Fintech app development surely sounds trendy, but what are the most convincing reasons to build it? In the article, we’ve covered the topics of what types of fintech apps there are, why would you want to create it, how you would do it step by step, how much it would cost, and what features are necessary to include. Curious to find out? Keep reading.
Fintech app development is a cutting-edge trend of digital transformation. It has already changed the financial industry beyond recognition. We can only imagine how it’ll transform in a few years with such excellent support from the business world giants. Investments in financial technology are growing steadily. In 2021, they constitute about $196 billion compared to $121 billion in 2020. That’s why fintech app development is a well-regarded IT trend that is worth your attention.
Fintech brings usual monetary operations to a whole new level. The development of this field has proven to people that even sensitive data can be processed via mobile devices, and human presence is no longer essential for large sums’ transactions or opening a loan.
To dive deep into fintech product development, we need to be clear with the meaning of this concept and understand what applications fall under this category. So, let’s start with answering the question of “What is fintech software?” Fintech is short for financial technology. It’s not hard to guess from the name that it deals with software that aims at improving and automating one’s personal or organizational budget.
Fintech introduces completely new ways to provide financial services and consequently establishes higher standards for user experience.
Despite fintech apps making numerous usual processes easier, building such software may be quite complicated. Such applications process very sensitive personal information that users expect to stay private and secure. Here lies the biggest challenge. That being the case, specialists’ qualifications and chosen technologies critically matter.
However, regardless of all the pitfalls, the tangible success of a properly built fintech app won’t keep one waiting. In this article, we’re going to discuss why it’s worth building a fintech app, what types of these there are, and describe what fintech software development services look like, so you know what to expect if you decide to contact a software development company.
List of the Content
- Reasons to develop a fintech app
- Types of fintech applications
- Fintech app development process
- Major requirements and features
- Cost to build a fintech app
- In conclusion
REASONS TO DEVELOP A FINTECH APP
When you actively engage in the project, which is in this case, fintech app development, it’s essential to understand why it’s worth it. When you think about the pros of fintech software development, you may think of a whole list of relatively trivial reasons. The first things that usually come to mind are enhancing the business efficiency, speeding up particular financial processes, and saving some resources by implementing a fintech solution instead of handling issues through classical financial institutions. Of course, these advantages of fintech cannot be disregarded, so we’ll discuss them later. However, you may want to think broader. What global benefits does fintech have? How can it help both individuals and entities?
First of all, one’s attitude to personal finances is the basis of financial literacy. Fintech contains many types of applications, and some of them aim mainly at managing personal income and expenses. They can be investment apps, lending apps, or consumer finance apps. They are simply designed to make it easy to learn a bit about budgeting. Keeping such apps user-friendly is the key point. The thing is that people aren’t so eager to become more financially educated because it implies a lot of narrowly-focused terminologies, rules, and so on. In fact, even applications with only two buttons – “Add expense” and “Add income” would be sufficient to decrease the level of financial illiteracy. So, as soon as someone installs such an app and learns how to control revenue and expenditures, the percentage of financially educated people increases a little bit.
To summarize, fintech applications make cash flow more predictable and easily managed. If we’re speaking about transferring money, such software can be of assistance. It allows people always to have the history of transactions at hand and view automatically-based weekly or monthly reports on spendings. As you see, people can save a lot of time that they would spend on trying to keep all this data under control manually.
We’ve described how fintech software development is beneficial to its users, and now, let’s see what advantages it has for the vendors.
Knowledge is power, and in terms of financial technology, by knowledge, we mean analyzed customer data that allows suggesting personalized services. They lead to increased customer loyalty.
When users perform all actions within one application, their preferences and behavior become relatively predictable, and the customer portrait starts shaping up. Let’s use a banking app as an example. Suppose a defined amount of money is remitted to one’s payroll card monthly, and at the end of the month, a particular sum always remains in savings. When this situation happens all over again for months or years, a bank, based on this data, can offer a user to set up a deposit so that the money wouldn’t be underutilized.
To make conclusions of one kind or another, a colossal amount of data should be processed by particular algorithms. Speaking about big data, artificial intelligence is the first thing that comes to mind. That’s why this is almost the first feature that should be developed for fintech apps.
