April 30, 2024

Your Ultimate Guide to Finance App Development

Elena Pashkovskaya

Technical copywriter


Financial App Development in Facts and Figures: A Full Guide

Elena Pashkovskaya

Technical copywriter


Financial App Development in Facts and Figures: A Full Guide

Digital transformation continues modernizing the FinTech industry, causing the growing demand for finance app development. These apps are widely used by banks and financial institutions, facilitating transactions, data collection and analysis, and forecasting. Financial apps make personal finance management easier, allowing people to track their expenditures and create saving plans.

Key Takeaways

  • Finance app development is a growing industry with the potential for business owners and investors. It is expected to grow gradually shortly, and the demand for convenient and functional apps is rising.
  • There is a broad spectrum of finance apps to develop: simple or complex apps, MVPs with further development in mind, and more. Depending on the specialization, your app's domain can be a budget planner, spending tracker, loan management software, personal investments app, or something else.
  • Custom finance app development encompasses thorough preparation, goal setting, choosing the right target audience, and determining the requirements. Depending on the project's scale and features, the development process can take at least three months.
  • The key features to seek in a personal finance app are strict security measures, account integration, real-time tracking and notifications, quality customer support, smooth design, and data visualization tools.
  • Finance apps have extensive monetization opportunities, from subscription and ads to freemium approach and affiliate marketing, so there is always room to make them profitable.

What Is a Finance App

A finance app is a tool that facilitates finance management, such as expense tracking, investments, saving plans, and tax payments. These apps help users save money and generate additional income, thus being an advantageous option for those interested in better personal budget allocation.

A financial app provides valuable insights about spending patterns, analyzes data, and can also give tax advice, provide investment options, and offer insurance suggestions. 

Finance app features: card integration, expense tracking, report and statistics, saving plans, data visualization, payment reminders.

Main finance app possibilities:

  • Reports and statistics gathering allow users to get the complete picture of their expenses, discover spending patterns, and find the ways for budget improvement.
  • Integrations enable the add debit or credit cards to track transactions, collect and analyze information, and make planned payments.
  • Saving plans help to make savings, monitor your process, and highlight the areas where you can save money.
  • Expense monitoring gives insights about your budget management and allows you to analyze and correct your spending habits.
  • Payment reminders allow you to make obligatory fees, such as taxes, subscriptions, and credit card payments, in time.

Why Choose Finance App Development

The global fintech industry has experienced significant revenue growth, reaching an estimated $79.38 billion in 2023, according to Statista. This trend is expected to continue, with the industry projected to surpass $141.18 billion by 2028.

Big FinTech players like banks have recently started operating in personal finance. Moreover, the demand for online operations raised by the pandemic and lockdowns, which have proven convenient and time-saving since then, has stayed. That is why finance app development remains a promising domain to explore.

Reasons to develop a finance app

  • Faster transactions comparing to traditional banking methods
  • Investment management with real-time market updates
  • Data insights via statistics and analysis
  • Advanced user experience for carrying out various financial tasks
  • Saving time as all financial transactions are available from mobile device
  • Access to the financial information from anywhere and in one place

Types of Finance Apps

There are several classifications of personal finance apps, and today, we will look at a few of them.

Budget planners

These apps help users make thoughtful financial decisions and improve money allocation. Based on monthly income, budget planners can help not only prevent overspending but also cut debt and plan more efficient spending patterns.

Investment apps

Investment apps enable people with or without particular knowledge to make investments, propose suitable projects, and calculate risks. They allow users to create an investment portfolio and manage assets from their smartphones. The wide range of investment apps on the market will enable you to find suitable options for beginners and advanced investors.

Peer-to-peer payment apps

Allow quick and safe transactions directly from the payer to the payee. PayPal is a well-known example of such an app. The top features to look for in P2P payment apps are supported countries and currencies, transaction limits, security measures, and fees.

Banking apps

Banking apps allow you to access your bank account and make transactions via mobile devices. They're made for checking balances, paying taxes, transferring funds, and viewing payment history. This type of app enables financial institutions to broaden their client base, increase customer loyalty, offer personalized service, and reduce operation costs.

Financial forecasting apps

Financial forecasting software enables economic data analysis and prediction-making. For individuals, the apps help set financial targets and milestones and see the long-term effects of their current budgeting system. For businesses, it helps evaluate financial performance and improve decision-making.

Spending trackers

These apps offer tracking income and expenses, tax organization, payment receipt collection, and report creation. Users can collect and classify their purchases, manage cash flow, and find out where they can allocate more money. A spending tracker lets you organize your budget and discover and adjust spending habits.

Personal finance apps

Personal finance apps fulfill a wide range of money-related tasks, helping to manage the budget and make better investment decisions. At some point, they can encompass the functions of all the above mentioned types, targeting personal use instead of corporate ones.

Finance App Development Steps

Finance app development: define the audience, determine app goals, collect requirements, design and develop the app, test, launch, maintain, and develop updates.

How to build a finance app? Aside from basic steps, let's dive into the peculiarities of financial app development, highlighting the main differences from other types of apps.

