In the podcast, we talk about the fact that consumer adoption of digital financial services in Europe got a boost due to the pandemic and is expected to grow significantly over the next years, while China has seen this evolution already. For instance, around 80 percent of smartphone users in China have embraced mobile banking apps, while QR code payments are very common and increasingly more popular than cash and cards. Banking users in China have been particularly willing to adopt new fintech products, e.g. it is estimated that already in 2016, 40 percent were using new payment methods. Most of these new payment methods were launched mobile-first, hence driving adoption for anyone with access to a smartphone. Thus, Huawei can leverage its mobile and digital ecosystem knowledge to provide its European customers with innovative, yet safe and trustworthy financial services via the App Gallery. Today, Huawei’s App Gallery is the third-largest app marketplace globally, with over 600 million MAUs, thus offering a real innovation opportunity and distribution channel for European banking and fintech app developers.
Kickstarting a new ecosystem of financial services apps on the App Gallery has not been without challenges, though. Google’s and Apple’s app stores dominate the market, and incumbent banks yet need to be convinced to launch their apps on Huawei’s new platform. Interestingly, Southern European banks such as BBVA have been among the first to join App Gallery. Besides, fintech start-ups have spotted the arbitrage opportunity to reach a large amount of new users by being present on the App Gallery. For instance, Revolut has just launched its innovative financial super app on the App Gallery. User-centric innovation and accelerating financial inclusion seems to be a driving force for Huawei, hence they have created an innovative financial services on-ramp for European app developers: open finance. Due to the unique partnership with Neonomics, an open banking platform that is powering payments and account data, it allows developers to create the next generation of payments and financial services across Europe via one unified API. Developers thus gain access to tools that allow to connect customers to their bank accounts, facilitating fast and secure account-to-account payments and more. By allowing to access banking and transaction data via PSD2, Huawei and Neonomics could significantly boost the supply of new financial services apps distributed over the App Gallery. I highly recommend to check out our podcast, where we explored in detail the learnings from launching a new financial app ecosystem and the opportunities for both incumbents and fintech start-ups.