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A Comprehensive Guide to Building a Mobile Wallet in 2024

05 Dec 2023 updated
11 min

Table of content

The mobile banking sector is on the rise, with the convenience and speed of this payment solution outperforming conventional bank cards. Besides, the massive trend toward digitization contributes to the massive adoption of mobile payment products, stimulating the mobile wallet app development sector.

The popularity of mobile apps is undoubtable today. SBWire specialists even predicted that this sector would continue growing by 33% annually, thus exceeding $457 million by 2026. These figures suggest that the digital wallet mobile app development business will be profitable for years to come, with more users and greater coverage of mobile solutions worldwide. Thus, you can use this trend and launch your own mobile banking app project to gain a decent share of the fast-growing market. Here, the 4IRE expert team explains why mobile apps are a good business idea, what benefits they bring, and how to create your own app hassle-free.

What Is a Mobile Wallet App?

Let’s start with the basics by clarifying what a mobile wallet app is and how it differs from other payment solutions. In a nutshell, it is a digital-analog of your conventional wallet in which you store the details of your financial instruments. These can be the digital versions of your banking cards, some e-coupons and membership cards, etc. Using such a wallet allows you to produce payments instantly, without any hassle with taking out your wallet and finding the necessary card or filling out the needed financial details for the transaction.

Besides being very handy for individual users, mobile e-wallets make it simpler for businesses to receive transactions from their clients. Thus, a mobile wallet may be equated to the storage of your mobile money, including regular funds (stored on bank accounts) and digital funds (e.g., tokens and crypto money). The best about mobile payment solutions is their universal availability in the user’s smartphone, which guarantees frictionless transactions even on the go and quick P2P transactions, all coming with secure storage and many convenient features.

Mobile Banking Apps: Market Overview

Mobile Banking Market

There is ample evidence that the mobile banking app trend is strong and growing in leaps. Thus, mobile apps for financial transactions are here to stay, and users adopt them faster as they strive for instant access to their funds, easy and quick transactions, and a set of other perks coming with FinTech products today. 

Statistics are also in favor of the continuing spread of mobile wallet apps globally. Research indicates that the total market size for mobile wallets exceeded $269 billion in 2023 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 22% to over $1.9 trillion in only a decade. Thus, the industry is firmly heading to a multi-billion-dollar business market. With the number of unique mobile users exceeding 5.6 billion worldwide by the end of 2023, it’s logical that the market is abundant, being an attractive ground for new FinTech products and innovative mobile wallet apps. 

Will smartphones replace cash and credit cards

User surveys also point at the overwhelming optimism surrounding the gradual adoption of mobile payments across the globe. The situation with cash payments is by far more complex, as many developing countries still have an immature online banking infrastructure, and cash is still a popular medium of exchange. Still, more than two-thirds of respondents believe that mobile apps will totally replace card payments, which is a matter of time. Thus, the perspectives of launching your product in this area are cloudless and optimistic. 

Why Should You Create a Digital Wallet? Top Benefits

Why have mobile wallet apps made waves in the sector of online transactions? There are many reasons for their popularity compared to other online banking solutions, such as online banking payments via bank apps.

The many good reasons to build e-wallets

  • Most e-wallets offer numerous attractive loyalty programs, discounts, and bonus points to use their solution. This method guarantees customer retention and builds a specific brand identity for the app. 
  • Payments are produced instantly, without the hassle of traditional banking (even mobile banking solutions often require additional steps like entering your recipient’s data, confirming your details, etc.) 
  • E-wallets incorporate robust security measures, making all transactions totally safe and protected from fraud or theft. 
  • Most e-wallets are genuinely global, making cross-border payments simple and non-problematic. 
  • Fees are typically calculated on a flexible basis, depending on your rating and activity within the system. 
  • Microtransactions are more accessible in e-wallets as the transaction fees are typically lower than in banks. 
  • Modern FinTech products come with advanced data analytics and your financial activity monitoring. So, you can capture the history of your transactions and plan future activities based on sound analytical insights. 
  • E-wallets also feature appealing refund and cashback programs to encourage users to stick to their system of transactions, receiving a percentage of their money back in the form of bonuses or cash. 

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Essential Mobile Wallet App Features to Include

When you build a mobile wallet, you need to include several vital features without which the project will hardly succeed. These features are the bare minimum of a Fintech product required by users as a standard functionality set, so considering all these points is vital to maximizing the chances of its adoption by users upon launch.