Define the audience

Personal finance apps can target different demographics. Adults and teens, people who want simple expense tracking features, and those who want to set up a savings plan or do investments — choose the audience and determine its pain points.

Determine app purpose and goals

Simple or complex, ensure the app has enough features to satisfy the target audience. Do not disregard the competitors. Analyze their products and make your product a better alternative.

Collect requirements

Gather business and technical requirements. Define the tech stack for your future app and choose a monetization strategy. After getting the complete picture of the app, conduct a feasibility study. At this step, you can also make some assumptions about your finance app development cost. You can consult a finance app development company for more information.

UI/UX designing

Critical factors of UI and UX development are simplicity, intuitive navigation, and app responsiveness. Ensure that your finance app runs seamlessly on different devices and screens.

App development

Build the core features of your app. From basic functionalities, such as login and manual data input, to more advanced features, such as data visualization, integrations, AI features, and personalized advice, create what was planned while keeping in mind the convenience of use and modern technologies.


Ensure your app is working as it is supposed to and is not susceptible to hacker attacks and security breaches. Conduct thorough testing and fix identified bugs. Again, security is the most vital part of finance mobile and web app development. When it comes to money and personal information, there is no room for compromise.


Introduce your product to users, whether an MVP or full-scale product. Think about app promotion via social media and ads, and engage in content marketing. Make clear the usefulness of your product and what benefits it can bring to users.

Maintenance and updates

The post-launch period does not mean that all work is over. This time is good for analyzing feedback and making adjustments and updates to the application to increase user experience and app performance. Keep security measures updated, as they are vital for every financial app.

If you need more development expertise, consider using fintech software development services.

What Features to Seek in a Finance App?

These ten features are the most popular to pursue. Depending on the type of your app, the features can vary, but these cover the core financial activities:

  1. Account integrations

Include integration with banks, cards, and money-related activities to provide seamless transactions and statistics collection. Make your app the single source of the user's financial activities.

  1. Security

Security comes first when we talk about financial app development. FinTech remained the main target for hacker attacks and suffered the most data breaches in 2023. Measures such as biometric access, multifactor authentication, real-time alerts, regular security audits, and transparent privacy policies will provide solid security to your app, decreasing the probability of data theft or financial fraud.

  1. AI analytics

AI technologies enable expenditure categorization, analytics, and personalized financial recommendations, making finance management more accessible and practical. AI can analyze your spending habits and economic goals, offering customized advice on saving, budgeting, and investing. Additionally, AI can automatically extract information from receipts and categorize your spending.

  1. Chatbots

Personal finance apps feature chatbots that answer your finance questions and provide real-time insights into your financial health. They provide enhanced customer service and can quickly find and give relevant information upon request.

  1. Real-time tracking and notifications

Tracking expenses and sending notifications allows you to control your spending in real-time, decreasing the risk of running over your budget. Notifications will remind you when you need bills to pay, inform you about the best investment deals and low balances, and fulfill financial goals.

  1. UI/UX design

The design must be convenient for the user. Keep it simple, appealing, user-friendly, and easy to navigate. Remember the 3-click rule: make the path to certain functionality at most three clicks. Think about your target audience and provide a smooth onboarding process and decent accessibility, including features like adjustable text size, color contrast, and screen reader compatibility.

  1. Customer support

24/7 customer support is a vital point for your app's success. Give users a helping hand when they most need it. The support forms can vary from phone calls to in-app chats and emails; ensure the chosen approach is suitable for your users. You can also include an FAQ section in the app to empower users to find answers to common questions independently.

  1. Points and rewards, gamification

Rewards, coupons, and discounts help raise customers' engagement, so consider this option during your custom finance app development. Motivate users to interact with an app more frequently by introducing gamification to increase their loyalty and attract more customers.

  1. Financial advice

Getting professional advice on your budget can be one of your app's most lucrative features. The feature enables users to change their spending patterns towards more thoughtful and rational spending, offering more profitable plans or saving opportunities.

  1. Data visualization

This feature makes the user's data easy to read and understand. The collected and analyzed information is presented in charts and graphs, enabling users to gain insights about their expenses and improve finance management.

Technologies Shaping Finance App Development

Top technologies driving innovation in FinTech include artificial intelligence, cloud computing, machine learning, blockchain, open source and SaaS.

  • AI is widely used in areas such as fraud prevention, chatbots and virtual assistants, and process automation. It helps process and analyze data quickly, accurately, and more efficiently.
  • Cloud computing enables secure data sharing and sensible data maintenance in general. It can be used in any area of the industry.
  • Machine learning algorithms are used for pattern identification and are suitable for finding suspicious activities and preventing fraud.
  • Blockchain decreases transaction costs, protects data from identity theft, and enhances regulations. It tends to resolve problems of old financial systems and improves data security.
  • Open Source architecture and software as a service (SaaS) allow the use of cloud-based technologies for data storage and processing, eliminating the need to handle complex software or hardware.

