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Step by Step Guide to Develop a Mobile Banking App

07 Mar 2024 updated
11 min

Table of content

Mobile banking is the new normal, with a global market size of $1.5 billion in 2022 and a CAGR of 16.8%, giving us an estimate of a $7+ billion market cap by 2032. So, what I observe in the global banking landscape is fast and irreversible digitalization. The best thing about it is that you can embrace and monetize the trend. 

Still wondering why you need a mobile banking app? Let me show you a couple of stats: 

  • There are 6.8+ billion smartphones today, with over 4.3 billion active users.  
  • An average user uses 9+ apps every day and 30+ apps every month. 
  • Most users have over 80 apps installed on their smartphones, and many of them relate to e-commerce, banking, and financial services. 

Based on the mobile banking research conducted by our team in 2023, digital banks are one of the most popular app types. It’s not surprising to me, as all people come across the need to complete financial transactions of various kinds several times a day. Whether it’s a purchase of some products online or in physical stores, salary payment, or a transaction to a client or contractor, completing payments on the go with the help of a mobile app is much easier than more conservative ways (e.g., visiting the bank’s branch or using an ATM) are. 

Growth of mobile users

 So, let’s talk a bit about mobile banking as such and uncover the algorithm for building a mobile banking app that will supercharge your digital business and give you another revenue stream in the modern digitized market.

Learn more on how to build a P2P payment app.

What is a Mobile Banking App?

In a nutshell, a mobile banking app is an application giving access to clients of financial institutions from the comfort of their smartphones. In this way, users utilize a mobile app enabling them to conduct online banking operations. As a rule, a mobile app possesses the complete set of features that clients can avail of in the brick-and-mortar banking offices, plus a set of innovative, online-only features and perks. 

Financial operations are conducted via NEFT and RGTS pathways, enabling users to send and receive funds, check the balance of their accounts, and access various additional banking services in the app. 

Some examples of popular banking apps include: 

  • Capital One’s app is a comprehensive and safe extension of the bank’s service to clients. It allows full control of transactions, bill payment, locking and activation of cards, deposits, and payment scheduling. 
  • Bank of America’s mobile app is a safe, convenient option for the bank’s users. It allows quick account balance viewing, activation or replacement of BoA cards, a 360-degree activity review, check deposits, and much more. 
  • Varo – a mobile app for money management. It offers no-fee checking accounts, savings accounts with high yields, cash advances, direct deposit opportunities, and many other exciting features. It is currently used by over 3 million people.
  • Revolut – the most well-known mobile app in the EU is Revolut. It operates in 30+ countries and is currently used by 1.5+ million customers across Europe.

Types of Mobile Banking Apps 

The niche of online banking is versatile, with many businesses choosing their own way to deliver specific financial services to clients. From a narrowly focused functionality to a full-scale banking ecosystem, you can find a mobile banking app to your taste with ease. I’ve come across the following banking app types: 

  • Mobile wallets. These apps link to the user’s bank accounts, store card data, and allow frictionless and instant online payments without the need to enter all requisites. The best examples of such products are Google Wallet and Apple Pay. 
  • Banking apps for businesses. This software type is meant for enterprise-level usage. It simplifies and streamlines all business transactions, from payroll and invoicing to coverage of taxes and vendor contracts. 
  • Client banking. These apps are usually installed on a PC and give individuals and businesses access to banking data and transactions. But they are less suitable for mobile use. 
  • P2P apps. These apps allow quick transactions among account holders. You may need only the client’s ID or email to send them money without the bank’s involvement. 
  • Cryptocurrency and blockchain banking apps. This app type is specifically designed for financial operations with cryptocurrencies. It allows deposits and withdrawals in fiat currency, exchanging fiat for crypto assets, and further activities with them. 
  • Trading and investment apps. Such software products can be standalone apps or extensions of banking applications. They link to the user’s brokerage account and allow a variety of transactions, such as buying, selling, and storing stocks, bonds, ETFs, and other assets.  
  • Savings and budgeting apps. These apps provide finance management and personalized assistance services for the clients’ money. They link to bank accounts and give appealing interest rates for creating a reserve fund. 
  • Lending apps. These apps give users access to loans and provide an all-in-one loan management dashboard for convenient finance control. 