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The fact that a fintech application development is a smart cost-effective move seems pretty obvious. However, let’s see how it helps save some budget in practice. If you’re running a corporal financial institution, you have a certain amount of employees. Each of them does their work. By creating a fintech startup, you avoid employing these specialists by replacing them with app features, which leads to the costs cut down on salaries.
Probably the most obvious thing is replacing a whole department of consultants with chatbots built with artificial intelligence and machine learning. Even users benefit from budget savings while using fintech software because it allows them to avoid substantial bank fees for money transferring.
As you see, fintech application development can benefit your business a great deal. Now, when you understand why it’s worth investing time and money, we’ll move to the following points – what types of fintech apps there are, and discuss the development process.
TYPES OF FINTECH APPS
To create an ultimately good product, it’s essential to choose a niche you want to occupy. There are various types of fintech applications, and they require different features and, therefore, a different development approach. So, let’s see what branches of fintech there are and which ones are worth your attention if you want to create an app that would become a market sensation.
Insurance apps. The insurance industry greatly benefits from using mobile or web applications. That’s why fintech mobile app development is a promising investment in this case. The main goal of insurance apps is to streamline claims processing and control possible falsified activities. There are many apps of such type that range from simple web apps to complex CRM systems. However, it doesn’t mean that there’s no room for improvement. And besides, there are so many insurance branches, such as health, liability, auto, home insurance, and others.
Investment apps. These applications are usually multi-use tools and always include numerous features, such as:
- Asset research
- Savings management
- Real-time support
These are the core features of an investment app, but there are many more. Such apps are steadily swelling the ranks of the stock market. They provide users with the possibility to invest in tangible assets and receive detailed statistics about them. Investment software also implies relevant stock market analytics that allows people to invest smart – only after understanding the core processes in this field.
Banking mobile apps. It is nearly impossible to imagine a bank that doesn’t offer mobile applications. Mobile companions are offered by almost every bank and become the default feature that is expected by every customer. Mobile banking is probably the most occupied fintech niche. However, this direction is developing actively, so this app type will likely always remain in high demand. Such applications allow customers to perform money transactions, set up deposits, get loans, etc. Moreover, these operations involve considerably lower fees compared to classical financial institutions.
Lending apps have become a trend in the fintech industry. They enable a completely innovative approach to lending money. Such applications imply that individuals can lend or borrow money to or from other people. The most important thing here is that there are no third parties involved. It results in much lower interest rates leading to higher investors profit. Lending apps enable people to set their interest while lending money and control regular payments.
Consumer finance apps. These applications provide users with control over their finances. They may be more or less automated. Ones are connected to the banking accounts of a person to calculate income and expenses automatically, and others require active user engagement and manual calculations. It seems like the second type loses to its opponent, but it’s a contradictory question. Returning to the subject of financial literacy, the fully automated consumer finance applications can easily be lost in the list of other numerous mobile apps. However, if someone manually provides the information about the revenue and expenditures, it results in much higher control over personal finances. The analytics modules are often integrated into such applications. They analyze the usual customers’ behavior and make spending forecasts to prevent users from exceeding the planned budget.
FINTECH APP DEVELOPMENT PROCESS
The development process of any kind of application is quite similar and goes through the primary stages:
- Pre-development (discovery)
- UI/UX design
- Support and maintenance
However, we’d like to keep an open mind while speaking about fintech app development. Of course, we’ll also describe the core stages, but for now, let’s focus more on the specific development plan that would precisely fit the fintech application.
Define The Niche
The first thing you should consider as a client is a niche. We’ve previously described what types of fintech apps there are. Still, it’s worth remembering that the range of options is not limited, and you may come up with an exciting idea that hadn’t existed before or wasn’t so well-developed.
While choosing a niche, you might want to consider the most and least popular software and the corresponding number of competitors you’ll have to overcome. Think about expanding to the global market because some world regions might be underdeveloped in terms of financial services. Of course, it will reduce the level of competition and also bring significant benefits to the residents.
It’s nearly impossible to make the proper choice on choosing the fintech branch if you haven’t determined your desired target audience yet. It is the decisive point.
