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It is mind-blowing how fast the fintech development industry is growing. The global value of fintech investments is estimated at $59billion, with the American continent attracting the lion’s share of this number. Moreover, by the end of 2025, this number is expected to reach USD 124.3 billion!
As the fintech market is growing fast, the number of tech trends is also increasing. As a result, when building a fintech app, many fintech co-founders focus on keeping up with the market and implementing all the tech solutions which the market offers. This way can harm your business, as it does not focus on what users want from the app.
As a Project Manager, I’ve managed the fintech app development for 3 projects over the last 7 years. Read our article to know the best tactics for building fintech apps, where I will highlight the following:
- Must-have features to build a fintech app;
- Things to keep in mind when building a fintech app;
- Cost of building a fintech app.
Let’s get it started!
What is Fintech App Development?
Fintech apps are web apps or mobile solutions related to financial services. Well, I know what you think –
“That's an abstract definition!”. Yet, it is as particular as it can be. The thing is that the fintech domain is so diverse, including various types of finance-related apps, that it is hard to embrace the whole scale of the fintech development into one definition.
The driving force behind building fintech apps is digitalization. Technologies improve the financial industry, so all the technologies related to the financial domain relate to the fintech industry. It includes a lot of niches, like online banking, trading platforms, NFT, blockchain, etc.
Types of Fintech Apps to Build
Fintech embraces a huge range of financial services provided online. Let us look at some of them more closely:
To start with, digital banking is the most straightforward option that comes to mind when thinking of the fintech industry. Banks build fintech solutions to allow clients to reach their accounts easily and fast. It also benefits the banks as they can manage their clients' data.
Example: Chime Digital Banking App.
Chime is one of the fintech leaders in the US market. As a typical banking app, it helps users to manage their accounts and make quick payments. The stellar feature of Chime is the lack of banking transactions: the app does not charge anything from the users.
Digital Investment Apps
These fintech apps help investors explore financial assets and funds, to invest in them successfully. They also provide users with relevant newsfeed and data that help to make an informed investment decision.
Robinhood is the most popular investment and trading app on the US market. Robinhood’s stellar feature is zero transaction fees and increased security level. The investment app also provides asset management tools and real-time market analysis.
P2P Lending Apps
These apps make the interaction between the borrower and the lender easier and smoother. Such apps usually function as peer-to-peer platforms, where lending is done from one user to another as equal parties on the platform.
Example: Prosper Lending Platform. This San Francisco-based startup makes money from the small fees taken from every loan.
Digital payments are the biggest branch of the fintech development industry. These apps usually provide the opportunity to make cashless payments fast and easily. Digital payment platforms work in bond with digital currencies and e-wallets.
- PayPal, a payment platform that allows making secure transactions while the data of both vendors and customers stay hidden and protected.
- Payoneer is another digital payment system that provides domestic and cross-border money transfers. Payoneer is quite popular among freelance workers, as it is integrated with many freelance platforms.
5 Must-Have Features to Build Fintech Apps
Of course, the list of features will be defined for every other fintech app individually. However, below I’ve enlisted some of the basic features that any app providing financial services online should wield. Let’s take a look!
Feature # 1. Sign-In and Onboarding
The first basic feature a fintech app should have is sign-in. In fact, this is more than just a sign-in. Some online banks can allow users to create their bank accounts during onboarding.
So, the main thing here is to make the sign-in and onboarding process simple and clear to the user.
Another thing to keep in mind is to provide security by introducing voice/face or fingerprint recognition authentication.
Feature # 2. Financial Operations
As obvious as that – enable the basic financial operations matching to your fintech branch. For example:
- Digital payments;
- Money withdrawals;
- Digital Lending;
- Money transfers;
- Card management.
The more operations you will allow your users to complete without going to a brick and mortar bank, the more value your app will bring to them.
Feature # 3. Apple/Google Pay Technology
This one is very important! Since users got to using Apple/Google Pay for fast on-the-go payments, the traditional transactions are out of the question. Add this payment option to your fintech product to provide a flawless user experience.
Feature # 4. Cashback
Cash has long ago evolved from being a nice-to-have bonus to a must-have feature of a fintech app. The users will enjoy using the app much more if they know they will benefit from the transactions they make.
Feature # 5. Personal Spending Analytics
By building a fintech app, you develop much more than just a service for online payments. What should aspire to build is a financial assistant for the users to help them make better financial decisions.
By providing diagrams or graphics of the spending analytics for the users, you help them to track their expenses and change their spending habits. It seems like a significant contribution to conscious spending!
Feature # 6. Assistant Chatbot
Fintech is no stranger to AI technology, And a chatbot is an excellent example of how I can improve users' lives. AI-driven chatbots can provide exclusive customer support, answering hundreds of questions simultaneously 24/7. This is an advantage for users and employees, who can tackle more essential tasks while the chatbot handles the queries.
You can look how these and other features have been implemented in one of the cases that Uptech has worked on.
Feature # 7. Custom Push Notifications
To ensure your fintech app follows the user’s pace of life, you need to provide custom notifications. Let the users choose which information they want to receive, which will bring personalization to the app.
Main Challenges of Building Fintech Apps
For sure, your fintech app has all the potential to come to the market’s top list. However, certain risks are faced when building a fintech app that should not be ignored. Here are some of them:
Following Legal Regulations
No need to say that the whole fintech industry would not exist without the sensitive data, provided by the users. This is alright if all the security measures are properly followed. Here are some of the regulations that you need to comply with:
- Data Regulations, for example, World Bank database, GDPR (EU countries), HIPAA;
- Know your client (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance;
- FTC compliance – the regulations issued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). For example, Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA);
- Cybersecurity requirements;
- PCI DSS compliance: (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard);
- Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) compliance.