As you can see, the choice is wide, and every niche has many lucrative monetization opportunities. Yet, what I observe in the modern banking market is a trend for the consolidation of various financial services into Super apps or banking ecosystems. This move is logical, as users want an all-in-one experience – one app in which they can complete all financial activities instead of a dozen apps on their screens. Thus, you can consider either joining a quickly growing financial ecosystem with your app or creating your own one and engaging multiple partners among financial service providers. 

Why Build a Mobile App?

While using a third-party banking service seems tempting, I would recommend digital businesses to consider the option of developing their own banking solutions. This niche is very promising in terms of ROI and client outreach today, and having such an app opens up a wide range of unique business opportunities for everyone: 

  • Customer base extension. While your business activities may be limited to your physical location, a digital banking solution can erase these boundaries and give you a much broader outreach without geographical limitations. 
  • Added customer value. People like all-in-one services that don’t make them perform too many actions. That’s why adding a banking aspect to your business operations is always a step forward in adding value, appeal, and satisfaction to customer experience. 
  • Competitive advantage. The digital market is a fierce battlefield today, and I am convinced that only tech-savvy, innovation-focused companies will survive the battle. Digital banking is a tactical weapon that will help you outperform competitors and attract loyal customers. 
  • Additional revenue stream. Mobile banking is a good investment, as it’s a sure monetization channel with a sound ROI. Besides direct profits from your banking app’s use by clients, you can save on operational costs and removal of third-party payment providers. Thus, financial gains are immense. 
  • Brand identity and trust. Branded mobile apps are memorable and innovative, so they will establish a strong association with safety, reliability, and comprehensive service in the minds of your customers. 
  • Extra advertising channel. A mobile banking app is a unique, hyper-personalized advertising and promotional channel through which you can reach out to every customer. Send them promo messages and alerts, offer personalized services, and collect feedback. It’s all possible through the convenient channel you own. 

Mobile Banking App Development Trends

What we all observe today is the fast pace of tech evolution. Undoubtedly, it can’t help affecting the mobile banking industry. I’ve been witnessing how mobile banking apps quickly transform from mono-functional platforms to super-apps, integrating numerous flexible solutions within the past few years. 

Some other significant trends we just can’t ignore today are:  

  • Strong emphasis on cybersecurity. Customers’ data and funds need ultimate protection, especially in the digital space. So, digital banks are pressured for cutting-edge cybersecurity measures, biometric authentication, and the introduction of robust KYC/AML measures to prevent criminal activities. 
  • Cardless finance. Having a dozen cards in one’s pocket is a matter of the past. Today, I see a strong move to virtual card or integrated wallet usage, which eliminate the need for carrying a card with you. This change is very positive for clients and gives so much flexibility. 
  • Personalization. I can refer to everything that makes a concrete user’s app usage simpler and more enjoyable as personalization. This may be a wide range of personalized analytical reports and suggestions, voice assistance for making payments, a personalized AI chatbot, or anything else a creative business owner figures out to impress their users. 
  • No-code and low-code development. This approach to mobile banking app development is a promising trend, as it saves businesses money and time, giving them a unique chance to be the first in the market. We at 4IRE have also embraced this trend by offering quick, safe, and efficient low-code development services with our proprietary ProcessMIX solution. 
  • AI-driven solutions. Artificial intelligence is our present, not the sci-fi future. So, many businesses benefit from AI for service improvement, automation, and personalization. It’s time to embrace AI now, as it develops too fast. 
  • Marketplace and ecosystem integration. It’s not enough to have a standalone app today; you should be a part of the growing, interconnected ecosystem to reap the full set of benefits of this market. Thus, we see a growing trend of marketplace and third-party service unions that give users all-in-one service coverage without friction. 

Once all these trends are embraced, mobile banking apps have all chances for sustainable growth and adoption by larger numbers of users worldwide. With many developing countries joining the trend today, mobile banking seems to have a bright future and all chances for further adoption by millions more people in the next few years.

Pros of Mobile Banking Apps for Users and Businesses

Based on many years of hands-on experience in the mobile banking app market, I can say that mobile apps of this kind are beneficial to both users and businesses. 

What do users get by registering an account and downloading a banking app? In most cases, this is: 

  • Fast speed of transactions. 
  • Convenience of transaction verification (with the smartphone’s fingerprint, mobile phone PIN, etc.). 
  • Personalized service with in-built chatbots or AI-powered consultants. 
  • 24/7 service without restrictions of physical offices’ working hours. 
  • Access to additional banking services like loans, investments, currency exchange, etc., in the app.
  • Advanced cybersecurity and safety of user data and funds. 

