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Banking App Development: Mobile and Web Platforms

by Yevhenii Ostroverkh

Banking applications represent a wide industry of software development processes. Globally, apps are computer programs designed for specific purposes while banking apps focus on managing financial services/products. Banking app development stands for the process of software creation and inplementation.

So far as we live in the digital era, it’s impossible to imagine a bank without certain applications integrated. The most traditional companies use only accounting software like Excel but more modern brands focus on banking app development: ERP systems for 360-degree control of business processes, CRM tools for smoother interactions with clients, online banking applications with personal profiles, and mobile wallets for on-the-go finance management.

In fact, nearly all leading banks use apps, especially, mobile ones. According to the Retail Banker International’s 2018 ranking, there are dozens of famous names in the list of the best mobile finance solutions. You can find there Bank of America, Barclays, Capital One, UBS etc. Well, here’s the question: does your bank have apps for employees and/or customers? And if the answer is no, it’s time to learn how to develop an online banking application, install it, and boost the company’s results with it. Let’s go!

The best examples of banking mobile app development

Online Banking App Development Basics

Obviously, to evaluate development/implementation features and general benefits of finance applications, we have to understand what these apps stand for. In this section, you will discover definitions of mobile banking solutions and ones for web browsers, distinguish differences between products for your staff and customers, as well as reveal what MVC means and how it can help during investment banking app development (or any other).

Defining Ideas

Let’s begin with mobile banking and so-called online banking differences. While these approaches are quite similar, they stand for different tech solutions. Generally, the simplest definitions are:

  • Mobile banking. Includes applications designed for smartphones and tablets through which customers can access their financial data and perform transactions.
  • Online banking. Covers software and programs built for web systems and/or desktop. Usually, clients can enter their accounts through official websites.

Hence, the core difference is that mobile banking focuses on mobile devices while online one refers to desktop systems. Still, when you use a smartphone browser to enter the bank’s system, you technically use services of online banking. It takes more time and resources to design and develop a website to display the online banking system, so currently, a lot of financial institutions introduce lightweight minimalistic mobile solutions.

Another thing we should look at is a model-view-controller approach or, simpler, MVC. According to Wikipedia, it’s an architectural pattern which features three linked elements and serves for designing user interfaces. In accordance with the name exactly, the parts are:

  • Model. The data structure which handles info, logic, and rules.
  • View. The final visual output, the result which user wants to get from the system.
  • Controller. The agent which translates orders into commands for the model.

All parts are independent of each other.

It may be a bit complicated for non-programmers, so catch the analogy: MVC is nothing more than ordering drinks at the bar. Say, you want to get something tasty in the chosen bar on Friday night. For this, you just should ask a bartender. It will be something like: «Hey, bro, one daiquiri, please!» after which the barman will start making the magic. He or she knows that daiquiri consists of white rum, lime juice, and simple syrup with some ice, so you will get the order after some time. That’s it.

In the mentioned situation, you act as the user and your desire is the user’s request. The bartender is the controller while his hands, mixing things, ingredients, and glasses represent the model. Respectively, the prepared daiquiri is the view. Without diving too much into tech details, remember that MVC allows developers to build web and mobile applications with advanced architecture. Interacting with them, users can be sure that they will get exactly what they want after pressing any button like Facebook’s Notifications or Messages.

But why the pattern is important for our topic? We will cover it in the section about Android app development for banking using MVC, so here’s a small spoiler: the model-view-controller idea provides for the best user experience regardless of the system he/she utilizes to reach the bank’s website or mobile product.

Looking at Categories

Concluding our journey to the roots, we also want to look at different banking software types. The following categories stand apart from the previously mentioned mobile/web classification because they can relate to both of these entities. Long story short, there are two apps’ types with completely different purposes:

  1. Employee-oriented. Specific tools and systems for managing the internal business processes like controlling finances or analyzing clients’ data. In this case, online banking app development is not necessary but desirable because real-time connections between the bank’s branches and departments boost performance greatly.
  2. User-oriented. On the other hand, there are applications for customers such as online desktop interfaces, mobile wallets, virtual cards etc. They facilitate interactions greatly as clients can save time on visiting banks or calling them. For banking mobile app development, online feature is obligatory.

