- A banking app allows you to send and receive money, view previous transactions, make deposits and pay the bills from your smartphone or laptop
- The main types of banking apps include: apps for peer-to-peer transactions, apps of banks with physical branches, and online banks
- Must-have banking app features: current balance dashboard, transaction history, secure payments and transfers, customer support, and two-factor authentication
- Banking app development will cost you about $86 750 and take around 4 months.
What is a banking app?
A banking app is a platform that allows you to access your bank account from a smartphone or laptop, send and receive money, view previous transactions, make deposits and pay the bills. Users of the banking app are clients across various regions and ages.
There are three types of banking applications:
- for peer-to-peer transactions only (PayPal, Venmo),
- for old-school banks with physical branches (Bank of America, Citibank),
- for online banks with no branches (Ally Bank, Chime).
In this article, we will focus on cross platform app development that is suitable for all types.
An overview of the mobile banking market
Mobile banking is on the rise. Valued at $941 million in 2022, the market is expected to reach more than $3 billion by 2030, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15% — which is staggering for a niche that appeared less than 20 years ago. The main factors that drive the demand for custom banking apps are the rapid spread of available smartphones, the increasing popularity of digital services all over the world, and the digitalization of financial institutions.
Current trends in mobile banking
If you aim to enter the mobile banking market, it’s crucial to understand the direction in which the industry is going. Let’s take a look at the 8 most important trends in this segment.
1. Advanced security measures
When running a mobile banking app, you routinely deal with highly sensitive information pertaining to your customers — card numbers, phone numbers, addresses, etc. Any breaches will result in major reputational damage and financial reparations, so robust security is a must. You can use end-to-end encryption, two-factor authentication, biometric verification, and multiple other security measures to ensure that no data falls into the wrong hands.
2. Big data analytics
Your mobile banking app will inevitably generate colossal amounts of information, and you’ll benefit hugely from finding the right use for it. By analyzing your customers’ behavior and preferences, you’ll be able to improve your service across all platforms, offer a more personalized experience and reveal any problematic places in the user journey. It will also help you fight fraud, as machine learning models can identify patterns associated with fraudulent behavior.
3. International transfers
We live in an increasingly interconnected world. Traveling is as accessible as ever, digital nomads roam the planet, and big businesses form complex supply chains that span dozens of countries. This means that people often have financial ties across multiple borders, be it with their families, employers or anyone else. Mobile banking solutions such as international transfers allow customers to easily move funds between different countries and thus give you a great competitive advantage.
4. Blockchain integration
Blockchain is a revolutionary technology that powers Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies. However, it actually has much wider applications beyond crypto networks: with blockchain, you can facilitate digital transactions, securely store sensitive data and audit transaction history to prevent money laundering and fraud.
Personalization is the defining trend not only in internet banking but also in the entire segment of digital services. By offering targeted recommendations, offers, and promotions, you foster trust and loyalty among your audience — and the more attention you pay to your customers, the more competitive edge you gain.
6. Cloud computing
With cloud computing, banks can store and manage various data on remote servers. Such mobile banking solutions replace cumbersome on-premise infrastructure and thus greatly reduces both capital expenditures and ongoing operational costs. Cloud platforms also provide the opportunity to rapidly develop, test and and implement new features, making the business much more flexible.
Like any other digital service, mobile banking operations rely on data centers that consume massive amounts of electric energy. By adopting sustainable practices, banks can reduce their carbon footprint, minimize electronic waste, and contribute to the global efforts against climate change — all the while boosting their reputation and receiving positive media coverage.
8. Open APIs
On a basic level, application programming interfaces (APIs) enable two or more computer programs to communicate with each other. With open APIs, banks can collaborate with their partners to offer personalized and specialized solutions that cater to specific customer needs. You can also use APIs to create financial ecosystems by seamlessly integrating multiple services under your brand.
Why should you go for mobile banking application development?
The fintech market for mobile banking applications is large with a growing customer base and opportunities for new products to appear and expand. Many people turn to digital banking for convenience and lack of extra hassle.
