A couple of years ago, to top up your phone balance or pay bills, you had to go to the bank. Now the Internet solves all our problems. You can link your credit card to an app and do any transaction with your phone. Fintech is one of the fastest growing industries in the world because it is more secure and convenient than traditional forms of financial services.
The fintech market is expanding, and companies are incorporating the latest innovations: AI, ecosystems, microservices. Such apps help financial services and companies manage the financial aspects of a business.
What is Fintech App Development?
Fintech is a technology that helps financial services and companies manage the financial aspects of a business. They include software, applications, processes, and business models.
Fintech applications are web or mobile applications related to financial services. Nowadays, most financial services are done digitally, to increase their efficiency and speed of execution.
Previously, fintech was perceived solely in terms of internal developments in financial institutions. Now it is as close to the consumer of financial services as possible, since it underlies all online transactions, from money transfers to utility bills.
Benefits of fintech applications for:
- Financial organizations. The possibility of reducing the cost of doing business, as part of the staff’s duties will be assumed by the digital product. Availability of a mobile service contributes to faster processing of financial transactions and automation of many business processes.
- Users. Banking customers can manage their finances via the app, conduct transactions, pay utility bills, control expenses, regular payments, and much more, minimizing the need to contact banks.
Over several years of development of the fintech industry, more than a dozen fintech areas have emerged in which companies operate:
Why is Fintech Popular Today?
One only needs to look at the fintech market and it is immediately clear that the industry is thriving, and will continue to grow. In 2019, the global market was estimated at $111 million, by 2023 the market is expected to grow to $158 million, and by 2030 to $325 million.
More and more people have started using fintech services in times of pandemic instead of traditional banking, insurance, and credit. Now three out of four consumers worldwide use fintech applications to transfer money.
There are several key factors why this area is now so popular. First and foremost, because of today’s technology. Fintech operates almost exclusively in the virtual realm, automating processes that were previously performed by humans. It’s a more productive, cheaper, and affordable option for managing finances and handling all monetary transactions. And creative startups seek to provide unconventional solutions, allowing the development of better systems in a short period of time and at a minimal cost.
Plus, current financial apps are simple, user-friendly, and provide a positive user experience as they follow the latest trends and aim to attract users. Over the past decade, people have become accustomed to better service and expect the same from the financial sector.
While the financial technology industry is subject to regulatory obligations, many are not as stringent as those of licensed banks. So financial technology companies are launching new financial products with more flexibility.
Different countries offer different perspectives. In the UK, for example, the most crowded fintech niche is retail banking and SMEs. In principle, the U.K. leads the way in fintech internationally, accounting for about 10% of the global market.
And the US fintech is mostly focused on investment apps, personal financial management apps, and retail banking niches. The SME niche, unlike the UK market.
Fintech App Types
Digital payments are one branch of the fintech industry. According to Statista, the value of global digital payments will reach $6,685,102 million by 2021.
Digital payments enable cashless, fast, and secure money transfers and payments. Online payment systems, digital currencies, and e-wallets allow access to financial payments even where there are no banking institutions. For example, PayPal, Braintree and Payoneer are one of the popular platforms. We talked more about the best payment services in this article.
Digital banking has become a way for customers to manage their bank accounts and perform financial transactions. Mobile banks typically offer features such as quick money transfers, access to customer service, expense counters and statistics, ATM and branch locator, and QR code payments. To improve service, mobile banks are adding features for account sharing, cashback, ticketing, and more. N26 and Revolut banks are an example of creating fintech applications in digital banking.
Lending is one of the most popular areas based on the possibility of lending without the involvement of banks. From simple apps and websites to complex automated platforms, digital lending apps process loan requests and enable easy and fast interactions between lenders and borrowers. Both independent digital lenders and traditional financial institutions use these kinds of apps to simplify credit procedures and manage them efficiently. Examples of digital lending applications include Calyx Point and Kabbage.
Digital investment platforms include robot advisors, digital brokers, micro-investment platforms, and personal finance management software. They work to automate and make the market accessible to retail investors. Such types of applications allow investors to research and invest in financial assets. Users can improve their investment performance through the analytics provided and make decisions regarding their investment plans.
Digital investment platforms are valued because of their predictive analytics and robotics. Examples of such platforms are Hedgeable and Addepar.
The goal of consumer finance apps is to help consumers manage money, budget, and track spending. This way, future account balances can be predicted so that the user doesn’t spend more than he or she planned. Consumer apps often sync with bank accounts and payment services. These kinds of apps also include financial literacy apps for children and teens. Examples of consumer finance apps include Mint and MoneyPatrol.
Features Fintech Application Must Have
Of course, fintech apps should have basic financial transactions, such as electronic payments, money transfers, mobile deposits, or balance checks. Users should be able to perform as many transactions as possible through the app.
