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I will put it straight: It can be hell of a challenge to create an investment app that will stand the competition in the App Store or Play Market. However, the trough competition works both sides.
On one hand, the demand for investment solutions is incredibly high today, and the market still has a vast potential to grow. Check this: the Bankrate survey shows that about 63% of US users aged 18 to 34 have at least one financial app, 17% of which are investment apps. Even younger generations today are becoming active adopters of investing.
On the other hand – the competition on the market for investment apps is overwhelming!
But let it not disrupt your enthusiasm. Creating an investment app that stands out is possible. Having worked on investment startups, I know how to create an investment app that will stand out. In this article, I want to share:
- What features an investment app should have;
- How much it costs to create an investment app;
- Things to consider when creating an investment app.
4 Types of Investing Apps To Create
Today investment apps go beyond simple trading platforms. There are a great variety of investment apps to create. Here are some of the most popular ones:
These are classic all-in-one banking apps that have an integrated investing feature in them. They are usually made for users, who are not die-hard traders, but those who can randomly buy a share or two in a month.
Stand-Alone Investment Apps
Unlike integrated investment solutions, stand-alone investment apps are full-fledged products focused only on investment.
Exchange Investment Platforms
These financial platforms process the exchange transactions of currencies and cryptocurrencies. Users invest in money and exchange them for other currencies. As a bonus, these platforms also provide stock investment.
As the name suggests, such apps are solely focused on cryptocurrency transactions.
6 Tips To Create an Investment App That Stands Out
Investment apps are different. Below I want to highlight some moments to keep in mind to build a stand-alone investment app.
Tip #1 Know Your Target Audience
As for the target audience, everything is more complicated than you can imagine. The main mistake is usually taking a broad look at your targeted audience, “just people who want to invest”.
Uptech’s Protip: the narrower your audience is, a better investment app you can create.
Think, whom do you want to bring value to? Millennials and zoomers or more seasoned traders? Banking employees or socially responsible civilians?
To find the targeted audience that needs the product, we at Uptech usually conduct a Product Discovery phase. There you can speak to your end-users, talk to them, and find a solution to help them complete their goals better.
Example: Ellevest is an investment app created for women who want to reach their financial goals.
Tip #2 Respond to User’s Needs
To bring value to the user, you should know precisely what makes them happy and sad. Take millennials, for example. These young people care about their future and want to start investing now. However, they may lack the knowledge and financial resources to enter investing.
For this group, you can offer simple analytics and tips or a chatbot advisor that will make it easier for them to make the first step and buy their first Apple share.
Uptech's Tip: Also, when creating an investment app for beginners (like Charles Schwab), it is essential to provide a mobile version of the app. But when it comes to creating investment apps for more seasoned traders (like Robinhood), who trade for a living, you should put more focus on the web version.
Tip #3 Keep Up With the Tech Trends<h3>
Fintech is a fast-growing industry that is very respective to tech trends. In investment products like Robinhood you can see active adoption of technologies, like:
- Artificial Intelligence
- Direct Listing Technology
- Mobile Apps
- Virtual Data Rooms
Tip #4 Find your niche
I can’t stress it enough – the more specific your investment app is, the more competitive edge it has. Gather your team to brainstorm, in which specific industry you could create the investment app. For example:
- Invstr – an investment app focused on education;
- Ellevest – socially-responsible investing;
- Acorns – best app for saving;
- Wealthbase – best app for trading games and contests.
Tip #5 Make a User-Friendly Interface
UX design is super important, especially for fintech apps. That said, UX design is not only about beautiful icons and pleasant color combinations. UX stands for “user experience” as such, so it is also about the convenient user flow.
When creating investment apps, it is vital that the the UX design is:
- Simple and intuitive for beginners;
- Laconic, yet demonstrative of your visual identity;
- Includes onboarding routine and definitions of financial terminology;
- Speaks to the users in their language.
As a result, you need to make a simple but pleasant design that helps the user to accomplish their goals. Building UX for an investment app is a big challenge. You must conduct deep research, talk to users, brainstorm, do A/B testing, pivot them and still be adaptive to change.