Key Features Your Mobile Wallet Requires

  • User registration/ login 

The registration/login functionality is at the core of all mobile apps’ architecture as users need a simple, frictionless method to join the system and use it whenever they want. Thus, every e-wallet should have an intuitive interface, with clear instructions about setting up a new account or entering an existing one.  

  • Authorization of financial data 

E-wallets were initially designed for the sake of financial transaction simplification, so they need to store your financial details effectively and safely. Thus, your e-wallet should incorporate the features of adding banking cards and accounts to the profile, uploading membership cards or discount vouchers, claiming and storing some promo codes, coupons, etc. 

  • User authentication 

The basis of any app’s security is its robust protection of user accounts from unauthorized access. Thus, innovative mobile apps often feature FaceID sign-in or bio authentication options. 

  • Balance checks 

If you use a mobile wallet app, you naturally want to know how much money it holds. So, every app should include a feature of balance checks; some advanced apps even include the option of currency exchange inside the wallet to simplify multi-currency transactions for users. 

  • Transfer and receipt of funds 

E-wallets are meant for sending and receiving funds; otherwise, there would be no sense in using them as a means of exchange. Users want to receive flexible and convenient means for transferring funds to pay for some products or services, issue payments to their workers, and produce other transactions across the globe. So, the sending/receiving feature is a must for any wallet. 

  • Payment of bills

This handy feature is also highly valued by users as they want to compile all payments within one easily accessible place. Thus, receiving a salary, paying for the products and services, and covering the utility and service bills in one app guarantee the wallet’s popularity and widespread adoption.  

  • Access to special offers 

E-wallets are numerous, so the task of each product on the way to differentiating itself from the competition is to provide exclusive features. One of them is access to special offers and deals, such as cashback or refund programs for wallet users. 

  • Instant Payments between Wallets 

The P2P functionality of quick transfers between the holders of accounts in your mobile wallet app is a handy feature every user will appreciate. This option increases the speed and convenience of peer transactions and acts as an additional motivation for groups of people to install and use your wallet.

  • Bank-Wallet Transactions 

Most mobile wallets can’t function in a vacuum, as they need to be replenished somehow. The money recipients should also have a safe and reliable method for withdrawing their funds. This is achieved by establishing robust bank-wallet connectivity by partnering with conventional banks for this service provision.

  • Physical and Virtual Card Operations 

Mobile wallet projects gain a considerable competitive advantage in the digital banking business if they provide their users with an opportunity to create and use physical and virtual cards. This way, payments can be made safer and more traceable, expanding the use cases of your mobile wallet app.

  • User-Friendly Dashboard 

Data analytics is king in the tech-intensive age, so you will win a loyal following by providing users with a 360-degree view of their financial operations in the mobile wallet. The function can be implemented with the help of a customizable, feature-rich analytical dashboard that displays the users’ expenditures by category and sum, lists the history of their transactions, and gives all information about money movements.

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Additional Features to Consider 

Chatbots and Voice Assistants 

The era of ChatGPT and AI is already here, and you can embrace the power of artificial intelligence to serve your customers better. Integrate chatbots and voice assistants in the mobile wallet app to ensure effective and personalized service 24/7. Modern chatbot technology is getting smarter day by day and can make a real difference in terms of your customers’ satisfaction. 

NFC/QR Code Contactless Payments 

COVID-19 has seemingly weakened its grip on the global economy, but its greatest legacy is the growing popularity of contactless payments. They are not only secure in physical terms but also effective and highly convenient for the end user. That’s why building the NFC/QR code payment functionality into your mobile wallet will take your app one step ahead of the competitors. 

Personalized Financial Advice 

With AI/ML algorithms gradually making sense of big customer data, you can go the extra mile and enable your users to take advantage of smart analysis of their own financial behavior. This is made possible by smart analytics, based on which your app will issue personalized investment or financial planning advice to users.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Launch a Digital Wallet

As soon as you decide to go on with the project, you need to find a team of professional, experienced mobile wallet app developers. Once you partner with a reliable team, you will be part of your app’s design and actual development step-by-step process. Be ready to contribute, give feedback, stay in the loop, and share your insights and expectations about the end product; it’s the only way to get what you want.

Step 1. Discovery 

The first phase of any software design is discovery; it is done to test the waters and gain a clear idea of the mobile app’s purpose and objectives. You should understand what pain points the app will solve for the target audience and what real value it will give. This data will lay the basis for figuring out what features and functions the designed product should have to meet those needs. 