This way, we can see that mobile banking enables the completion of fast and flexible transactions anytime and anywhere. It gives users the freedom and convenience they seek. 

Besides, I want to note that the concept of convenient and customized online banking is consistent with the overall pace of the technological progress we observe today. As it is directed at enhancing user convenience, businesses can also derive many perks from launching their banking apps and simplifying their users’ lives. The most evident pluses for enterprises are: 

  • Minimizing the waste of time on transactions and interactions. 
  • Expanding the service range available to users. 
  • Increasing user satisfaction and loyalty. 
  • Access to a broader client base via new marketing channels.  
  • Reduced operating expenses. 
  • Better ROI resulting from user satisfaction and retention.  

Benefits of mobile banking Application

Having a mobile banking app allows a business to attain broader geographical coverage and automate many operations to improve its profit margin. Additionally, as my experience shows, greater automation comes with higher precision and concise data analytics, giving a better grasp of financial flows. A business that saves funds on additional staff engagement, office rent, and other aspects is thus supercharged for market success. 

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Challenges They Can Solve

The convenience and flexibility of mobile banking apps have contributed to their greater adoption by businesses delivering financial services. Developing such an app suggests the company’s ability to give a convenient alternative to its current users, thus helping them solve several challenges associated with financial transactions: 

All these gains serve as additional contributors to the more intense use of mobile banking services by businesses and individuals, driving the mobile banking development sector further.

Challenges they can solve

Must-Have App Features

As soon as you plan the banking application development project, it’s time to consider the features and functions it should include. Here is the typical breakdown of the mandatory minimum for an effective banking app.

Must have app Features

User Account 

Users should always be in full control of their funds, accounts, and cards. Thus, a user account should contain a convenient display of the user’s assets and activities, including: 

  • Real-time balance on all accounts. 
  • History of transactions. 
  • Card data and card management features (e.g., blocking or activating cards). 
  • Deposit checks. 

KYC/AML 

Compliance is at the heart of any banking app’s operations, so you should include these verification measures to protect your business reputation and avoid litigation. These procedures are vital for fraud and criminal activity prevention and guarantee: 

  • End-to-end compliance. 
  • Fast account setup and access to the full range of features. 
  • Robust security. 

App Administration 

Your administrative staff should be able to operate the app, introduce upgrades, change settings, and perform layout improvements. This is done via an admin dashboard, which should also be user-friendly and informative. 

Transactions 

Users should be able to send, receive, and store money. They also need to perform cash deposits and withdrawals in a convenient manner. Thus, it makes sense to include the full range of transactions in the app’s functionality to make its usage easy and universally convenient for everyone. 

Customer Support 

The benefit of banking apps is their 24/7 access, so support should also be delivered around the clock. You can engage chatbots and human staff to help clients with their inquiries and technical glitches. Yet, it’s vital to guarantee uninterrupted support and the availability of qualified staff to resolve client concerns. 

Cybersecurity 

Security is integrated into every aspect of a mobile bank’s operation. It should refer to safe user authorization, the system’s encryption, secure transactions of funds, and fully protected asset storage. 

Advanced app features also include cardless access to cash in the ATMs, chatbots and voice assistance, customized alerts, and QR/barcode scanner integration. It also makes sense to add a spending tracker and recurring payment scheduling for user convenience. Cashback and split bills are popular among users as well and will benefit your app’s popularity. 

How to Develop a Mobile Banking App?

If you’re interested in how to develop a mobile banking app like Revolut, here is a step-by-step guide to the development process the 4IRE team typically follows when approaching new projects.

Step 1. Market Research & Discovery 

The initial stage of work on any project is to study the market niche you wish to enter. The essence of banking apps development is to make your users’ lives easier (if you already provide financial services through traditional channels) or make a unique offer with innovative features and services (if you’re only entering the market). To achieve these goals, you need to know what services already exist and what needs they meet and fail to meet. This information will inform your USP and will attract new customers to your product. 

Step 2. Prototype Creation

Next comes the prototype. It’s an MVP that showcases the planned design and functionality of your app. Once the prototype is ready, you can quickly correct flaws and bugs at the early stage of development, which is much more cost-effective than making adjustments at later phases.