As well, you can find solutions which combine these parts. For instance, ERP products often include both managerial tools for in-house tasks (accounting, employee training, tracking cash flows) and functions for interaction with clients (mostly, CRM apps and personal profiles of users).

Banking Mobile App Development

Now, it’s time to look closer at features and stages of creating banking software. We will start with mobile solutions and later will check desktop/web platforms, too.

To start with, check some shiny stats. As Juniper Research claims in its 2018 report, users of mobile banking apps will grow 14% YOY while traditional online banking clients will have only 6%. Currently, half of the digital banking users access their financial institutions via mobile applications while a lot of top-rated banks are ready for great digital transformations (see details in the chart below).

Banking app development and transformation stats

With more markets start accepting flexible solutions for smartphones and tablets, banks can boost their efficiency and cut costs greatly. For this, they have to implement mobile systems. Without further ado, dive into the process of development!

Mobile Banking App Development Best Practice

Here, meet the most important section of the guide as it covers the entire path of developing and integrating a mobile solution for your bank. Surely, we will look at the development from the entrepreneur’s side of view because tech details are dispensable. You can leave tech stuff to experienced teams like our company to avoid pitfalls and problems. We handle the process and deliver quality actual content without hidden hourly costs.

Pay attention to the idea of best practices. Simply put, it’s a set of methods or approaches which are widely accepted as the most efficient for the given purpose. The best practice (or way, if you want) of creating banking applications is right below. Thus, let’s focus on core things related to banking app development!

  1. Understand Your Customers

First and foremost, you should start by analyzing the audience. Numerous people of all ages and races utilize banking services and now they tend to use mobile applications or online platforms instead of visiting branches or calling contact centers. The usage of these software types grows rapidly. The PwC’s survey conducted in 2017 marks that 82% of 18-24-year-old smartphone users had experience with mobile banking but only 29% of 65+ phone owners did this. Still, omnidigital interactions have grown from 27% to 46% while human-related channels’ share has fallen from 15% to only 10%.

Considering such growth, it’s important to understand what your clients want and why they look at banking mobile app development. Valuable data from Statista reveals the benefits and expectations of the US-based users in 2017 and 2018. That, top reasons of using mobile apps include verifying balance (77%), verifying transactions (63%), transferring money (53%), and making deposits (51%) while the definitive benefit is an awareness of the current personal financial situation (62%). Check more detailed stats below.

Reasons to start banking app mobile development

Banking app platform development benefits

  1. Focus on Security

The next thing you should check is the most important feature of all financial applications and platforms. So far as the company works with money (often, big money), it has to provide perfect guarantees of safety. Customers will appreciate apps with proper security measures. Following the idea of mobile banking app development best practice, here are some notable points you should remember:

  • Check security policies. If you already have certain apps, make sure they work fine and are compatible with planning new products in terms of security.
  • Configure servers. Test platforms to know that they are protected from phishers and spam apps. Especially, you are interested in mobile protection.
  • Integrate 2FA. Simply put, add an option of second login confirmation via SMS or Google Authenticator. 2FA is a necessary feature for modern systems.
  • Add digital signatures. They are similar to real ones but are designed for online use. Let your clients verify transactions with unique signatures for better security.
  • Insert password checkers. It’s another common function which notifies people about their passwords’ reliability. Ideally, passes should include various characters.
  • Make inactive sessions expire. Frauds often get access to open accounts. Close such sessions automatically after a few minutes of inactivity.
  • Avoid jailbroken phones. Jailbreak opens the entire system of a device but reduces security greatly. Prevent installing banking apps on such gadgets.

Finally, you should always notify clients about needful security measures by issuing news and manuals. Tell people that using a native app is much safer than accessing online banks via browsers, inform users via online chats and SMS, educate them about the importance of strong passwords, transactional limits, apps’ updates etc. Be sure that your audience is tech-savvy.

  1. Be Simple and Ergonomic

On a par with security issues, users are afraid of high complexity of applications. Usually, people want only a few basic functions accessible on-the-go via smartphones instead of fully-functional large apps which consume traffic greatly. Thus, clients focus on three key purposes: check the balance, transfer money, and contact the bank’s support center. During banking app development, focus on them, primary.

