May 15, 2024

Mobile Banking App Development: Comprehensive Guide

Elena Pashkovskaya

Technical copywriter

FinTech

Mobile Banking App Development: 7 Steps to Success

Elena Pashkovskaya

Technical copywriter

FinTech

Mobile Banking App Development: 7 Steps to Success

The last two decades have shown significant technological progress, promoting digitalization and technical advancements. However, with its strict legislation and lack of flexibility, the fintech industry has been late in the field. It had a lot of catching up to do.

From simple web apps for checking balances, SMS, and USSD banking to feature-rich mobile apps, banking and finance app development has shown impressive progress over the years. Now, in 2024, let's see what modern mobile banking apps are like, look at their new features, and find out how they can benefit your banking institution.

Key Takeaways

  • Banking app development is part of the thriving mobile app development market, which continues to grow rigorously. Contactless payments, mobile financial services, personalization, and the emergence of neobanks are shifting the banking industry to further digitalization.
  • The main features of banking apps include authentication, account management, secure transaction processing, and customer support. The app's nice-to-have features are personalized offers, a QR code scanner, bill splitting, and repetitive payment automation.
  • For banks, mobile app development offers reduced operational costs, improved competitiveness, better customer acquisition, greater understanding of users, and a new communication channel with them.
  • The banking app development process requires careful planning and feature selection. Building a prototype or MVP helps get first feedback and amend the product at the initial stage. The finished software must be carefully tested and maintained.
  • The cost of banking app development depends on project complexity, number of OSs, tech stack, type of cooperation, and location of the development team.

Why Do You Need a Mobile Banking App?

From being a peculiar option and novelty, mobile banking apps have become a must-have for fintech businesses of all sizes. How has this shift happened, and what are today's trends in banking app development? We'll soon find out.

Mobile app market in facts and numbers

  • The global mobile application market reached a whopping $228.98 billion in 2023 and is poised for further growth. Experts forecast an annual average growth rate of 14.3% from 2024 to 2030.

The mobile app market in the U.S. is also expected to see considerable growth. This surge is fueled by two key factors: a thriving mobile app development industry and a rising dependence among American businesses on mobile apps to connect with customers and amplify their visibility.

  • In 2022, the research showed that 78% of adults in the U.S. preferred a digital way to approach the bank — through a web or mobile banking app, in contrast with 29% of respondents who would like to visit a bank branch in person.

Statista shows that data breach detection and electronic direct deposits were the most demanded features for mobile banking apps in 2023.

  • Banking mobile app development considerably influenced the decrease in physical bank branches. They continued to decline in 2023, marking the 14th consecutive year of decrease. The number of active branches nationwide dropped from 79,000 in 2022 to 77,690 by October 2023.

Trends in the Banking Industry

Along with the technologies you hear about all over the Internet, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, chatbots, and big data, let's look at less loud, though equally vital points in banking and finance app development.

Digital banks without live branches

The emergence of neobanks has revolutionized the domain through their innovative mobile-first approach to financial services. Prioritizing technology over physical presence, these financial institutions are flexible and open to embracing new tech trends and delivering quality services and a top-notch customer experience.

Cardless ATM withdrawal

Need cash but left the card in another jacket? With cardless ATM withdrawal technology, that is no longer the problem. You can get your cash, as modern means (QR codes, biometrics, and NFC) allow you to identify the cardholder without a debit card on hand. Only a smartphone and banking app are needed.

Contactless payments

Launched in 2014 in the U.S., contactless payment implementation began slowly and was significantly boosted by a pandemic in 2020. At least 51% of Americans now use contactless payment methods, such as mobile device-based or card-based "tap-to-go" transactions. The trend has become increasingly popular as it is convenient, fast, and efficient.

Mobile financial services

To stay competitive with players such as neobanks, payment processing platforms, and credit unions, modern banks must rely not only on traditional services but also on introducing new features, including digital wallets, money management counseling, saving plans, and predictive budgeting tools.

Personalization

Personalized banking may not be an obvious trend, but it carries many benefits. A tailored approach increases customers' loyalty and trust, increases revenue, and raises retention rates. Personalized prices, offerings, or financial advice can significantly increase brand adherence and authority, showing that the bank strives to build strong relations with customers beyond just transactions.

Advantages of Mobile Banking Applications

Evaluating the benefits of mobile banking app development is a broad exercise that includes both banks and their customers. Let's examine banking apps from different angles.

Benefits for customers

  • Remote account management
  • Fast funds transfer
  • Payment notifications
  • Easy access to support
  • Transactions history view
  • 24/7 access to your bank account

Benefits for banks

Gaining more clients: as mobile banking becomes a trend, more and more people want to try its possibilities and manage finances in a fast, secure, and convenient way. Developing and launching a mobile banking app means making your customers' lives easier and attracting more users.