1.1. Check for Compliance 

Mobile wallets are financial apps, so they need to meet legal regulations and requirements. The overarching regulation for all digital banking software products is the set of AML/KYC laws. Since you will deal with user data as well, you should guarantee safe and ethical storage and processing of private information, which is a legal must for GDPR and Payment Card Industry Data security compliance. Also, you should check all relevant regulations in your app’s jurisdiction to ensure you won’t face any friction or litigation at later stages. 

1.2. Conduct Market Research 

It’s vital to research the market and check what products already exist in it. You need to identify the service gaps and see how you can respond to unmet client needs. These insights will form the core of your new product’s USP.

Step 2. Choose the Required Technology

The next stage is technology planning. You need to choose whether you will integrate online and cloud solutions, NFC and QR code-enabled payments, NFC card emulation, etc. You need to choose the platform for back-end programming, hosting, and operation of your wallet. Also, it would help if you determined whether it will be a blockchain-based DeFi app or not. All other technical points need to be stipulated at this phase as they will affect the composition of your development team, the duration of your project, and its ultimate cost. 

Step 3. Design

3.1. Choose the Design Option 

The field of mobile app development is varied today, giving you multiple options to proceed with your design. You may opt for native or hybrid development; you can create an app for iOS or Android or choose to make both. To make the proper choice, you should understand your audience and the technical ways of implementing specific functionality.

3.2. Build a Prototype

The simplest way to test technology choices is to create wireframes and then build a prototype based on them to check how everything works and fits in. By building a simple, cost-effective prototype and presenting it to your target audience to collect feedback, you learn whether they like what they see, whether they find the app convenient, and what features they lack in it. 

3.3. Take Care of UX 

Besides the tangible aspects of UI that encapsulate your app’s physical design and layout, the UX dimension is less clear but not less significant. You should engage the UX specialist who will evaluate the app’s overall look and feel, the effectiveness and intuitiveness of its flows, and its ability to satisfy the user’s requirements. These are all elements of the cumulative concept of user experience that determine your product’s ultimate success with the users.

Step 4. Development

The development stage includes many critical processes without which your app won’t take shape and be able to perform its intended functions. Thus, it’s vital to get a qualified, experienced development team on board to complete all stages laid out below. 

4.1. Front-end and Back-end 

At this stage, the vision created by the design team is taken up for realization by the development team. This is where the main coding process takes place to build your app’s user interface and server-side architecture. As a result of development work, your app emerges in the rough format, ready for polishing and integration of vital features. 

4.2. Mobile app features 

Once the main architecture is built, the development team starts adding the vital features you want your app to perform. The set of features is formulated based on your understanding of the target audience’s needs and the functions that a mobile wallet app should traditionally cover. 

4.3. Payment integrations 

Since you’re building a mobile wallet, it should naturally include multiple options for payment transactions. Your wallet will be much more flexible and universal in use if you add API features to it. APIs allow wallets to connect with user bank accounts and third-party services, thus enabling quick and safe payments and transactions within the ecosystem. So, you need to create a functionally stable and secure API feature to expand your wallet’s integrations and improve user experiences.

4.4. A Security Layer

Mobile banking is a highly vulnerable sector, with hackers and cybercriminals stealing millions of dollars every year by detecting security gaps in mobile apps and wallets. Thus, your number one priority is to build a robust security layer to guarantee user safety and data integrity. Some recommended measures include the SSL and 256-bit encryption, course code encryption, and obfuscation.

Step 5. QA Testing

When everything is ready, and the app is finalized, it’s critical to perform rigorous QA testing to eliminate any risks of vulnerabilities or critical bugs during its operation. When it comes to depositing, sending, and withdrawing money, users need to be fully confident in the security level of their chosen wallet. Thus, QA testers will check the app from all perspectives, ensuring it functions as it should and doesn’t fail.

Step 6. The App’s Release 

The market launch is the most responsible step in the development process. You need to warm up the target audience with a well-designed promotional campaign, thus attracting a loyal audience and growing your tribe of satisfied users. Don’t forget to please your users with regular updates and reasonable maintenance so that they enjoy flawless services and get more valuable features day by day.

The Development Team for Your Mobile Wallet 

While the process of building a mobile wallet may seem clear now, it’s also of vital importance to discuss the staffing requirements for your project. You need a professional, cross-functional team with the proper knowledge of the technology stack you plan to use in the app’s creation. That’s why you should carefully consider the staffing needs, as the number and expertise of programmers, designers, and testers you get on board will have a direct impact on your development budget. 