According to the study conducted by Keynote Systems in 2013, the functionality affects loading times greatly. For example, Charles Schwab’s application has led the ranking with 5 seconds average response time and the product from the Bank of America was the slowest one with about 30 seconds. Reasons are clear as the first app has featured 6 elements while the second was packed with 58 ones! Compare these times with the 7-second attention span of modern users to understand why simplicity is crucial.

Apart from core functions and lightweight applications, you should focus on several major points when it comes to design:

  • Utilize corporate styles. Create minimalistic and ergonomic apps in traditional company’s colors and with recognizable logos.
  • Add personalization. Arrange page elements in accordance with the user’s needs and daily operations. For this, you should analyze big data about each client.
  • Interact with customers. Alert them about updates, send push notifications about transactions, and engage them with the news.
  • Avoid overloads. To do this, you can launch several mobile applications for different purposes. Always connect them to the basic website.
  1. Remember About Different Devices

As the audience utilizes different smartphones and tablets from dozens of manufacturers with various operating systems like Android, iOS, and Windows Phone, you will have to remember about all variations. Gadgets feature different screens, features, and cache sizes. Some users don’t want to update OS versions regularly, so you also should support older products. At all, this takes us to two key ideas.

  • Run as many tests as you can on different devices including real and emulated ones. Proper pre-launch testing can save you from numerous bugs and further user complaints.
  • Integrate analytic systems to gather metrics and evaluate performance. With it, you will be able to spot and solve problems quickly, collect user experience, and upgrade applications.

Our company is built around a team of professionals who handle various tasks including banking mobile app development. We start with business analysis to know more about your clients, then develop cross-platform solutions for various devices, and support the released product 24/7. We also can add powerful tools for in-house analysts or outsource this task and send you already processed data with tips on attracting and retaining customers.

Banking App Platform Development

As we already know about mobile applications, it’s time to check platforms for web browsers and desktops briefly. Long story short, this software is more complex as it should include all necessary features, not only the three mentioned above. Through online platforms, users can interact with banks while employees use managerial and analytical tools.

While mobile solutions are usually designed for customers exclusively, advanced web/desktop platforms divide into two large groups. Of course, your staff can access all-in-one ERP through smartphones but these mobile apps come as a part of bigger platform-like systems. Thus, let’s check how they differ.

Systems for Internal Purposes

Using banking app platform development approaches, you can create a powerful solution for staff. The best example is ERP software because it connects in-house departments and collects data from them using single storage. Banks benefit from ERP because the system provides for smooth cooperation between branches located in different regions and even countries. Using such applications, your team can pass on daily tasks to automated helpers (particularly, ones with the integrated AI features), exchange essential data quickly, and eliminate human errors in accounting and finance sectors.

In our company, we deliver all types of internal solutions including investment banking app development, 360-degree ERP for international corporations, and minimalistic products for small local banks. Tailor-made apps are wonderful because you get exactly what you need without hidden costs or unnecessary functions. We are fully responsible for results because prefer to work as partners rather than outsourcers.

User-Oriented Products

Similarly, you can create a website or desktop client for customers. Such user interfaces should represent all core features such as checking balances, making transfers, reviewing history, interacting with support services, and so on. Basically, platforms are advanced versions of mobile apps and they are suitable for expanding user experience with extra functions.

CRM systems are also among the described products. On the one hand, they are designed for internal use because they collect clients’ data and simplify interactions between customers and banks’ operators. On the other hand, CRM software is focused on end users and serves for boosting their experience with personalized approaches.

It’s not an easy task to design and develop a website to display the online banking system. But we offer these applications, too. Our UI/UX department guarantees that your platform will come with great usability and smooth design. Surely, further support of the developed website is provided.

To read more on the topic, check the article about CRM in the banking industry.

Banking Apps’ Features

Considering differences between mobile and web/desktop products, let’s look at the major functions of these software types. The next two sections reveal features of core (web/desktop) systems and mobile solutions.

