PayPal Widens Lead for Most Popular App, Report Finds

PayPal widened the gap between itself and other financial companies last year as the most popular banking and personal finance app, according to software firm Okta’s 2019 Businesses @ Work report released today.

“PayPal is a perfect example of how the power of network effects can grow the user base of modern banking apps,” the report said. “PayPal adoption seemed to be leveling off in 2017, but a jump in 2018 kept the online payment company at the top of the stack.”

According to Okta’s report, PayPal overtook American Express in early 2016: now third, for the lead in terms of customers with an app deployed. PayPal has maintained its lead despite a bit of a slowdown in growth in 2017.

During 2018, the payments giant was able to distance itself from Bank of America (which ranked second) and the rest of the pack. However, in 2018 BofA made gains of its own, surpassing Amex (third), Chase (fourth), and Wells Fargo (fifth). Fidelity came in sixth, Mint in seventh, USAA in eighth, Citibank in ninth, and Schwab in tenth.

The report identified the most popular and fastest growing apps across a number of sectors, based on the login activity of Okta’s 5,600 global customers to more than 5,500 app integrations. Microsoft Office 360 topped the list with a sizable lead over cloud computing firms Salesforce and Amazon AWS, which were followed by other software firms. No banking or finance apps made the top 15 most popular apps by the number of customers, overall.

It’s worth noting that the number of people downloading Square’s Cash App continued to outpace downloads for PayPal’s P2P payments app Venmo in January, an analyst reported this week.

Nomura Instinet’s Dan Dolev, said in a note to clients that Cash App’s monthly new downloads reached 2 million in January, up slightly from 2018. Its cumulative downloads reached about 45.3 million as of January, while Venmo was at 41.2 million.

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