In a nutshell, a small to medium-scale project may require a team of under five specialists. It may include 1-3 developers, a designer, and a Project Manager who oversees and organizes work. Larger projects and those with specific features and requirements may need a larger team and require the inclusion of UX/UI specialists, testers, business analysts, and a manager linking the development team and you as a Product Owner. 

Regardless of the project’s scale and your staffing decisions, you surely need to have the following specialists on the team: 

  • Front-end and back-end programmers (both tasks can be accomplished by full-stack experts) 
  • A designer with an understanding of UX/UI principles 
  • A QA tester 
  • A PM who brings all staff together and keeps them on track.

What Does It Cost to Make a Digital Wallet?

The cost of a white-label digital app can start at around $100,000 and reach millions of dollars depending on your project specifications and goals. If you need to hire an in-house team for this project’s creation, the average cost can reach $500,000-$1,000,000, but you can cut the expenditures when working with an outsourced development team. 

To get a better grasp of the expected budget, you need to discuss the project details with your development company. Stipulate the tech stack you will need; indicate the number of specialists required for the project’s completion; name your deadlines. All these factors will affect the final price. Besides, you need to factor in the cost of maintenance, which can cost a pretty penny as well.

Future Trends in Mobile Wallet Apps 

The mobile wallet market is moving fast forward, with many emerging trends becoming the new normal day by day. Here are the main tendencies predicted to enter the mainstream in the coming months or years, which you as a business owner should consider. 

  • AI/ML. The integration of AI and ML algorithms in mobile banking is extensive, from chatbots to personalized financial advice and automation of back-end operations. That’s why we should all accept the fact that AI will continue dominating the market and offering new use cases for better profitability, service quality, and automation. 
  • Wearable technologies. The Internet of Things (IoT) is unstoppable, as it has proved highly convenient and beneficial for end-users. Thus, modern mobile wallets should also be built with wearable devices in mind, allowing for screen dimensions of smartwatches and offering next-level connectivity and interoperability.  
  • 5G. The 5G network is only emerging across the globe, but it already offers faster and more reliable connectivity to users. This potential can be harnessed in the mobile wallet app, with wallet creators adding advanced features for improved performance and stellar UX. 
  • Progressive web apps (PWAs). The PWA niche in the mobile app market is also gaining momentum, as these web-based versions are fast, reliable, and universally accessible from any browser or device. They definitely have a future in the increasingly interconnected world. 

Build Your Mobile Wallet with 4IRE

Are you planning to develop a mobile wallet app and capture the emerging trend of mobile banking? 4IRE developers are at your service, with years of expertise and an in-depth practical knowledge base to make your project successful. We have experts of all tech stacks in the team, thus meeting and exceeding any client’s expectations. Using our turnkey solutions, you can quickly join the niche of mobile banking wallets with a flawlessly working, innovative FinTech product.

FAQ

What should I keep in mind before building a mobile wallet app?

The first thing to take care of is to monitor the market and complete a discovery phase to test your business idea and identify the main pain points your users have. It is important to conduct a preliminary market analysis and factor in all compliance and legal regulations before embarking on the actual development.

What is the recommended team setup for a mobile wallet development?

The number and type of staff you need to build a mobile wallet app depends on the scale and complexity of your project, your estimated deadlines, and your budget. A small team of under 5 persons is usually enough for small, simple projects if you’re not in a rush. Those who want to build an app faster or want to create complex, large-scale architecture will need more developers. Your team should always include a UI/UX designer, a QA tester, a Project Manager, and one to several developers who will handle the front-end and back-end creation tasks.

How can I ensure the security of a mobile wallet app?

You should always subject your mobile wallet app to a thorough code audit before launching it to the market. This way, you will be able to identify and correct bugs, code logic flows, and vulnerabilities that can cause money leakage or a hacker attack. We recommend employing security testing with manual and automated tools to guarantee your product is fraud-proof and fully protected.

What are the key factors to consider when estimating the cost of a mobile wallet development?

The ultimate cost of your mobile wallet app depends on many factors – the technology you want to use, the number of people you’re hiring for the development team, and the number and complexity of features you want your app to support. Besides, the location of your development team matters a lot, as agencies in Western countries charge much more than companies in alternative outsourcing locations.

Why choose 4IRE for the development of a mobile wallet?

Working with 4IRE on your mobile wallet app is a safe deal because our company has 250+ experienced developers on board and delivers top-notch services without quality compromises. We are well-versed with all modern technologies and can create your mobile wallet in line with the highest industry standards to contribute to your market success and your business idea’s profitability.

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