76% of Americans have used an app of their bank in the last 12 months. Most of them are millennials (21–34 years old) and generation X (35–49 years old).
Also, mobile banking apps are used in most countries. The most tech-savvy market is Asia, with China and South Korea being leaders in digital secure payments usage. Followed by the United States, Denmark, India, and Sweden. Therefore, if you make the decision to create a mobile banking platform, global opportunities and audiences will open for your startup.
Last but not least, you can target user engagement and create an effective banking app with minimum features. Statistics show that the majority of the customers use such platforms for 3 reasons. To deposit checks, to transfer money between accounts, and to view statements, and current balances. Therefore, if you consider starting the mobile banking development process, we recommend focusing on these three services.
Can a banking app make money?
The answer is yes! Like regular banks, mobile banking apps charge fees and commissions. For example, a $10 per month service fee, $25 commission for international transfers, or 3% for exchanging currency. Also, they earn an interest rate for clients’ deposits and investments.
Let’s look at the revenue of some of the big players on the market. In 2021, Brazilian-based app NuBank made $963 million, while Chime ended the year at $600 million. They were followed by Revolut and Tinkoff, earning $361 million and $160 million accordingly.
So, considering the scale of growth, mobile banking application development is an appealing industry for both investors and customers.
3 successful examples of banking apps
Before you decide to create a banking app and hire a team of developers, it is worth closely looking at the market leaders and their business models. How they approached mobile banking application development and what stands them out. We picked three outstanding banking products from different regions: the United States, Russia, and Germany.
Chime is an American fintech company that started in 2014 and rapidly became one of the main players in neobank app development. About themselves, the startup says: “Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank.” It is because banking services, mobile payment tools, and debit cards are provided not by Chime directly, but by partners: real banks and fintech corporations.
On the banking app Chime, users can open fee-free debit cards and savings accounts with a couple of clicks. Since services are provided by trusted banks, all accounts have FDIC insurance, so the money is safe. For regular users the mobile banking solution is free — Chime makes money by charging retailers and merchants a small commission for banking transactions.
The banking app quickly became famous because of its user-friendly UI/UX design, simple and straightforward copywriting, and minimalistic set of offered services. Now it serves as a role model for many mobile banking application development projects.
Chime grew very rapidly and last year reached 13 million active customers, which made it the most popular mobile banking platform in the United States.
Revolut is a global neobank that offers an extensive array of financial services. Founded back in 2015 in a fintech incubator, it quickly garnered the attention of influential investors and became a unicorn. The company was breaking even by 2020 and in 2021, Revolut was rated the UK’s biggest fintech company with a valuation of more than $33 billion.
With Revolut, mobile banking users can make international mobile payments, generate virtual cards, invest in the stock market and use multiple tools for better budget management. The platform also provides access to various cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Cardana, offering exchanges with 25 fiat currencies.
Revolut operates on a freemium model: users can access all the primary features for free, but the more advanced functionality becomes available only to those who purchase a subscription. There are multiple plans on offer, with the list of perks ranging from fancy plastic cards to stock trading privileges.
N26 is a banking app based in Berlin, Germany, and operates in 24 European countries. Functioning mainly as a wallet app, it provides users with a fee-free debit card to make purchases and transfer money. For a small monthly fee, users can access premium features, including overdraft and investments. The main advantage of the product is that it is 100% online. A user can do secure mobile banking, without having to go to a branch or ever getting letters in the mail.
N26 has quickly become a strong competitor to traditional banks, getting over 7 million users in 2021 and being valued at $9 billion the same year.
The interface has a very clean and simple UI, featuring brand new typography. With the design, N26 went for a minimalistic, modern typeface for the logo and ample negative space to create a feeling of a luxurious company. N26 took mobile banking application development to the next level and we definitely recommend researching them before your own project.
What makes a good mobile banking app?
All popular banking applications on the market have two things in common: a clean look and top-tier security.
