How to Build a Money Transfer App

The world of finance does not stand still. Today, people can send and receive money all across the globe with a single click. Money has become mobile and invisible — we are getting used to the fact that our budget is just numbers on the screen. And to access it, we use apps.

All banks, fintech companies, and any financial organizations that do not want to become obsolete need applications. Payment functions are now included in insurance and crypto apps as well. In this article, we’ll tell you all you need to know about money transfer app development.

Reading time: 8 minutes

Table of contents

    Key takeaways

    • Mobile transfer apps help users to make digital transactions in a convenient and secure way. Today, such apps are in high demand, which makes the industry attractive to developers.
    • To build a money transfer app, you’ll need to come up with a plan, create a design, code and test the app, release, and collect users’ feedback.
    • Include the most important features like registration, transactions, and transaction history and don’t overload your app: a great way to go is to build an MVP first.

    How do payment apps work?

    Mobile transfer apps, also known as mobile payment apps, offer a convenient and secure way to make P2P (peer-to-peer) payments without the need for cash or physical cards.

    Let’s see how it works. Users download and install a payment app on the mobile device and sign up for an account. Then they need to verify their identity, for example, use a PIN or fingerprint. From now on, they can receive and send money. To make a payment, they enter the recipient’s details and payment amount. Then, users complete the transaction and receive confirmation. Depending on the app type and the purpose of payment, the process may slightly vary.

    Money transfer app working process

    Types of money transfer apps

    There are 2 main types of money transfer apps for P2P payments.

    Independent services

    Payment services allow users to send money from their bank account/credit card to another person using only a phone number or email address. Common examples are Apple Pay, Google Pay, and PayPal. Here, you can set up a digital wallet, where you store funds and make P2P payments from within the app. 

    Built-in services 

    Since making payments is an integral part of our daily routine, various apps include a money transfer feature as one of their functions. For example, a mobile banking app allows users to transfer money between accounts within the same bank or to other banks. Messengers may include a transfer function to send money instantly during chatting. There are even more complex schemes like payments via smart speakers. With built-in services, users often need to link a bank account or a card before they initiate a transfer.

    Money transfer app market overview

    Mobile payments have gained huge popularity, with more than 2 billion active users in 2022. Global adoption is expected to reach 4.8 billion users by 2025

    The global P2P payment market was evaluated at $1.89 trillion in 2021 and is forecasted to hit approximately $9.87 trillion by 2030, according to the Precedent Research report The market will be growing at a compound annual growth rate of 20.16% from 2022 to 2030.

    Global P2P payment market overview

    Money transfer app market overview

    The leader in mobile payment adoption is China. By the end of 2021, 903.6 million people, which is 64% of the country’s population, used mobile payments. Chinese people develop a money transfer habit, as online solutions are fast and accessible. 

    But the demand for mobile payments is not driven only by convenience. In many countries and regions, there is a significant number of unbanked people who lack access to traditional financial services. Financial inclusion around the world is yet to be improved, according to the World Economic Forum review. 

    People who don’t have a bank account need an alternative means to pay online. Therefore, to create a money transfer solution is a reasonable choice for app developers.

    Benefits of using a money transfer app

    Having studied inspiring statistics, you, as a startuper, may want to understand why they are popular. With a money transfer app, you will be able to attract a wide audience, because it brings many benefits to users.

    • Convenience. Users can operate from anywhere at any time, as long as they have an internet connection.
    • Efficiency. It’s much faster to manage finances online than going to a physical bank branch.
    • Security. As long as users and app developers take precautions to protect account information, apps are secure. Users should set a strong password and avoid phishing scams.
    • Saving money. Traditional means of sending money are obsolete and typically come with high fees. Via a transfer app, users can send money for free or for a very low fee.

    Money transfer app development trends

    As the tech industry continues to evolve, the focus is more and more shifted to convenient and fast options. Here are some major trends of the last few years.

    Contactless payments

    In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, contactless payments have surged in popularity, as they allow users to avoid physical contact with surfaces. Using near-field communication technology (NFC), users can simply wave their device over a reader to initiate a transaction.

    A person making contactless payments

    Contactless payments

    Payments in messengers

    Beyond texting, calling, and sharing media, some messengers are now offering convenient options for sending and receiving payments. But this particular sphere just started to take off: WeChat banking is currently exclusive to Chinese citizens, and Facebook Pay has only recently become available in countries outside the US. So there is room for viable messenger banking solutions to emerge.

    How to pay via Facebook Pay

    Payments in messengers

    Mobile wallets

    While in-messenger payments are still relatively new, the number of mobile wallet users is growing by almost 140 million each year. This is a clear shift towards more mobile-centric payment solutions. Norway, Finland, and New Zealand are the closest to becoming cashless countries, with less than 5% of cash-based payments.

    Payments via mobile wallets

    Mobile wallet payments

    Payments via smart speakers

    In addition to booking a ride or receiving traffic updates, smart speakers can now be used as platforms for money transfers. Rather than logging into your online banking app to make a payment, users complete purchases with just a few voice commands.

