francisco-based Web developer Dayspring Technologies founded in 1998.

SMS Banking: Will it Work in the United States?

I had an interesting conversation with Scott Loftesness, partner at Glenbrook Partners, and the man behind the curtain at the most successful blog in the financial services arena, Payments News, on my fave five list.

We were debating the merits of the various mobile banking models as he updated the mobile section of his Payments Boot Camp material. For the most part, we agree as to how the market is likely to evolve. But one small difference is our outlook for SMS/text services.

In the report I wrote at Online Banking Report in February (here), I predicted that SMS/text services would be an important bridge technology to get us to full browser-like mobile banking interfaces. Scott's not so sure.

 Apparently, the major U.S banks agree with Scott, so far. There has been little activity in this area. Fremont Bank is the only one throwing their support behind this technique (previous post here), partnering with ClairMail (see FINOVATE below), the biggest proponent of this model in the United States.

Here's the short-term forecast we published Feb. 23, 2007, in our Mobile Banking report (we go out on the limb through 2016 in the full report). The number shown below is U.S. households that have ever used the given mobile technology to access their bank account balance or transactions:

Original 2-Year Mobile Banking Forecast (23 Feb 2007)

                                        2007  2008

SMS banking 400,000 2 million
Mobile website 600,000 1.2 million
One-touch banking (1) 100,000         250,000
     Total (2)                        900,000 2.5 million

Source: Online Banking Report estimates, +/- 33%, Feb. 23, 2007 (report here); estimates are for Dec. 31 of each year
(1) Downloadable banking app, eg. rich user interface
(2) Total is less than the sum, because some households use more than one access method

As you can see, six months ago we expected SMS to be the major driver, especially in 2008 and 2009. However, we are somewhat dubious now. Not because we don't think customers will like it, but because it doesn't look like the big players are planning on supporting it. It's too early to revise our entire model, but based on what we know today, here's how we see the next two years.

Revised 2-Year Mobile Banking Forecast (30 Aug 2007)

                                         2007          2008            2008 Change (from 23 Feb)

SMS banking 50,000 300,000 (1.7 mil)
Mobile website 600,000 1.5 million +250,000
One-touch banking (1) 100,000         350,000        + 100,000
     Total (2)                        700,000 2.0 million  (500,000)

Source: Online Banking Report estimates, +/- 33%, Aug. 30, 2007 (report here); estimates are for Dec. 31 of each year

Why we still like SMS banking

As I was rethinking the forecast, I read Walt Mossberg's column this morning and was reminded why I believe the United States is on the verge of mass-adoption of text-messaging. Mr. Mossberg was extolling the virtues of the new upgraded Yahoo Mail, specifically how it supported text messaging, e.g., users can send a text message to a phone directly from Yahoo Mail on their desktop PC.

Our take: As text-messaging is added to popular desktop email programs, Gmail, Hotmail, and even Outlook, it will make messaging a common activity among the core online banking constituency, the 30-to-55 crowd. As this group warms up to the convenience of text messaging, they will be far more receptive to retrieving basic bank and card-balance data in the same manner.

More important, what do you think? Comments are open. Everyone that leaves a substantive comment on this thread, and emails me their mail address, gets a $5 Starbucks card (note 1).

See the major mobile vendors DEMO their latest at FINOVATE 2007

ClairMail, along with four other mobile banking platform providers, will be DEMOing their latest solutions at our FINOVATE 2007 conference. The Aug. 31 deadline for early-bird admission is approaching quickly, so reserve a seat now.


1. Industry participants only.