When someone is speaking about the development process, the picture of thousands of lines of code appears in many people’s heads. However, before programmers write at least one line of code, you should answer many questions. They are:
- Who are you building an app for?
- Why would they want to use it?
- Why don’t they use the existing solutions?
- What unique features can you suggest?
These questions may make you feel even more cornered, but it’s not solely your responsibility. This work mainly lies on the shoulders of the fintech app development services provider, particularly a business analyst. So, when you’ve decided on the fintech niche you want to join, specialists will analyze the presented solutions and find the gaps that other software doesn’t fill.
Take Care Of Compliance
Imagine how much data loss and fraudulence the world would face if financial applications wouldn’t conform to the legal standards. So that, compliance is a crucial factor in fintech app development. Numerous institutions are on guard for financial irregularities. Many privacy laws and protection standards protect this field. Safeguarding systems control the presence of noncompliance in the economic sphere thoroughly. So, before building a fintech app, you need to obtain a permit to perform the financial activity.
Define Requirements And Create A Plan
Different companies perform discovery in different ways, but for now, we’d like to start with a great strategy that implies talking with real people. People you’re interviewing shouldn’t be the first ones passing by but a part of your desired target audience. This excellent practice provides you with an up-to-date perspective. It’s, by all means, better than some statistics drawn from some anonymous, impersonal polls. Talks with real people give you the portrait of your target audience, and you clearly understand who you’re building software for.
As we’ve already mentioned, the business analyst actively participates in the discovery stage. His main goal is to help a client form a clear vision of the future product. So, the collaboration with a fintech application development services provider starts from the initial consultation. You’ll have to outline your requirements roughly, and the business analyst will put the details together in a single well-structured picture.
When the requirements are precise, specialists can estimate the complexity of the product, and based on it, make a series of conclusions, such as the approximate duration of the development, team size, anticipatory project cost, etc. Besides, market research also becomes one of the provider’s responsibilities. A team analyzes the existing software to understand what features it’s missing and, consequently, what you can do to create a better product.
All this information is presented to you during the next meeting, and the software provider is waiting for your approval or denial. If everything looks good to you, the team proceeds to a more detailed project plan.
The project plan is a relative term, and according to the development approach, it can imply different things. However, usually, the companies follow the standardized strategy and start with a software requirement specification document. It is a hub of all crucial information related to the product. It is a step-by-step instruction that determines the best course of action. Everything is documented from the very first meeting: initial user requirements, acceptance criteria, and app wireframes. Later on, specialists supplement the document with more specific details like the system or database structure, etc. So, when the SRS document is completed, all team members understand what they have to do and what the deadlines for each task are. A well-developed plan is a key to success because it saves precious time that could otherwise be spent deciding where to start and other organizational moments.
The company you turned to should present the team working on the project to you at this point in the development process. While deciding on the team composition, they are usually guided by the project complexity, specific skills required, etc. The team size may vary from 4 to 8 people for an application of medium complexity. Some members remain constant from project to project. These are BA, PM, QA, and designers. Developers, in turn, may change according to what type of app you’re building. For example, if you’ve decided on the native app for two platforms, iOS and Android devs will be included. If you’re opting for the hybrid approach, one dev with specific knowledge will be enough.
You can see that the team size can vary depending on many factors. However, let’s see what team composition would be the best option for fintech app development:
- Business analyst
- Project manager
- UI/UX designer
- Front-end developer
- Back-end developer
- Quality assurance engineer
- DevOps specialist
The number of front-end and back-end developers may vary. If reduced timeframes are your priority, it makes sense to involve more devs.
Involving a DevOps engineer is not essential, but it can significantly benefit the process. DevOps specialists control a cloud environment, so it’s difficult to name just one main task they perform. However, in general, they’re responsible for security, automation, and consistent product delivery. High security is crucial for a fintech project. That’s why engaging a DevOps would be a wise decision.
Design An App
During the pre-development stage, designers have already produced the application’s wireframes. They are just a basic outline of all screens the future app will contain. Wireframes are excellent for understanding the app’s logic and anticipated workflow. However, they are not even close to the final visual design.
