How to Build a Fintech App in 2024: Step-by-Step Guide
Fintech is the industry that is leading the global growth rate. This is quite logical, as it is characterized by security and convenience when compared to traditional forms of financial services.
The major factors that have accelerated the development of this industry are the growing consumer demand for online financial services, increased adoption of innovative technologies among banks and financial institutions, and recent socio-economic changes due to the pandemic. As a result, more and more traditional financial institutions as well as technology startups are looking to develop their own fintech products and compete in the market.
There are many reasons why entrepreneurs favor the fintech market. But the strongest arguments are usually statistical data.
- The global fintech market size is projected to reach US$ 16652.68 Bn by 2028.
- As of May 2023, there were 11,651 fintech startups in the Americas, making it the region with the most fintech startups globally.
- According to EY’s Global Fintech Adoption Index, 96% of the consumers globally are aware of at least one fintech service.
How to Create a Fintech App
So, if you also want to build a fintech app and compete with the existing ones, we have prepared a step-by-step guide for you. By following it, you can increase your chances of developing a competitive fintech app that meets the needs of your target audience.
Select the Type of Fintech App You'll Build
Before you start developing your fintech application, you need to clearly identify a suitable niche. To do this, you need to answer the main question: What type of a fintech app are you going to build?
Fintech applications cover a wide range of applications that use technology to provide financial services and solutions. Here are some common types of fintech applications:
Digital Payment Apps: These apps enable users to make electronic transactions, transfer funds, and manage their finances digitally.
Peer-to-Peer Lending Apps: These lending platforms connect borrowers directly with lenders, eliminating the need for traditional financial intermediaries like banks.
Personal Finance Management Apps: These apps help users track and manage their personal finances, including budgeting, expense tracking, goal setting, and financial planning.
Digital Banking Apps: These apps provide a range of banking services, allowing users to view account balances, make transactions, pay bills, and manage their finances on mobile devices. Digital banking apps offered by traditional banks or neobanks (digital-only banks) provide convenient and user-friendly banking experiences.
Cryptocurrency Apps: These apps enable users to buy, sell, and store digital currencies, as well as track market trends and manage their cryptocurrency portfolios.
Insurance Technology Apps: Insurtech apps leverage technology to enhance the insurance industry by offering services such as online insurance purchase, claims processing, and personalized insurance solutions.
Crowdfunding Platforms: Crowdfunding apps allow individuals or businesses to raise funds from a large number of people for various purposes, such as starting a business, supporting creative projects, or charitable causes. These platforms connect project creators with potential donors or investors.
Financial Education Apps: Financial education apps provide resources, tools, and interactive learning experiences to help users improve their financial literacy and make informed financial decisions. They may offer courses, calculators, quizzes, and articles on various financial topics.
Regtech (regulatory technology) Apps: Regtech apps assist financial institutions in complying with regulatory requirements. These apps help automate compliance processes, monitor transactions for suspicious activities, and ensure adherence to regulatory standards.
Ensure Legal Compliance
Before building a fintech application, it is important to ensure legal compliance. Fintech apps deal with financial transactions and user data and are often subject to the legal requirements applicable to the financial industry.
Most countries have their own legal requirements that must be complied with. In addition, different countries have different financial safeguards in place to control non-compliance.
Some of the most well-known examples of such guidelines include KYC (Know Your Customer), AML (Anti Money Laundering), PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) and digital signature certificates. If entrepreneurs develop a fintech solution for customers in Europe, it must also be compliant with the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).
Conduct Market Research
Every entrepreneur wants their fintech application to be successful and have an advantage over the competition. To do this, he or she must analyze the competitive landscape and conduct thorough market research.
- Evaluate and analyze the competitors,
- Identify the advantages and disadvantages of their fintech applications,
- Find pain points in the apps developed by others,
- Conceptualize the app idea to have a competitive advantage over others.
By researching the market, entrepreneurs also get an idea of who the potential users of the app are, what their demographics are and what their financial needs are. Based on this information, the entrepreneurs can determine the features, functionality and user-friendliness of their future app. However, as practice shows, not everyone does it. But if you want to be one step ahead of your competitors, you should follow the recommendations above.
Formulate a Monetization Strategy
You need to decide how your fintech app should generate revenue. There are several options to choose from: transaction fees, subscription models, in-app purchases, data monetization, etc.
If a fintech application has a virtual card or user account, you can charge a fee for transferring funds to other organizations. This option is the most profitable for monetization, as financial services or applications allow users to transfer money, pay for third-party services and convert currencies.