Reduction of operational costs: redirecting part of the physical branch's functionality to the mobile app lowers administrative charges and raises customer engagement and value.

A better understanding of users: mobile app data collection and analytics allow banks to learn more about their customers, identify patterns, and real-time insights. It helps to improve service offerings and customer experience and create data-driven marketing strategies.

New communication channel: banking mobile app notifications connect your business with customers and allow you to spread the word, strengthen your company's brand, and find new marketing opportunities, resulting in Increased customer loyalty and trust.

Improved competitiveness: in today's fast-paced world, the absence of convenient mobile apps for banking institutions is a major drawback, hitting a company's competitiveness hard. Yield to the times and discover the possibilities of banking mobile app development.

Banking App Features

When discussing banking app features, it is essential to identify the product you will build. While MVPs include must-haves only, the more complex the app is, the more features it might have. In general, banking app features can be most directly classified as essential ones and nice-to-haves. We'll take a look at both.

Must-haves

Authentication: an obvious opener for banking app development, where security measures are the most vital ones. Biometric authentication, two-step authentication, SMS or Push notifications, and end-to-end encryption can greatly increase the security of mobile banking apps from the start.

Account management: it includes new card requests, digital payments, a quick balance check, payments management, and transaction history. Even basic apps allow you to pay your bills electronically, move money between your accounts or send money to other people with just a few taps, view recent transactions, and download statements.

Customer support: knowing whom to contact if something goes wrong is vital. The customer support feature enables customers to quickly address their concerns and get the answers they need in no time, providing a great user experience. Money issues admit no delay.

Secure transaction processing: consists of encryption and tokenization. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and its successor, Transport Layer Security (TLS), are encryption protocols that scramble data sent between the user's device and the bank's servers. Tokenization allows a merchant to store an actual credit card number on its server using a unique token that can only be used by that specific merchant and is useless if intercepted.

Notifications: transaction alerts, account balance updates, and other important information help users stay informed about changes in their account, enhancing security and improving financial awareness. Knowing you'll be notified of important events keeps you informed and reduces financial anxieties.

Maps with branches/ATMs: a convenient and useful way to navigate customers in the physical world. It allows your banking app to facilitate your clients' lives, providing necessary information when they need it.

Nice-to-haves

Repetitive payments automatization: with this feature you can easy schedule automatic payments for recurring bills like rent, utilities, subscriptions, or gym memberships. Receive timely notifications for upcoming bill payments from your banking app.

Personalized offers: initiate credit card recommendations and provide loan options, investment opportunities, and budgeting tools to demonstrate a tailored approach to the client based on transaction history, account balances, income level, and more.

Bill splitting: this feature allows customers to save time and settle group expenses effortlessly. Initiate the split, and once finalized, the app can initiate quick and secure transfers from user's contacts directly to their account to cover the share.

QR scanner: this option allows you to initiate a quick and secure mobile payment, send money to friends or family by scanning a QR code linked to their bank account, and scan a QR code to access detailed product information, brochures, or special offers from your bank.

Buy now, pay later (BNPL): allows you to split the cost of purchases into smaller payments, potentially making it easier to manage your finances. This might work in two ways: existing BNPL companies could partner with your bank so that you can use BNPL directly in your banking app, or the bank might create its own BNPL option.

While planning banking and finance app development, consider using emerging technologies, such as AI for fraud prevention, blockchain, AI-powered chatbots, robo advisors, gamification, and others.

7 Steps for Banking App Development

Banking app development process: preparation and planning, choosing features, consideration of risks and challenges, building of prototype or MVP, designing and developing, launch and maintenance, updating and improvement.

Banking app development can include more than seven steps, but we have chosen the most valuable insights and put them into these info-packed stages. Discover how to build a mobile banking app without a fuss.

  1. Preparation and planning

The initial stage is extensive. It includes everything that needs to be foreseen from a business point of view before actual development: conducting market research, learning about competitors, defining the target audience, developing a unique product proposition and initial documentation, requirements gathering, etc.

The main idea of this step is to clarify the reasons for building the product, justify its value to customers, and estimate profits. It ends when goals and requirements are defined and the product's viability is data-supported.

  1. Choosing features

The choice of features depends on what initial product you want to build. Starting with a prototype or an MVP is a good idea! Prove your concept before making a full-scale launch.

Thinking strategically with perspective in mind, list the main and additional features, mark their priority, and determine the sequence of implementation. Create a product that is scalable and has room for growth. If you have some doubts, you can consult your banking app development company.