We should also mention that designers are responsible not only for the wireframes and mockups but also for the diagrams and other supplementary files included in the SRS document. However, it relates more to the discovery stage than design, so let’s move to the mockups.
Guided by the software requirement specification document, designers can proceed to create mockups. The mockup of each screen is based on a particular wireframe. It presents a finalized view of an application. Mockups don’t allow you to see an app in action and press buttons, but they represent the application’s appearance.
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Though the design is identified as a separate stage, it would be wrong to say it strictly defines the start and finish. Designers and developers have to work in close cooperation during all stages of the development. Each feature that programmers implement should be consistent with the visual design, so the changes in the initial mockups are a common practice.
It’s important to remember that now we’re talking specifically about the fintech application, and the design should always match the app type. So, numerous gradients and a vast color palette might be a bit too much. The fintech apps contain many features, and it should be easy for users to find all of them. That’s why it’s better to stick to minimalistic design in the process of fintech app development.
Apart from wireframes and mockups, there’s such a thing as an application prototype. It is a final version of an app but not programmed. So, the client can press buttons and see where the app leads him. It is an excellent practice because it gives a clear picture of apps in use, allows seeing the animations, and better understanding the app’s workflow. One more advantage is that it saves project resources because the client would notice all missing features or incorrectly interpreted tasks at once.
Create An MVP
Every application is not just a set of features. It is always about the idea and the value it provides to the users. Launching an MVP is the proven way to try out your vision. MVP stands for the minimum viable product. It contains only the basic functionality that is sufficient for performing some core operations.
When an MVP has been on the market for a certain period, there’s enough information for a DevOps engineer to make conclusions about the app’s performance. Sometimes, just a week or two is enough to understand whether users are enjoying the application or not.
One of the most significant advantages of creating an MVP before proceeding to the finalized version is that it costs much less. It’s vital in an unfortunate situation when the community hasn’t adopted the idea of the MVP, and the team has to remake the whole app starting from its concept.
So, after you’ve launched an MVP, received all necessary information, analyzed it, and fixed the drawbacks, the team is ready to move to the phase – ongoing development.
Develop Ongoing Versions
All issues, if there are any, were taken care of during the previous stage. And now, the developers proceed to code. As the requirements and an approximate working plan are already described in the SRS document, very little time goes to planning, and programmers can start writing the code.
There are many development methodologies, like Waterfall, V-shaped, Spiral, but we work with the Agile approach. According to it, all tasks are split into milestones and sprints, and defined deadlines are set so that the devs have a well-structured plan they can follow.
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In Agile approaches, QA engineers are involved in the process from the start of development. They work along with the programmers and eliminate bugs as soon as they appear. Of course, after the development is finished and all features are implemented, QA specialists would go through every single line of code again to make sure that everything works correctly.
As you may know, transparency and customer trust are among the main priorities of any Agile methodology. That’s why we constantly keep the communication with the client and do regular sprint reviews. During them, we discuss what has been done for a particular time and what’s planned for the next sprints. If we’re speaking about the mobile app, we also provide weekly app demos that clients can try on their devices.
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In the article, we’ve described the most essential aspects related to fintech app development. They include technologies, cost, duration, must-have features, and industry trends.
How To Choose The Tech Stack
Before any project starts, it’s necessary to decide on the technologies used. The tech choice depends on the app’s core functionality and requirements, platforms, etc.
As we’re talking about the fintech application, we shouldn’t lose sight of the innovative trends in this industry:
- Artificial intelligence
- Big data
Each item on the list requires specific technologies. Its also worth mentioning that data privacy and security play a significant role in fintech app development, and we should also consider it while determining the tech stack.
We can name some candidates for the best technology for fintech product development by deriving from the points mentioned above. They are:
All of them have some libraries and tools designed specifically for performing complex calculations and enciphering. The last one is beneficial for fintech product development because it decreases the possibility of malware attacks or data breaches.
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The technology choice always dramatically affects the overall quality of the product, so even if it seems like a minor detail, it’s worth approaching it quite seriously.
MAJOR REQUIREMENTS AND FEATURES
With the growing number of e-commerce resources and other solutions that require online payments, users rightfully become more suspicious of whether they can trust these apps and whether they are secure enough. Various statistics about the amounts of money stolen by cybercriminals only strengthen their mistrust. All this gives rise to the biggest challenge of fintech app development – data privacy and security.