However, a Design Team experienced in conducting Product Discoveries is your helpful guide here. Read the article by our Design Team Lead on How to Build UX Design for Fintech.
Tip # 6 Provide Data Security
Data security is the Achilles' heel of investment apps that requires special attention. Investment apps manage users' funds, business chats, and personal data. All of these make investment apps a frequent target of hacker attacks. The threat to data security is one of the biggest concerns that keep users from buying their first share.
However, with the proper security measures, you can provide solid security for your users and earn their trust.
Here are some of the security measures that you can take to ensure security when creating an investment app:
- 256-bit or 2048-bit standard of encryption for maintaining and sending financial records (Acorns, M1 Finance);
- Two-Factor Authentication (Robinhood) and fingerprint encryption;
- SIPC methods for protecting big amounts of funds (M1 Finance);
- Ensuring the AML and KYC procedures;
- 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.
7 Must-Have Features To Create an Investment App
The variety of investment apps is wide. So making a single list that would suit any of this type is not reasonable. Again, the Discovery stage is your litmus paper to determine what would suit your audience.
For example, if your audience is active traders avid for knowledge, push notifications and email send-outs would be a must-have. If your users are focused on saving, you could help by providing analytical calculations of how much they will have held by a specific time.
But talking about the most basic features to build an investment app, let’s look at these 7 features:
#1 – Registration and Onboarding
Make your user feel welcome and safe by onboarding them.
Onboarding is an introductory guide for a newcomer user, where you can explain how your app works. The onboarding stage is essential for investment apps, as the registration process usually includes a lot of formalities, like KYC and AML procedures.
These procedures help identify the user and ensure their incomes are legal. This point is the weakest spot of investment apps, where many users fall off the hook. The thing is, people do not like formalities. While you cannot avoid the procedures, you can at least make the user feel comfortable and guide them through the process. Give tips on where to find specific documents and codes (security codes, for example), and be kind and helpful to the user.
#2 – Personal Profile
In investment apps, personal profiles play the role of investment portfolios, where users can manage their assets and track their profitability.
Uptecht’s Protip: An investment portfolio usually includes many graphics, real-time analytics, diagrams, and statistics. Make sure that the amount of these graphics is not overwhelming, and the UX is still clear for the user.
For example, the Betterment app allows users to synchronize their profiles with profiles of other investment accounts and use the service of a personal advisor.
#3 – Online Transactions
Your investment platform should be integrated with a payment service, which will make it possible to run online transactions.
#4 – Funds Withdrawal
Besides the portfolio and transactions, the personal profile should also feature money withdrawal and access to private funds.
#5 – Investment Option Ranking and News Feed
Help your users to make informed investment decisions by providing an investment option ranking. This is a top chart of the most popular shares on the stock market. Also, a news feed with the latest company news can bring great value for the user.
#6 – Virtual Advisor, Chatbot
The financial advisor is one of the hottest tendencies in the investment app market. This feature can give an essential boost for investing beginners who have doubts about their investing skills.
According to the statistics about 16% of US users are ready to use an investment app with such functionality. Based on deep neural networks and big data, Chatbot can evaluate risks, give investment recommendations, and trade on the markets.
#7 – Push Notifications
Building an investment app, do not forget about the real-time push notifications. The system can notify users of special offers, discounts, current account status, and the stock rises or falls. Or inform of the unusual activity on the account to the end of fraud prevention.
For example, Coinbase sends notifications to the user when the asset has reached a certain price level. TD Ameritrade Mobile reports when the investment goals have been reached.
Creating an Investment App: Tech Stack and APIs
Here is a typical tech stack for building an investment app.
Uptech’s Protip: Investment platforms are usually built as Native apps, which means a separate app for iOS and Android platforms. The functionality and scaling in investment apps can be very complicated for cross-platform development, as many integrations can dismatch.
The list of APIs used for building an investment app:
- APEX Clearing;
- Interactive Brokers;
- Yahoo Finance.
Check out our case on building investment app
Cost of Creating an Investment App
When building an investment app, the development team goes through several stages:
A founder's main challenge when creating an investment app is making it stand the tough competition and make a statement.
The Discovery stage plays an essential role in finding your product-market fit and bringing real value to the users.