For example, a nice bonus in the app would be the availability of loyalty programs and the opportunity to benefit from purchases made through it. Or scanning the QR code and card number will make life much easier for users. Scanning instead of manually entering all the numbers is a significant advantage for users. And here are a couple of other important features in the fintech app:
One of the criteria for the fintech application success is the ease of use. The idea behind any such app is to provide simple analytical tools for collecting data, displaying transaction history, etc. The app should have real-time analytics and statistics to help users and their companies. Consequently, the app should be as simple as possible and users don’t have to struggle to navigate. This is very important because simplicity guarantees time savings in learning and using the app.
Also an important feature for user interaction. Push notifications help in effective communication between bank employees and customers. They promptly inform users about new credits, transfers, rules, discounts, etc. This is how financial service providers stay in touch with customers and keep them up-to-date on the latest news.
Understanding the customer’s taste makes any product unique. Therefore, when fintech apps are combined with artificial intelligence, personalization becomes an additional positive feature. AI analyzes user patterns, preferences, shopping trends and provides them with information about new updates, policies, and benefits of banks and other financial institutions. Also, the integration of such apps with personal apps and social networks creates a strong trusting relationship with the user.
Fintech applications handle confidential customer data related to financial transactions, and any data breach could cost users a lot of money. Therefore, applications must implement multi-layered features to ensure a high level of security for users and financial information.
A great solution is an integration of voice and face recognition and fingerprint authentication and two-factor authentication. Soon biometrics will become a mandatory feature in Fintech applications. Profile locking is also used after the third failed login attempt and re-entering the password when the profile information or the app itself is updated.
Why Are Many Financial Apps So Slow?
Unfortunately, despite the popularity and innovation of fintech applications, they can be quite slow. The main reason lies in data transfer security. Websites have HTTPS, which has been around for a long time and works. However, apps can’t yet boast of the robust security that websites offer. So there are many security features in apps that act at the expense of speed. And those supposedly secure apps that are faster are not as reliable. They may not meet the same legal standards as banks. And because banking systems are constantly transacting, a consumer account may not get the priority that another big bank gets.
Chatbots, artificial intelligence-based virtual assistants, and 24/7 online chat play an important role not only in attracting customers, but also in serving them. They can simultaneously answer a host of questions for hundreds of customers who need help whenever they need it. Also, these tools will greatly reduce the workload on service centers and allow the team to focus on more complex inquiries.
AI-based Virtual Assistant or Chatbot
No one wants to browse multiple pages of websites or app screens just to find an answer to specific queries. If you want to create consumer-facing apps, you need to build something that they will want to use. Provide access to virtual help or AI-powered chatbots to search for queries or use features of your apps.
Read more about App Development: Mobile App Development Process: Step-by-Step Guide 
7 Steps to Create a Fintech Application
Choose a Niche
The first step is to determine which area of fintech you will focus on. Also, you need to decide what your target market is and what their needs are. Since many countries still lack good FinTech solutions and technologies, you have a chance to enter these markets with fresh and relevant solutions.
Ensure Legal Requirements
Next, you should make sure that the fintech application will have reliable legal validity. They must comply with privacy laws such as GDPR, ePrivacy regulations, CCPA, and others as determined by the countries for which you created the app.
Define a Project Vision & Features
At this stage, define the vision of your product, what purpose it is created for, what problems it will solve, what functions it will perform. In addition, you should estimate your budget before you begin development. Development and quality control specialists are also involved here to determine the technology stack and implementation constraints. The end result should be a development plan with a negotiated budget and timeline.
Create or Hire a Team
You need a team of specialists for quality application development. The number of team members will depend on the project size. The larger the project, the more members you will need. While hiring your team has its advantages, it will cost more in terms of time and money. Therefore, many companies outsource development to professional teams to create a project from scratch and maintain it after release.
The user interface should be simple and friendly at every stage of interaction with the application, from registration to task completion. Functionality should be easy to use and include only necessary features. Also, users should have no trouble finding options. Because users love simplicity, transparency, and a pretty picture.
Before you release an app, you need to test your idea. And the MVP serves this purpose. It is a basic version of the app with the basic components and features. It’s enough so that users can already try out the app. It’s also a chance to attract new investors. With MVP, you get feedback from real users, which will show if there are any shortcomings and what features should be added. That way you minimize the risk of the idea not paying off.
Read more about MVP: What is an MVP and why is it important for business?
Once developed, the fintech app should be improved and updated regularly so that it performs its job correctly. Maintenance of a mobile app means updating the app to the latest operating system versions, updating the libraries and third-party services used, fixing bugs, checking security and updates, and updating obsolete parts of your app.
How We Built a Fintech App
We try to help clients develop good fintech applications. That’s why we want to tell you about one of our latest projects – Algo.