Monetization Opportunities for Finance Apps

Monetization opportunities for finance apps include data monetization, affiliate marketing, in-app ads, in-app purchases, freemium, and subscriptions.
  • Data monetization: data gathering and analysis can provide valuable insights into users. It can be used to create targeted ads for third parties. As an app owner, you can collaborate with data analytics companies to provide businesses with user insights for targeting marketing campaigns and decision-making. Nevertheless, user privacy and security are the priority; thus, implement user data gathering and anonymization mechanisms while financial app development.
  • In-app purchases: this widespread solution for free apps encompasses opportunities to buy additional goods, services, or content. Ad removal, premium content, customizations, or access to exclusive features — choose an approach that suits you best.
  • Ads: in-app ads may complement the look and feel of your app. Consider using ads relevant to the services your app offers, and thoroughly check the advertising client to avoid low-quality or misleading ads. Another good point is to know when enough is enough: nobody wants to use an app where ads constantly mess up the functionality.
  • Subscription: offering subscription plans implies periodic payments to access more app features or content. It is one of the most commonly used models. The best application practice is to make apps free for a while and then engage users to pay for premium features.
  • Affiliate marketing: you can attract users to buy other products through your app. The key to success is to partner with reputable companies that offer relevant products or services.
  • Freemium: this revenue model combines the approaches of in-app advertising and paid software, taking their best practices. The freemium monetization model app has some free features and content to use. At the same time, if you want to deepen user experience and get the complete feature set that the app provides, a one-time monthly fee is required.

How to Ensure Financial App's Legal Compliance

The Fintech sector remains the primary target for hackers, experiencing 23.5% of all phishing attacks, it is vital to ensure data security. The main challenges for regulatory compliance while developing financial apps are information security, compliance with added products, cross-border operations, high cost of regulatory compliance, and anti-fraud compliance.

Building a regulatory-compliant app protects users' data from unauthorized access and leakage, creating a safe environment and increasing customers' trust.

Here are some laws and regulations applicable to the FinTech industry. The exact application of each of them will depend on the type of your app and its functionality.

  • Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) ensures security and compliance for investment apps.
  • ISO/IEC 27001 is an international standard for information security.
  • Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of regulations that ensure that card information is safe and that storage and transmission are secure.
  • The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) applies to EU citizens and regulates information privacy and security.

Overall, the key aspects of safe and secure finance app development are protecting users' data, safeguarding against potential lawsuits, ensuring responsible practices, and building trust among customers and stakeholders.

Development Time and Cost

As we already know, custom finance app development can take different forms, from an MVP with several core features to a full-fledged multipurpose application enriched with features and integrations. The cost may vary greatly depending on the set of features, time frame, technologies used, and overall app complexity. Let's describe the most common app options.

  1. Simple apps

Simple apps usually have only some basic features, such as tracking expenditures, often requiring manual data input, not integrating cards, and solving only one user's problem.The advantages of simple apps include no financial risks, as no card integration is entailed. They are also a cost-effective solution in terms of development and, at initial steps, can take the type of a minimum viable product (MVP). Nevertheless, simplicity is what makes them difficult: manual data input is a time-consuming task, and human error can be made, leading to incorrect statistics.

  • Average cost: $35,000-$75,000, depending on your product features.
  • The time for development: depends on the team size, starting from 3 months.
  • Features: user profile and authorization, notifications, calculator, expense categorization.
  • Particularities: basic features, no custom graphics in UI, minimum third-party integrations.

  1. Complex apps

Complex apps encompass advanced features and have enhanced security, automation, and even AI features. Credit card integrations allow users to add cards and bank accounts to the app, and data synchronization removes the need for manual data input.The pros of complex apps are fulfilling different tasks, saving time, and receiving real-time transaction notifications and updates. On the other hand, complex finance app development has higher costs and requires more investments in security, as apps store more sensitive data.

  • Average cost: $80,000-$200,000, depending on your product features and tech stack.
  • The time for development: depends on the team size, starting from 6 months.
  • Features: smart budgeting, integrations with banks and payment systems, advanced security, reporting, and analysis.
  • Particularities: customized UI/UX, enhanced security, and advanced features, such as investment tracking and real-time bank synchronization.

If you have considerations over your project's cost, opt for a consultation with a reliable finance app development company. The professionals will help you to estimate the cost and offer the best development options.

Finance app examples

We are moving to more down-to-earth matters and will see some prominent examples of custom finance app development.

  • Credit Karma is a free finance management platform that helps users monitor their credit health, manage finances, and make informed financial decisions. The key features include free credit score and monitoring, credit-building tools, personalized recommendations, financial tracking, identity theft protection, tax filing (For the US only), and more.
  • Wally is a mobile app that acts as your finance manager, offering features to track your spending, create budgets, and gain insights into your financial habits. Wally securely connects to over 15,000 banks in 70 countries, includes automatic transaction tracking and categorization, and has multi-currency support, bill tracking, and reminder features.
  • EveryDollar is a budgeting app designed to help users stick to a zero-based budget. In this method, you assign every dollar of your income to specific spending categories or savings goals. The app's features include quick budget access from anywhere, setting up designated savings goals, tracking transactions and bills, getting bill due date reminders, and customer support.

As you can see, financial app development can be a rewarding experience, facilitating users' finance management and bringing profit to the app owners. Let's proceed with the app development process to better understand this kind of app.