Step 3. Regulatory Compliance & Security 

The mobile banking industry is highly regulated, regardless of the jurisdiction of your app’s planned operations. You will store users’ money and deal with their sensitive information. That’s why the app should be fully compliant with GDPR and other applicable laws. The compliance and security measures usually include: 

  • App encryption and user authorization shields. 
  • Continuous audits of software vulnerabilities. 
  • Security upgrades for money and data intactness. 

Step 4. UX/UI Design 

The banking app’s UI is essential for product success on the market as users are more likely to adopt a user-friendly, helpful app with numerous valuable features. It’s key to achieving ease of use and intuitiveness in the app’s design, contributing to the app’s popularity. Besides, the unique brand identity and visual appearance play a role in achieving user adoption and loyalty.

Step 5. Tech Vendor Selection 

Once you have clarified the main set of features and design, it’s time to find a reliable, trustworthy provider of development services to work with. The level of your hired team’s expertise will make your project fail or fly, so it’s critical to assess the company’s portfolio, evaluate their domain-specific experience, and negotiate all tech stack issues before signing a contract. 

Step 6. Tech Stack Negotiation  

You also need to determine what technology you’ll use to develop the back-end part of the app. Software development can be done in various ways, so you need to choose the technologies and software for your project. It will determine the project’s cost and deadline, affecting the ease of finding a development company with the required expertise.

Step 7. QA Testing

Once the app is coded, it’s time to check it for vulnerabilities and bugs. You need to engage a team of quality testers who will run the app in various conditions, try all features, and subject it to pressure tests. In the process of QA testing, many flaws and problems may surface, so you need to eliminate all of them before your product enters the market. Launching a flawed product can cause reputational problems and drive the target users away from your app.

Step 8. Market Launch

After troubleshooting and bug elimination, you need to proceed to a market launch. It’s better to accompany the launch with a marketing campaign to boost your product’s publicity and increase its adoption. This step is the most important one in the app development process as it determines whether your app will fail or fly.

Step 9. Maintenance

The app’s launch to the market is not the final stage of product development. You’ll need to support its flawless functioning and issue regular updates to enhance security and improve user experiences. Thus, the work on your app turns into a lifelong process, with users enjoying better UI, robust safety measures, and additional features.

Conclusion 

As mobile banking is moving fast forward, it’s time to grab this new business opportunity and supercharge your business. I sincerely recommend taking this chance seriously, as we’re in the middle of a grand tech evolution. Only the best and strongest companies with a sound grasp of the market’s dynamics will survive. If you’re interested in this opportunity and want to add mobile banking to your service portfolio, welcome to 4IRE. We can make this plan a reality by introducing time- and cost-effective solutions and giving you a strong competitive position in the modern market. 

FAQ

Why build a mobile banking app in 2024?

The digitization of banking has accelerated during COVID-19, and today’s trends show a fast change in this industry. Thus, businesses interested in survival and competitive growth should add mobile banking services to their portfolio. Besides, mobile banking promises additional revenue streams, operational cost savings, and outreach to larger user audiences.

What are the key features of a mobile banking app?

Modern apps are built with a demanding and tech-savvy user in mind. Thus, the bare minimum of handy features they should have includes two-factor or biometric authentication, an informative user dashboard with account overview and history of activities, card data and management features, an ability to send and receive transactions, and multi-currency support. You should also provide 24/7 support and push notifications about status changes. Extra features that will also benefit your app include lending opportunities, savings accounts, personalized analytics, and money management assistance.

How long does it take to develop a mobile banking app?

It all depends on the complexity of your app and the number of features you want to include. Simple apps with minimal functionality may take up to 3 months, while full-scale bank apps may exceed 6-12 months in duration of development. Using white-label or low-code development solutions, you can reduce the development time significantly.

 

What is the cost of building a mobile banking app? 

The cost of your app depends on many factors, ranging from the app’s complexity and features to the team’s geographical location. The app’s price is usually calculated based on the number of hours needed for its creation, so you should sum up the hours required for your app’s design, development, and testing before deployment. A US-based team is likely to charge around $100,000-$200,000 for such a project. Outsourcing to Eastern Europe will bring down the cost to $30,000-$60,000, while Indian developers’ prices start at $15,000.

Why choose 4IRE for launching a mobile banking app?

The 4IRE team is well-versed with mobile banking apps of all kinds. We’ve been at the forefront of mobile banking development and have 250+ experienced developers on board. That’s why we guarantee the use of cutting-edge technologies and solutions, the technical superiority of our banking apps, and full commitment to the mobile bank’s safety and cybersecurity.

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