Concerns about the impact of Covid 19 (coronavirus) on the global economy caused a spike in the average time spent on mobile finance apps in the opening week of March, data from analytics company App Annie showed.

The biggest increase was noted in Japan, where usage in the first week of March soared by 55 per cent compared to the final seven days of 2019, App Annie senior insights manager Lexi Sydow said in a blog.

South Korea was next, up 35 per cent, with the US and China following on a 20 per cent rise apiece. Germany and Italy also tied, with usage up 15 per cent.

In Japan, time spent on fintech app au Pay grew 20 per cent week-on-week in the opening seven days of this month, while in South Korea, Pass by SK Telecom recorded the same increase.

Stock trading app Robinhood in the US registered a 50 per cent increase in downloads in the first half of March compared with the last two weeks of February.

“We’ve already seen the economic instability play out in the stock market as the coronavirus pandemic spread across countries and its effects were felt across industries. In tandem with a drop in oil prices, consumers are concerned about the state of the global economy as we battle the pandemic that faces us,” Sydow explained.