📲 Modern and transparent UI/UX design. There is a reason people don’t like traditional banks: everything is slow, old, and complicated. Digital banking changed the game and showed that taking care of your financials can be simple and pleasant. Clean and consistent UI design makes a product easier to use and visually appealing. Also, it contributes to a positive user experience and becomes an advantage for mobile banking application development.
🔐 Cybersecurity. When dealing with people’s money, protecting data is a must for good mobile banking app development. Potential leaks and breaches will turn people away from your mobile banking application. Make sure you work with reliable developers who have experience in cybersecurity to make a shielded banking app.
5 must-have mobile banking app features
To make your app stand out among competitors and meet your customer’s needs, you need to think about key features way in advance before mobile app development even starts. With a convenient user interface, simple navigation, and effective design, your mobile banking software will win over the hearts of your potential users.
In a nutshell, a good mobile banking features list includes these five items:
1. Dashboard with the current balance
The main goal of a dashboard is to quickly and efficiently communicate information. Immediate access to critical data is essential for a positive user experience. For example, the first thing users should see when they enter a mobile banking app is how much money is left in the bank account.
In mobile banking application development, creating a dashboard with a bunch of numbers is not easy. For your banking app, you need to strategically think about the layout, color scheme, important widgets, and interactive elements. Ask your developer in advance if they had experience with dashboards and know best practices for data display.
2. History of transactions
When it comes to money, users demand banking applications to be transparent. They need to know where they spend money and be able to easily find past transactions. Therefore, reviewing details should be effortless and the page has to be easy to navigate around. Don’t overlook previous transactions when you decide on mobile banking app features.
3. Secure payments and transfers
According to statistics, almost a third of all users utilize digital banking for transferring money to their peers (P2P) and paying for bills. Keep in mind this fact during your banking app development. Typically, to send a secure mobile payment within the platform, you need another user’s email address, phone number, or account handle. For wire transfers, users need more details about the recipient, their bank, and their account. You can also set up push notifications to keep the user informed about every transaction.
4. Customer support
Most of the financial problems can’t wait. Imagine, you noticed a suspicious payment in your history that you didn’t make. You would probably want to resolve it as soon as possible and make sure no one steals your money while you’re waiting on the line to talk to a bank representative.
That’s why providing top-notch and friendly support on a banking app is essential to build trust and make users feel valued and secure. This feature should be carefully planned during mobile banking application development. In addition to FAQ, consider developing an in-app support chart and creating a simple chatbot that can find answers to basic questions about products.
5. Two-factor authentication
Two-factor or multi-factor authentication is a technology that helps identify and verify a person entering the mobile banking app. For example, using a password or FaceID with a six-digit code from a text message or email.
2FA in mobile banking apps helps to secure accounts and makes it tougher to steal users’ data. That is the reason why most digital banks encourage customers to turn on technology to protect their money. Discuss the best options for your app during the mobile banking application development process.
How to choose a developer for a mobile banking app?
If you decide to enter a fintech market and conquer mobile banking development, employing reliable and experienced banking app developers is a must.
At Purrweb, we had experience with both cross-platform and native app development, creating the cryptocurrency e-wallet with a complex dashboard and widgets. We know how to build and maintain a secure mobile banking app.
⬇️ If you are interested to learn more about our services and products we created, check out our case study for crypto e-wallet Broex. Read about how we were choosing the right design style and making a custom currency selector.
Developing an online banking application: a step-by-step guide
We believe that the best approach to bringing a new concept to life is to first create a minimum viable product (MVP). An MVP is a barebone version of an app designed to showcase its main functionality.
MVP development is perfect for gauging the market, testing the viability of your idea, and raising some funds — a fully-functioning product is much more convincing than a bunch of promises and pretty pictures.
In other words, it’s a perfect fit for any startup, and this is exactly what we start with here at Purrweb. Let’s break down the whole development process into six steps.
Step 1. Analyze the market
Understanding your niche is key to creating a successful product — so it’s better to start off with market research. Learn about the target audience’s expectations, carefully analyze competitors and pinpoint the most relevant trends in the field. This information will help you better shape the product.