Standing the Competition
Though the alive market of the fintech apps is excellent news for a cofounder, this is also a challenge. Keeping up with the competition with the emerging small startups and Big Tech companies like Google and Apple is the reality that a fintech app developer should face.
Uptech’s Protip: To stand the competition, you need to make a fintech app that brings real value to the user. To make this possible, we at Uptech conduct Product Discoveries that help to identify users’ pains, needs, and wishes. It helps us to identify real users’ needs, which sometimes can be so different from what you expect!
Yeah, I know what you are thinking: “Security again!”. Well, I cannot stress it enough – there cannot be too much security in fintech apps.
Besides following the necessary legal security regulations, you must take measures to ensure user data is safe. These can be the following measures:
- Multi-Factor authentication.
- End-to-end encryption of internal transactions;
- Real-time alerts and notifications in case of unusual activity in the app;
- User behavior analysis for fraud prevention;
- Safely digitized documentation – a unique encryption key for every user;
- Secure protocol access (HTTPS instead of HTTP);
- Secure KYC process ( a multi-step process of users’ identity verification)
- Non-disclosure agreements signed for employees and vendors;
- Data loss prevention.
Security is one of the main guarantees you need to implement, to attract a user to your app.
Tech Stack for Building a Fintech App
Tech stack is the combination of programming tools you will need to build your fintech app. It usually includes the front end, back end, databases, API integrations, and other necessary tools.
For any specific fintech app, there will be a certain tech stack. Here are some general recommendations of tech stack for building a fintech app:
- Back end: Java, Python, C++, Ruby, Kotlin, Node.js, Laravel
- Front end: React Native, Swift, Angular, SpringNuxt.js, Vue.js, Ember.js
- Server: AWS
- Database: PostgreSQL, MySQL, MongoDB
- Payment gateway: Stripe, PayPal, Braintree
- API integrations: Syncfy Connect API, Plaid API, Plaid API, Twilio API, ShuftiPro, Apex
5 Tips on How to Build a Fintech App That Talks to the User
It sometimes happens that by integrating multiple technologies into the fintech app, developers forget that such an app has to be human-oriented. Here are some tips on how to make your fintech humane and attractive for users.
Personalization of the UI Design
Remember that your users are humans who may or may not have a financial background. Include human behavioral patterns and create a UI that will match them. For example, people tend to forget where specific numbers and documents are (like the Security Number). To help them out, you can set an informational note hinting where the user can find the number.
Expert’s Protip: To provide a valuable user experience, I recommend carrying out the proper user research, that includes user interviews and user tests. This is important to bring the right UX/UI solutions that would match user needs.
Use Gamification for Involvement
To involve your users, use up-to-date solutions to fresh up the user experience. For example, integrate the gamification elements into your fintech app. For example, give users the status labels for financial achievements so that users feel challenged to get even more of them.
Gather feedback from users
Gather feedback from your target audience to see which features and UI elements are of the slightest interest to the user. This will help you optimize the app over time.
Choose a specific niche
The most common mistake among startups is targeting the "whole world" of users. The truth is that the more vague and generic your target audience is, the harder it is to reach users' hearts. So before you start creating the fintech app, take your time to think – who specifically are you trying to get? Knowing your user in the face will help to clear out the requirements for your future product and create a fintech that satisfies the needs of your target audience.
The problem of a vague target audience is widespread. At Uptech, we had a project where the target audience profile was initially very generic. We knew nothing about our users – neither of their wishes or interests nor their troubles and pains.
So we conducted a Product Discovery, where we met our potential users, talked to them, and shaped a specific profile. Consequently, it helped us to build an eco-banking product that provided a great user experience.
Carrying Out Discovery
Discovery stage is where you explore your potential users, trying to learn what they like, want and what keeps them from reaching it. As for fintech app development, it is crucial to define your audience as particularly as possible instead of giving general names.
For example, at Uptech we have worked on a project, which came to use with no particularly defined target audience. From our experience, we know that without knowing the user well enough you can hardly build a worthwhile product.
So we conducted a Discovery stage, where we ran user tests and interviews with users, which helped us build an app that brings high value to the users.
Cost of Fintech App Development
The cost of developing a fintech app may vary depending on:
- The location of the development team;
- Product scope;
- Time of development.
You can read our article How Much Does It Cost To Make an App to get a better understanding of how the development cost is formed.
Let’s take an online banking app for example and look at the cost estimations for it. Here is the breakdown of how much time the development of each feature takes. Averagely, an hour rate in the Eastern European region is about $50-70 an hour.
Here is another cost estimation depending on the development stages:
- Discovery (user research and analysis) - $20 k and higher;
- UI/UX Design - $4 k and higher;
- Frontend Development $ 16 k and higher;
- Back End development – $ 32 k and higher;
- Mobile app development – $64 K and higher;
- Quality Assurance – $8 K
- Support and Maintenance – depends on the amount of work ($60-75 per hour).
Total: about $130 K.
Building a fintech app is a gratifying business. Yet, it requires a lot of domain knowledge, profound research, and analysis to bring a solution that provides value to the users.
With a product team specialized in product development, you have all the chances to build a fintech app that matches real user needs.
Contact our sales manager to talk about how exactly our team can help you to build a competitive fintech app.