  1. Consideration of risks and challenges

No, we are still not building anything. We plan and make estimations. Each product has its flat points, and you cannot be 100% sure about the app's success, data security, or market changes in today's fast and unpredictable world. That is why consideration of these issues beforehand is so vital.

Compliance: checking compliance once is not enough; as legislation develops in fintech, fast-changing requirements push you to check for updates continuously. Failure to enforce regulations may lead to data loss or heavy fines.

Security: ensure that your app has a proper security level. You may use password encryption, data safe storage, modern authentication methods, secure card info transmissions, and security certificates.

Technical: provide all technical means for seamless biometric authentication, introduce know-your-customer (KYC) standards, check all 3rd party integrations, and test your banking app for chinks in the armor.

Risk management: develop a recovery plan and algorithms in case of a security breach.

All these measures will help you to face challenges, if some emerge after banking app development is over, without turning a hair.

  1. Building of prototype or MVP

Prototypes and Minimum Viable Products (MVPs) are both early versions of a product used in development but serve different purposes.

Prototypes are built to test a product's future design and usability. Getting early user feedback on the concept and refining the design before diving into coding allows for correcting flaws at an early stage and saving money.

Minimum viable product aims to validate the core idea and achieve product-market fit. MVPs are fully functional products that can be released to a limited audience to gather data about user behavior and initial feedback.

This step ends with checking the initial product's logic, structure, and design and correcting the emerging issues.

  1. Designing and developing

The designing part of the process focuses on creating a user-friendly and visually appealing interface (UI) and user experience (UX). The main demand for UX is to provide seamless user flow, while UI must be appealing, intuitive, and consistent. The stage involves creating wireframes, prototypes, and mockups to test and refine the app's layout, navigation, and information flow.

At the development stage, the team builds the banking app based on the previously approved design and functionalities. To avoid building everything from scratch, consider using third-party services like data analytics tools, in-app messages, and notifications. Security is paramount in banking apps, so this stage also involves robust security measures and compliance checks.

Last but not least, there is testing. During the QA process, the app undergoes rigorous testing to ensure functionality, security, and performance across different devices and operating systems.

  1. Launch and maintenance

When the product is ready to launch, the best thing you can do is inform as many people about it as possible. Start a marketing campaign, email your current customers and purchase ads. Make your product visible on the market.

Also, remember that the software needs constant maintenance, so arrange it before the launch. A good option is to have the maintenance provided by the same banking app development company that built the product.

  1. Updating and improvement

Once completed, the banking app must be regularly updated. Feedback collection will help you identify customers' desired features and implement them later, thus paving the way for nonstop app improvement.

Banking and Finance App Development Cost

The development of a simple mobile banking app starts at $100,000 and can reach more than $1,000,000 in some cases. The overall cost consists of several factors, such as:

  • Complexity: the more complex an app is, the more features and integrations it encompasses, and the higher the development cost.
  • The number of OSs: cross-platform or native? iOS, Android, or both? The answer to these questions directly influences the final project's cost.
  • Type of cooperation: in-house team, dedicated team, or, perhaps outsourcing? Fixed price or time and material model? The choice depends on your particular project goals and budget.
  • Technology stack: simpler tech stacks using common languages are cheaper than complex, cutting-edge solutions. Moreover, widely used languages have a larger pool of developers, keeping costs competitive.
  • Outsourcing location: the cost of banking app development also depends on the development services provider's location. The most popular regions for outsourcing development teams are Eastern Europe, South America, and Asia Pacific.

Why Choose NEKLO for Banking App Development

With over 15 years in mobile app development, NEKLO has gained a reputation as a reliable software development partner, creating projects in fintech, e-commerce, and healthcare. Mobile banking app development services are no exception. We deliver top-notch business solutions, carefully caring about our client's goals, needs, and preferences.

What we offer:

  • Diverse banking app development expert team
  • 15 years of experience in delivering mobile banking apps
  • 2-3 weeks for team gathering and project launch
  • Quick MVP development
  • App Store and Google Play assistance

And now we want to share our success story in banking app development. Our client, a US-based private neobank, asked NEKLO to build a flexible, user-friendly, and secure solution for its customers. After thorough analysis, design, and compliance checks, our team has delivered feature-rich custom mobile banking applications for iOS and Android.

The key aspects included:

  • Support of various financial operations
  • Data security measures and two-step authentication
  • Interoperability with existing banking software
  • Chatbot for enhanced communication with the customers
  • Easy customizations for customers
  • Reporting, invoices, and detailed bank account statistics

If you have a project in mind, you can get a free consultation from our experts on your future banking app. Contact us to get an estimation of the project's time and cost.