Americans' Shadow Financial Lives Mobile Apps

The Mobile Apps Banks Don't Know They Use

Executive Brief
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Market Research

This report, based on an October 2020 survey of 3,016 U.S. consumers, quantifies Americans’ shadow financial lives and identify the ramifications of this emerging trend on incumbent financial institutions.

  • Much of consumers’ day-to-day financial lives take place “off the radar” of the traditional financial institutions that they work with. This activity is meaningful and provides a roadmap for market incumbents and disruptors alike to deliver more value moving forward.
  • Consumers are using multiple checking accounts to get specific functionality that is superior to the features and functions in their existing accounts. But they don’t close out and switch accounts—they simply add another account.
  • Challenger banks – Chime, most prominently – are gaining market share among consumers and are rated extremely highly by consumers on the value they provide.
  • A quarter of a trillion dollars annually – is flowing through payment mechanisms outside of those provided by traditional financial institutions.
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