    Payments via smart speakers screen

    Payments via smart speakers

    Features of a money transfer application

    There are 2 kinds of functions that you can add to your app — mandatory and optional. The cost of development and the time it takes depend on the number and complexity of functions. Custom applications with complex internal processes, such as blockchain solutions, are usually more expensive.

    READ MORE  How Much Does It Cost To Develop An App

    Let’s take a closer look at the features you need to consider.

    Must-have features of money transfer apps

    Here are the core features that make a money transfer app efficient and secure. As an app owner, pay special attention to them during fintech software development.

    • Creating a user account or a wallet. This is the first step users take after downloading an app. They should either link their credit or debit card to the app or create an account with an e-wallet to store their funds.
    • Viewing and editing user details. There should be an opportunity to view and edit personal and financial information — name, address, contact details, linked cards or bank accounts.
    • Making basic financial transactions. Add an ability to send and receive money, and allow setting up recurring transfers and automatic payments. If your users can also pay bills and make purchases directly from the app, their satisfaction will rise.
    • Tracking transfers. Available transaction history is an essential criterion for many users. Allow them to track the status of their transfers, including the date, time, recipient, and type of transaction (income or expense).
    • Notifications. Use notifications to inform users of important updates and events related to their accounts and security. These are transaction updates, security alerts, reminders, promotions, and offers. You can use push notifications, SMS, or emails.

    Nice-to-have features of money transfer apps

    Apart from creating essentials, you could add extra features that will complement your money transfer app and make your users love it. Here are some examples.

    • Making transactions in different currencies. Most popular money transfer apps support multiple currencies, including cryptocurrencies, and offer real-time exchange rates. This helps users send and receive money across borders.
    • Changing the interface language. Many applications offer a multilingual interface for the convenience of users who speak different languages. This is not a fintech-specific function, but it’s necessary to remember this to take care of the user experience.
    • Two-factor authentication (2FA). You can add an extra layer of security by asking users to enter a code sent to their phone or email before making transactions. To ensure security, implement advanced security protocols and data encryption.

    Legal standards in fintech

    Compliance with accepted standards is an obligatory requirement for every financial app. The financial data flow is closely monitored and regulated, making it important to understand the nuances of the banking industry. 

    The industry is subject to strict regulations, including:

    • Anti-Money Laundering Policy (AML)
    • Know Your Customer (KYC) verification
    • The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)
    • The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

    Before you develop a money transfer app, consult a business analyst who can advise on the specific laws and standards that apply to your particular service.

    6 steps to build a money transfer app

    When you decide to create your app, we advise starting with an MVP. A minimal viable product is a version of the product that includes basic functions only. It is a great choice for entrepreneurs, who want to test the idea on the market with a minimum budget. 

    Our team has experience in creating functional MVPs, so we can confirm the efficiency of the approach. One of our fintech MVP projects was a crypto wallet that allows buying, storing, and transferring different cryptocurrency.

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    Consider the steps that we follow to create a money transfer app.

    Step 1. Formulate your idea and do the market research

    The first step in developing a successful money transfer app is to come up with an idea and define the main goals. Conduct market research to identify the needs and preferences of your target audience. Analyze your competitors to find any gaps that you can fill with your app. 

    Step 2. Identify the main functions of the MVP

    Once you have a clear idea of the purpose of your app, choose the core functions. Check out the main features we discussed above and include account management, basic money transactions, and transfer tracking. Thanks to this, you’ll build a roadmap for the development process.

    Step 3. Create a design

    Design affects the user experience and engagement with the app. Work with a team of professional UI/UX designers to create a visually appealing and user-friendly interface. Designers will create a mind map and wireframes first to make sure that the design meets your needs, and then turn them into live clickable prototypes.

    READ MORE  How to Design UX for an MVP in 2023

    Step 4. Code and test 

    Coding means developing the backend and frontend of the app and integrating APIs. Set aside some time to conduct thorough testing, so that the app functions smoothly, without any bugs. Check compatibility on different devices and operating systems.

    Step 5. Release your MVP

    When the app is tested and ready to go, release it to the market. Publish the app on various app marketplaces like App Store and Google Play and promote it through social media or other marketing channels.

    Step 6. Take care of the post-release support

    The launch is not the final step in developing a money transfer app. You’ll need to resolve issues that arise after the app is released, fix bugs, and add new features if needed. Listen to user feedback and continue to update and improve the app.


    Billions of people use money transfer apps every day, and they will continue to do so. It is predicted that the number of users will gradually increase with the development of financial inclusion and the rise of accessible technologies. So, the idea to create a money transfer app is highly likely to be viable and profitable. 

    If you are a startup, you have an app idea you plan to bring to life, and you need technical assistance, the Purrweb company will be useful to you. We will help you build a money transfer app that satisfies your users and increases your income. Fill in the form below, and we will calculate timeframes and development costs individually. Launch your app with Purrweb.

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