In brief, Algo is a stock trading bot, which opens trades according to certain rules and closes trades according to risk rules. Algo is divided into 4 services: CMS frontend, CMS backend, IB service (interactive broker) and algo service.
The frontend contains form graphs and data tables for asset management, displaying statistical data, etc and written using ReactJS.
The backend contains an API service which creates a connection between all the services written in NodeJS.
The IB service implements an ib client and provides API and TCP socket connection that returns the ib results.
The algo service runs a rule based algorithm on the CMS and the code. It analyzes and makes decisions for opening and closing transactions.
We have set the rules by which trades will be opened and closed. The system opens the deals according to the rules that meet the terms. The service takes quotas (i.e. the current price) for the trades in real-time. It constantly monitors this, and when the rules trigger to close, the trade is closed.
Also, our role was to develop the project strategy, update the algorithms, quality control and error handling. We did a great job, and the client was satisfied with the outcome.
As a result, we have a service that helps to execute trades and ensure the trader maximizes profits without missing opportunities.
How to Find Reliable Fintech Developers?
There are three options for software development:
- your team of fintech developers and technicians;
- off-the-shelf fintech software from a reliable vendor (only works if you have a team of fintech developers to customize the source code);
- outsourcing fintech software to a vendor who can create customized digital solutions.
Hiring a team of fintech product developers is expensive and stressful. You may not have enough time or resources to train inexperienced fintech developers. It’s best to hire an outsourced development team. Why? Here are a few reasons:
- Expertise. It’s good when the team has years of hands-on experience with payment services.
- A portfolio that demonstrates fintech experience. Check out the company’s previous projects to see what they’ve delivered to customers in the past.
- Off-the-shelf frameworks. Some fintech projects can take a very long time to develop, so in these cases, you may want to choose off-the-shelf software fintech solutions.
- Time savings. Software development companies use a flexible development philosophy to meet your time expectations and maintain a product launch schedule.
- High security. A robust fintech company anticipates security flaws and mitigates risks in the underlying product architecture.
- A reliable knowledge transfer plan. The outsourcing company should develop a continuity initiative to transfer the code base, database, admin rights, and so on to your fintech development team if you have one.
- Risk management. Outsourcing the team reduces the risk factors associated with developing fintech applications and provides ongoing product support.
Where to find developers?
- Use personal connections. People you know may include those who have already worked with talented fintech developers or a trusted outsourcing vendor;
- Fintech conferences. Even if the developers you ask aren’t looking for work, they may recommend someone;
- LinkedIn, where you can find software companies and individual developers and check out their experience;
- Clutch, GoodFirms, and Appfutura platforms, where business owners leave their feedback on working with various companies;
- Fiverr, Toptal, Hired, Codementor, Upwork, and PeoplePerHour are freelancer platforms where you can check ratings of previous customers, portfolios, etc;
- Stack Overflow, The Verge, Code Project, and XDA Developers are developer forums.
Start communicating with the selected companies and see how they treat you and your project, pay attention to the development experience. Get acquainted with the managers, invite developers to join Zoom calls, and look at the soft skills, how comfortable it is to work with them. Talk to former clients and ask what you think is important. Then there’s the question of development pricing.
Read more about Development: In-house Product Development VS Outsourced Product Development: Which One Suits You Better?
How Much Does It Cost to Create a Fintech App?
There is no standard cost to create a fintech app. The development costs depend on the project complexity, the developers’ location, the type of application (mobile, web application), the development approach (hybrid, native). However, to begin development, a rough estimate of budget and time will be needed to plan accordingly.
Thus, to create a basic app, you will need a minimum budget of $20000, which will take 3 to 4 months to create.
It is worth paying attention to developer rates. They vary depending on the world’s region. The hourly rates for the major development regions are as follows:
- APAC – $25-40
- Eastern Europe – $35-40
- Western Europe – $50-100
- U.S. – $120-150
If you consider all the trends and features in FinTech application development, integrations, AI implementation, regulation, and more, the application development timeframe can increase from 4 months to 9+ months, and the budget will range from $25,000 to $35,000.
These are rough estimates, which can vary greatly depending on various aspects such as platform features, functionality, API integration, application complexity, application development team, hourly developer rate, interaction models, and more.
In addition, the cost of app development can also vary depending on the operating platform you choose to run your app – Android or iOS. Developing two native apps may take a little longer, and one mobile developer has to be replaced by one Android developer and one iOS developer. Thus, the price may increase a bit to about $220k.
Despite the widespread digitalization, the fintech application industry is still open for new promising projects. Fintech applications are conquering the financial world, becoming one of the opportunities for better experiences and financial transactions.
If you decide on a fintech app, you stand a good chance of creating a successful and profitable business. And although the development of such software has many peculiarities and risks, our team of professionals will help you to overcome these difficulties and bring a worthy product to the market.