Features of investment banking app development

Core Banking

Core banking functions as a back-end system which processes users’ orders and makes it possible to complete requests. Today, core banking software is inextricably linked with front-end interfaces for clients. Generally, there are a few primary core features:

  • Account management.
  • Deposits and withdrawals.
  • Transactions.
  • Loans and interests.
  • Payment processing.
  • Personalized offers.
  • Loyalty programs.
  • Customer support.

When it comes to internal core processes, you should be interested in a-class applications for clerks. They cover forecasting of the clients’ needs, scheduling tasks and appointments, advanced security measures etc.

Mobile Banking

As we have stated earlier, mobile applications must be simple but functional. As users don’t look for all core features integrated into their smartphones, it’s enough to focus on the most essential ones such as:

  • 24/7/365 access to accounts.
  • Money transfers.
  • Bill/loan payments.
  • Notifications.
  • Customer support.

If you want more cutting-edge things, try to use unique devices’ elements, e.g. integrate camera support for remote deposit capture feature or link GPS so users will be able to find the nearest branch or ATM. Consider also voice/gesture navigation, biometric authorization, QR tech for withdrawals, and cashback services. But don’t overload your mobile app, keep it fast and plain.

Investment Banking App Development with Us

By choosing our development team, you choose the reliability and quality. Bounded with NDA, we can’t disclose the names of our clients but there are some well-known international finance institutions. For them, we have successfully developed and launched various apps:

  • Data warehouses which gather info from various sources, suit different local requirements, and provide deep analysis.
  • Online banking apps including web-based platforms with all core functions, mobile wallets, and solutions for branchless banks.
  • FinTech software which manages, reports, and analyzes, and visualizes financial data both for end users and the banks’ staff.

These directions represent only a part of our capabilities. We create various solutions depending on your goals. It doesn’t matter which bank’s type you manage, just contact us and we will design the perfect application together.

Questions & Answers

To summarize the guide, take a look at key questions and answers from our team. Below, we conclude everything mentioned earlier in a few sentences. It’s a perfect option if you don’t want to read through detailed sections.

What Is a Banking Application?

It’s any type of software which serves for the bank’s purposes, e.g. manages financial data or provides for money transfers. Banking apps divide into the mobile, web, and desktop ones, as well as they can be created for employees or customers.

How to Develop Online Banking Application?

Firstly, you have to understand the key goal of this app. Then, be sure that you integrate only necessary features. Finally, build your own IT department or contact our company and pass this task to experts.

How to Design and Develop a Website to Display the Online Banking System?

The algorithm is similar to the previous one. Know your audience and define which functions the website must display. You can create the user interface on your own and then connect existing apps but we suggest cooperating with experienced developers. We can launch both mobile banking app and online website for your company.

What Features to Focus on During Development?

For mobile software, be sure to add round-the-clock access to accounts and support of transactions. Don’t bombard users with redundant features. For websites and internal apps, feel free to integrate as many functions as you want but remember about development and implementation costs.

How Much Banking Apps Cost?

Simply put, it depends on the features added, overall complexity, and the chosen platform. Extremely plain products for a single mobile system start from $25,000 while large applications for transcontinental banks with omnichannel support can go up to $1 million and higher. Our company features quote-based prices, so we always discuss costs and expenses with customers. You can start with ordering an MVP to look at how the app will work and then add more required functions. Don’t be afraid of pitfalls as we refuse hourly rates and always stick to signed agreements.

Learn more about software development prices and estimations.

Conclusions

With the accelerating progress, banking applications will certainly experience some shifts. Now, the most innovative companies integrate AI for predicting customers’ desires, blockchain for next-gen security, big data analysis for better understating the market, and so on. Some brands go mobile-only to eliminate physical centers and interact with users through apps exclusively. We think that banking app development is crucial for teams which want to survive during this quickly-changing era.

With us, you can forget about development difficulties because we take care of everything. Start with filling the contact form to get the first consultation. Further, we will provide 360-degree business analysis, define core goals of your future mobile application, create it utilizing the Agile methodology and MVP ideas, so you will be able to check how things work without insane expenses. Our company isn’t a regular outsource team, it’s a technology partner with unique custom solutions developed for each client individually.

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