Mobile applications of brokers have not yet been hit by a wave of deletions, but not everyone has managed to regain the audience lost with the outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine. Partly lucky were those companies that were able to win over a significant part of the clients of sanctioned brokers and banks. It is possible to correct the situation, experts say, by using landing pages in co-branded banking applications and banners on the Internet.
Recent weeks have been rich in blocking applications of Russian companies and banks in foreign application stores. A month ago, mobile applications of sub-sanctioned Sberbank and VTB were withdrawn from there. At the end of September, the App Store removed various VK applications, Yula, Domklik, the 2GIS service and others. As the Kommersant survey showed, despite the risks of blocking and deletion, the audience of mobile applications of a number of popular Russian brokers is even increasing.
At the beginning of the year, the number of unique users of the BCS World of Investments application per working day averaged 90-100 thousand people, and now it is 120-140 thousand people. The number of RSHB clients using the mobile app has increased by 23% since February 2022. If in 2021, on average, 340 thousand customers per day used it, by now it has grown to 420 thousand users per day.
However, for some professional participants in the securities market, the activity of clients in the mobile application has decreased. In Freedom Finance, in the period from March to September, the average monthly activity of clients in the Tradernet application decreased by 20-30% compared to January-February. According to two Kommersant sources in the financial market, the decline in the use of applications also applies to sub-sanctioned brokers who created them to replace those removed from the App Store and Google Play. According to one of Kommersant's interlocutors, it has not yet been possible to attract a sufficient number of customers to new applications. VTB, Alfa-Bank, Sberbank and FC Otkritie did not respond to Kommersant's request.
According to the Moscow Exchange, more than 21.2 million people had brokerage accounts in August 2022 (an increase of 25% since the beginning of the year). At the same time, in August, transactions on the stock market were concluded by 2.1 million people. This is less than at the beginning of the year (2.8 million people), but more than in March-July (about 1.9 million people). In addition, the share of individuals on the stock market in the summer months reached 74–77%, while at the beginning of the year it only exceeded 40%. In September, we can expect more participation in the auctions of private investors. Moreover, the average daily volumes in the outgoing month exceeded 50 billion rubles, while in May-August they barely exceeded 30 billion rubles.
In Finam, the growth in popularity of applications is associated "both with the transfer of clients with blocked securities from other brokers, and with a general increase in interest in the course of trading during the period of observed increased volatility in the market." Hundreds of thousands of investors with foreign assets were transferred from sub-sanctioned brokers to other players (see Kommersant dated April 21).
In BCS, “significant funds” are directed to the development of the application, and they also develop a social network inside it. The RSHB is going to introduce “gamification tools and behavioral models” into the mobile application.
The decline in activity in Freedom Finance is attributed to the fact that “the stock section of the Moscow Exchange did not work for about a month, non-residents could not trade (non-residents from unfriendly countries cannot trade even now.— "b")". At the same time, as noted in the company, until February, there were about 10 thousand downloads on average per month on iOS, and about 20 thousand per month on Android. In February, growth by 20%, in the spring - a surge of 60-70%. Now the number of downloads is approximately at the level of February, Freedom Finance noted.
For clients, there are three key elements in the brokerage application: the interface, the correct frequency of updating trading data for making prompt investment decisions, and a good analytical apparatus, Anna Avakimyan, chief analyst at RegBlock, explains. So, for unskilled investors, this is a collection of blogs and opinions of individual traders, for qualified investors, complex charts and technical analysis, she notes. In addition, Ms. Avakimyan notes that among the effective means of communication is the use of a landing page in co-branded banking applications and banners on the Internet.