Whether you’re an incumbent bank or an entrepreneur just out of college, if you operate in finance, you need to build a fintech app. But how do you find your niche, build a clean interface, implement a solid security infrastructure and achieve real success?
Remember being with your parents as a child and suddenly they needed to go to the bank to pay a bill. Annoying right? But when was the last time you physically went to a bank?
It’s probably longer than you think. But why? Why have we stopped physically going to banks like our parents did? The answer is because of the astonishing rise of fintech apps.
Fintech stands for financial technology and was first made popular by the launch of PayPal in the late 90’s. Essentially, fintech refers to anything you can do financially with a laptop, tablet, or phone (e.g., online banking services and digital payments etc.). Branchless banking ensures you can handle your finances from anywhere, without needing to take a trip to the bank like your parents did.
This is great for customers, but it also means that both incumbents and entry level players just coming into the modern finance market need to have a strategy in place for building their own fintech app if they want to provide the type of service customers want. However, where do you begin? By the end of this article, you will be itching to dive into the world of fintech app development yourself.
Simplicity + support = fintech app success
Financial software development services teams focusing on fintech apps need to prioritize testing. This is true of any app development process, but it goes double for fintech apps as they come under more scrutiny than others due to the market the operate in. What’s more, you’ll need to be aware of different financial and data protection and privacy laws from day one of your development process, as what works in the U.S. might not work in Europe.
However, there are two ways to overcome these issues and avoid potential problems or litigation down the line. You can train your fintech app development team to be more aware of the popular trends in the fintech space or you can partner with a fintech development team that operates in the region you want to enter or expand into.
Both strategies have their merits. However, whatever route you decide to take while building your new app, remember to keep things simple:
- Leverage proven security methodologies such as two factor identification and fingerprint or face scanning to make it easier to comply with government regulations across different global regions
- Implement a simple interface if you want users to use your app again
- Use open banking API connectors to make it easier for you to integrate your new app with other platforms such as an incumbent bank’s servers, which will enable your users to connect their own account to your app quickly and easily
- Label customer service contact details clearly and incorporate an AI-based solution into the mix. If possible, a chatbot should be available 24/7 to your customers, even if your employees are not.
These are the simple building blocks you need to keep in mind if you want to create a successful fintech app. But what markets can your new fintech app operate in? The good news is, quite a few.
The best market for building your fintech app?
What comes into your head when you think of these industries, banking, insurance, investments, and accounting? Whatever you imagined, building a fintech app around it is certainly doable, if it hasn’t been done already.
That’s the good news. However, in an age when “there’s an app for that,” is now a common expression, how do you ensure your app is the app your customers are referring to when they say this to their friends?
Find your niche and audience through research
If you want to stand out from your competitors, you need to be unique. To achieve this, ask yourself questions like:
- Is there a niche market I can cater to?
- How profitable will this market be in the long run?
- Is there a certain feature of popular fintech apps that can be improved?
- Is it better to build from scratch or use existing services?
All these questions can be answered by researching a market, analyzing the results and deciding what works best for you.
Talk to legal and nail down features
When you know the direction you want your fintech app to take, it’s time to get your legal team involved. This will ensure your app complies with the security, privacy and data regulations it will be subject to in whatever region you launch it in. Examples include, Anti Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) laws, as well as data protection and privacy laws like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Once you have the legal necessities in hand, you’ll need to consider the features of your app. This really depends on your audience’s needs, but some crucial features of any successful fintech apps are:
- Registration capabilities
- Payment gateways
- Transaction and interaction histories
- Easy to follow onboarding systems
- Push notifications
- Budget and savings tracking capabilities
- Financial operations capabilities e.g., transferring money, digital payments, balance checking, etc.
- Card number/QR code scanning functionalities
- Cashback capabilities or exclusive deals/offers only available in your app.
Development and design – the real MVPs
When you’re happy with the features you want in your new fintech app, get your development team in place. Your team should typically include a front-end developer, a back-end developer, a business analyst, a project manager, a designer and a quality assurance specialist. If you don’t have access to all these professionals, there are plenty of companies that will partner with you to ensure your needs are met. Just remember to always keep experience and cost in mind.
Once you have your team in place, start designing and building your fintech app. Here, it’s important to remember that simplicity is king. Dealing with investments or insurance can be difficult for some people, so keep things simple and inviting for your users and your app will see more success. A key stage of this process is building your fintech app into a minimum value product (MVP). This is where you will realize if your app attracts real users, even if it is a simplified version of your app with no extra features and doesn’t cost as much to make.
This can be a scary time in your fintech app’s development process, but if you have done your market research, listened to your legal team, defined your objective, and built a strong team, your app should pass this stage with flying colors.
Your MVP has been approved – now what?
Congrats, your MVP was a success. Now the real fun begins. Actual people are using your app now, which means you need to do A/B testing and improve or implement new features based on what your customers want. What’s more, this is where all that simplicity pays off, as it enables your app to run smoothly and securely.
But now we come to the crucial final question: how much does developing a fintech app cost?
Cost depends on complexity
Estimating the cost of a fintech app means answering several questions:
- How complex is your app?
- What features and functionality would you like it to include?
- What development platform will you use?
- Where is your development team based?
All these factors need to be considered when calculating the cost of building your new app. But that’s not all. You’ll also need to consider marketing, customer support and costs associated with maintaining and updating your app, along with how much you want to spend on developing a new fintech app.
Confused? Then keep things simple. Talk to your in-house specialists or an external development team you want to work with, and they will give you a clearer idea of costs and timelines. This is the best and easiest way to understand how much your new development journey will cost – with minimum effort on your part.
Building your fintech app with experts
Fintech apps are the reason we don’t manage our finances like our parents did. Moreover, the simple interfaces they offer, the convenience they provide, and the security they guarantee make them a must in a variety of financial markets today.
Therefore, it doesn’t matter if you’re an incumbent bank or an entrepreneur just out of college, if you’re operating in finance, you need to start building a fintech app if you want to succeed. A Software Mind experts have extensive experience building financial apps, which is why our development teams are ready to turn your fintech app idea into a reality and ensure your customers refer to your app when they say “there’s an app for that” to their friends.
About the authorSoftware Mind
Software Mind provides companies with autonomous development teams who manage software life cycles from ideation to release and beyond. For over 20 years we’ve been enriching organizations with the talent they need to boost scalability, drive dynamic growth and bring disruptive ideas to life. Our top-notch engineering teams combine ownership with leading technologies, including cloud, AI, data science and embedded software to accelerate digital transformations and boost software delivery. A culture that embraces openness, craves more and acts with respect enables our bold and passionate people to create evolutive solutions that support scale-ups, unicorns and enterprise-level companies around the world.