It is not uncommon for financial apps to offer users a free trial period and then charge a fee if the user wishes to continue using the app. In this case, the app owner's revenue depends directly on the number of users. The advantage is that the subscription costs are a fixed amount, so the potential revenue is easy to calculate.
You can include targeted advertising in your app. Advertisers can pay to show relevant ads to your users based on their financial habits, preferences, or demographics. However, you must ensure that the ads are not intrusive and that they are relevant to your users to maintain a positive user experience.
Aggregating and anonymizing user data can provide valuable insights to financial institutions, marketers, or researchers. You can explore partnerships or collaborations to sell aggregated and anonymized data to interested parties while ensuring strict adherence to privacy regulations and obtaining user consent.
Define the Must-Have App Features and Requirements
Fintech applications can vary in terms of their features depending on the specific niche or target audience they serve. However, there are several common must-have features that are generally expected in fintech apps. Here are some of them:
- Card linking is considered a mandatory feature of a fintech app. You can integrate a payment gateway into the app and allow users to link a credit or debit card to an account.
- Security is the most important aspect to focus on while building a fintech app. Users' money should be securely protected with a password or PIN, and transactions should be confirmed with a one-time SMS code or two-factor authentication. A security protocol should be implemented and a simple and secure login process should be provided.
- Basic financial transactions. Add the ability to make payments, credit and debit deposits. To make it more convenient for customers, you can add the ability to distribute user funds between multiple cards, accounts and virtual wallets.
- Notifications. With push notifications, users receive information about debiting or crediting funds, as well as messages from banks and technical support about news and special offers.
Remember that you don't need to clutter your app with a lot of features. Instead, try to include features that will make your app more innovative, faster, safer, and more user-friendly.
Estimate the Budget
There is no fixed cost of fintech application development. In general, it can cost anywhere from $30,000 to $300,000, which means that creating a fintech app is a costly process. The price of an application is influenced by such factors as the type of application, its features, the location of the development team, and the total development time. When calculating your budget, we recommend you stick to the following plan:
You'd better start by clearly defining your app's requirements and determining the core features and functionalities you want to include in your fintech app. Consider factors such as mobile platforms (iOS, Android, both), user authentication, payment integrations, data security, and any specific regulatory compliance requirements.
Then you need to decide whether you will develop the app in-house or hire external development resources. If you choose to outsource, research and get proposals from reputable development agencies or freelance developers. Consider their expertise, experience, portfolio, and cost estimates.
The next step is to divide the development process into specific stages, such as project planning, UI/UX design, front-end development, back-end development, integration with third-party services, testing, and deployment.
Then you should estimate the development costs based on the resources required for each stage of development taking into account factors such as hourly rates of developers, designers, project managers, and testers. You should also consider additional expenses related to software licenses, development tools, cloud hosting, or third-party APIs.
Depending on the nature of your fintech app, you may need to comply with specific financial regulations and security standards. Therefore, you should consider the costs associated with obtaining necessary licenses, complying with industry regulations, and conducting security audits or penetration testing.
Select a Technology Stack
Choosing the right technology stack is very important for developing a fintech application. Depending on the type and functionality of the app, you will need different technology tools for its back-end and front-end.
For example, the most popular programming languages for back-end development of payment products include Java, known for its robustness; Python, with its simplicity and versatility that allows developers to build and scale applications quickly; and Ruby, known for its elegant syntax and developer-friendly conventions.
Create a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
Creating an MVP is a strategic approach that increases the likelihood of building a successful and market-ready fintech app.
An MVP allows you to test and validate your fintech app idea in the market before investing significant resources. It helps you determine if there is a demand for your product and if it solves a real problem for users. By releasing a simplified version of your app with essential features, you can collect user feedback and make informed decisions about the app's future development.
Build a Fintech App & Constantly Improve It
You launch a fintech application and think that all your efforts and struggles are over. I have to disappoint you. Fintech application development is a continuous and forward-looking process. It should not stop once the application is launched. Instead, you should keep improving and modernizing it as you get valuable feedback from users. Improving and enhancing a fintech app should be done by adopting new technologies and current trends.
Working in financial services development is a field that is full of complexities. Only a competent team of professionals can help you overcome these complexities and achieve success. We at Cyfrania have vast experience, we specialize in creating applications of any type and complexity. If you are interested to see examples of successfully developed applications by us, take a look at our portfolio.
If you need help in fintech software development, we will be glad to be your partner. Let's create an outstanding product together!