Privacy and security. You should pay enough attention to these aspects while discussing the development with a software provider. A future fintech application should have enough layers of security, even if it increases the development time and cost. Also, it’s essential to test the system security, and ideally, the development team should repeat it from time to time after the software is on the market.
Simple, secure sign-in. Probably the weakest point of mobile apps of any type is log-in. If someone decides to hack someone’s account, a log-in would most likely be the starting point. That’s why it’s worth considering two-factor authentication via SMS, Email, or else. It may be a fingerprint scanner or face recognition. There are many options today, but the more straightforward it looks, the better. Security is the key priority, but it’s necessary to remember that no one wants to use an app that requires more than a couple of simple actions to log in to an account.
Push notifications. Personalized push notifications solve one of the biggest problems of financial institutions – users are not notified immediately when something important concerning their account happens. For example, some time-limited offers or a stock price change. So, push notifications are a great way to keep a user always informed about up-to-date information. Also, a good fintech app should allow personalizing notifications because the things that are important to some people may seem useless to others.
Card number scanning. In an era when the world changes every minute, and something important happens once per second, entering a card number may seem like a tremendous waste of time. Despite the fact that implementing a card number scanning looks quite apparent, many fintech apps miss it. That’s why this feature may make users choose your app over the competitors.
AI assistants. Implementing a chatbot based on an AI component is beneficial to both sides: users and service providers. Speaking about any sphere of the financial industry, it’s expected that clients always have some questions. And to maintain an excellent reputation, institutions have to solve issues as fast as possible. Such efficiency requires a considerable number of employees working 24 hours a day. Everyone who has had at least some experience in the business sphere understands that it’s not beneficial in any way. AI-powered assistants and chatbots can limit real people’s liability. Or course, chatbots cannot answer sophisticated questions, but they can advise on setting up a deposit or extending a credit line.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO BUILD A FINTECH APP
It’s never possible to estimate the accurate cost to build a fintech app without performing a proper discovery. However, knowing what factors affect the final cost, we can calculate the approximate price.
All calculations derive from the project complexity. For now, we’ll focus on the medium-complexity app without extremely sophisticated functionality. If we take complexity as a constant, the following things that determine the price are:
- Development rates that, in turn, depend on developers’ location
- A type of application (mobile, web app)
- The development approach (hybrid, native)
Developers’ rates drastically differ depending on the world region. For example, you may find a dev from some Asian country asking for $30 per hour, and at the same time, US developer rates may constitute $120 hourly. For this example, let’s use European programmers as a middle ground with the rate of about $60-70 hourly.
It’s worth remembering that a fintech application requires numerous integrations, AI implementation, regulation, and other things that take much time compared to other solutions. So, let’s see how long it takes to create a medium fintech app and how much it costs. The discovery phase usually takes from 4 to 6 weeks, development requires 20 to 35 weeks, and the team needs about 2-4 weeks to launch an app. Altogether, we have 9 months approximately.
Of course, the final cost to build a fintech app will also depend on what app type you’re building: native or hybrid, or maybe you create a web app instead. There are numerous options, but let’s stick to a hybrid mobile app, for example.
As we already mentioned, building a fintech app is complex, and it’ll be more efficient if 7 people instead of the usual 4 or 5 will work on your project. Then, from 3 to 4 specialists will be involved in each development stage. If each specialist works 8 hours a day, and we’re also aware of the duration of all stages, through simple calculations, we come to a price of $190k.
The development of two native applications may take a bit longer, and one mobile dev should be replaced by one Android dev and one iOS dev. So, the price may increase a bit and reach about $220k.
Though we provided an approximate price, it’s always better to contact specialists that will precisely calculate your app’s cost.
In the era we live in, a fintech startup may become a very profitable business. Though, as you know, fintech application development is indeed a lengthy and complicated process, and it might seem concerning at first. However, the complexity of the process doesn’t have to bother you if you have a trusted, supportive team of specialists who are interested in building a high-quality fintech application for you and guide you through all development stages.
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