Step 2. Define the features of your product
Using the results of the market research, choose what functionality you want to implement. Although it can be very tempting, don’t just aim to copy the most in-demand features that are popping in the banking industry — think about how you can make your app stand out from the competition. In other words, select a unique selling point (USP, a.k.a “killer feature”).
Step 3. Devise the UI/UX design
Start with the logic of the app. You need to come up with a smooth user journey that will gently guide your customers through the sales funnel — and make them eager to return. Once you have that, it’s time to start making things pretty: choose colors and fonts, create icons and illustrations, design UI components, animate stuff, and devise a styleguide to make sure that everything stays consistent in the future.
Step 4. Write the code and launch the first version
Having a proper codebase is crucial — especially when you deal with third-party finances on a daily basis. In this segment, bugs can lead to major reputational damage and hefty fines imposed by the court, so make sure that only professional developers take part in the mobile banking software development process. Testing is also absolutely essential, especially before launch.
Step 5. Release updates
Once the first user feedback starts to flow in, you enter the app support loop. Add other features from the backlog, scale, and simply bring your app to perfection, all the while maintaining proper communication channels with your target audience.
Costs & timeline of developing a mobile banking application
How much does cross platform app development cost for a banking app? Let’s break down the services and the numbers for a similar project.
🚨Disclaimer: This is our estimation for mobile banking application development and we don’t guarantee other companies have the exact costs or timelines. The following quote is valid only if you decide to develop a product with us.
|Stage||What are we doing||Estimation in hours||Estimation in weeks||Approximate costs|
|Initial meeting||Discuss the idea of your app||1 day||–||No costs|
|UI/UX design||Map users’ journey, create and present you interface mock-ups||170 hours||5 weeks||7 650$|
|Development||Work on mobile banking application development||1400||16 weeks||63 000$|
|QA Testing||Find and fix bugs||480||Alongside the development||9 600$|
|Project management||Manage the mobile app development project and solve administrative tasks||–||Alongside the UI/UX design and development||6 500$|
Overall, the mobile banking app development services will cost you $86 750 and will take approximately 4 months.
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Factors that affect the cost of development
The final cost depends on six parameters: app complexity, design complexity, the number of staff on the team, means of contracting, the team’s location, and the number of supported platforms. Let’s look at each of them in detail:
The number & complexity of the features
As the number of features increases, developers need more time and resources to design, develop, test, and integrate each component. This leads to higher development costs. The same logic applies to more advanced features that demand longer development cycles and the use of special skills.
The complexity of the design
If you don’t have to settle for a minimalistic mobile banking app design, you can always add unique illustrations, sprinkle the screens with neat animations, and create an intricate color scheme — but this will increase the final cost quite a bit.
The number of staff on the team
The math is really straightforward here: the more banking app developers work for you, the more costly the banking app development process will be. Large teams, however, implement projects much faster, and this can make a huge difference in some situations.
Means of contracting
There are three options available for fintech software development: in-house, freelance, and outsource. In-house teams of banking app developers offer high flexibility in exchange for additional expenditures such as bonuses and social benefits. With freelance and outsource, on the other hand, you pay only for the development and nothing else.
Geography plays a huge role in determining the team’s hourly rates. Agencies based in the US, Canada, and Western Europe are usually more expensive to hire than their colleagues in Latin America, Eastern Europe, and most of Asia.
If you want to create a modern banking app that supports both Android and iOS, you basically have to create two separate apps, which means more man hours. This, in turn, means more money. On the other hand, you can stick with cross-platform development frameworks like React Native to cut some costs.
Overall, developing a mobile app for banking services is ripe with opportunities for growth and success. However, newcomers to the market can face challenges with meeting the security standards of the field and choosing the right features.
To make sure your mobile banking app will meet customers’ needs and keep their data protected, we advise startup owners to choose experienced developers who have executed similar fintech projects before.
At Purrweb, we work with cross-platform and native app development to provide your users with a seamless and hassle-free digital banking experience.