Banking applications represent a vast financial industry of software development processes. Globally, apps are computer programs designed for specific purposes, while banking apps focus on managing financial services/products.
So far as we live in the digital era, it’s impossible to imagine a bank without specific applications integrated. Most traditional companies use only accounting software like Excel, but more modern brands focus on mobile 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 apps for banking. You can find there the Bank of America, Barclays, BBVA, UBS, Wells Fargo, 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 build a mobile banking app, install it, and boost the company’s results with it. Let’s go!
Why Should You Build a Mobile Banking App?
First things first, t’s essential to understand why companies need top banking apps at all. It’s simple. With the rise of mobile software, customers tend to use it instead of real-world interactions or websites. Further, we show why the best mobile banking app features and stages are vital for financial companies.
To be sure of the importance, check some shiny stats. As Juniper Research claims in its 2018 report, users of iOS and Android 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 transformation.
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 the best mobile banking apps. It’s a simple rule that’s proven by neobanks – teams focused on mobile interactions. Now, let’s move to the advantages of top mobile banking apps that also prove their importance.
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The Benefits of Mobile Banking Apps
The leading applications are handy, powerful, and cost-efficient. We see five notable benefits that perfect solutions combine:
- 24/7 access.
- All you need at any time.
- Better security features.
- Many services in your pocket.
- Quick transactions.
For more data-driven, let’s rely on info from Statista. This platform gathers tons of interesting insights, including stats on mobile solutions. According to this research, the best mobile banking app provides better awareness of the user’s financial state (62% recognized this feature as a valuable benefit), facilitates finance management (41%), provide more knowledge on the bank’s services (38%), and improves financial decisions (34%).
The Fundamentals of Creating a FinTech App
So, how to build a banking app if it’s such a powerful instrument?
Firstly, 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 different types of top banking apps, and reveal some good-to-know issues. Yes, modern software isn’t perfect. It also has problems that you should be aware of to solve them and protect your customers.
Differences Between Online & Mobile Banking Apps
Let’s begin with mobile banking and so-called online banking differences. While these approaches are quite similar, they stand for different tech solutions for banking. 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 top mobile banking apps focus 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 the 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.
Types of Mobile Banking Apps
Continuing our journey to the roots, we also want to look at different banking software types. The thing is that the best online banking app can fall into different categories. They 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:
- Employee-oriented. Specific tools and systems for managing the internal business processes like controlling finances or analyzing clients’ data. In this case, financial mobile application development is not necessary but desirable because real-time connections between the bank’s branches and departments boost performance greatly.
- 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 banking app development, the online feature is obligatory.
As well, you can find solutions that combine the best mobile banking app features from both categories. 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).
Security Issues of Mobile Banking Apps
Well, how to build a mobile banking app without flaws? At least, you should know these problems to be able to solve them. One of the biggest threats is security issues. Surprisingly, even big American banks fail to set high security standards to develop the best apps for banking. Studies conducted by Zimperium show that analyzed apps were based on outdated coding practices, old open-source libraries, unencrypted HTTP connections, etc.
Precisely, the most popular security issues are as follows:
- Fraud. Cybercriminals can access databases with screenshots and other remote-deposit stuff. Thus, they can copy images and get users’ credentials.
- ID vulnerabilities. Even fingerprints and face recognition practices can’t protect the app fully. Needless to say that hackers know how to breach traditional systems.
- Malware. Viruses evolve, constantly adapting to new protective measures. Thus, it’s better to always keep your mobile updated and protected.
- Poor design. Usage of old code and libraries lead to more vulnerabilities. Also, remember about third-party connections that can be designed poorly.
- Unsecure connections. This point includes both mobile and wireless links. Just never access your bank via public Wi-Fi, it’s a golden rule.
A Stepwise Guide on Mobile Banking App Development
By now, you already know how do mobile banking apps work. Thus, it’s time to reveal how to build a FinTech app and don’t screw up.
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 point of view because tech details are dispensable. You can leave the 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, e.g., for building top banking apps. The best practice (or way, if you want) is right below. Thus, let’s focus on core things related to mobile 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. PwC’s survey conducted in 2018 marks that 15% of all customers used mobile devices to interact with banks. Compare this number to 10% in 2017. While old channels like ATMs and branches move down, mobile banking is on the rise.
Considering such growth, it’s important to understand what your clients want and what are their best mobile banking apps. Valuable data from Statista reveals the benefits and expectations of the US-based users in 2017 and 2018. The top reasons for 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.
2. 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. The best online banking app should focus on these things:
- 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 that 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 mobile 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.
3. Be Simple and Ergonomic
On a par with security issues, users are afraid of the high complexity of applications. Usually, people want only a few basic functions accessible via on-the-go via smartphones instead of fully-functional large apps that consume traffic greatly. Thus, clients focus on three key purposes: check the balance, transfer money, and contact the bank’s support center. To develop top banking apps, focus on these points, too.
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. The 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.
4. 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 of creation of the best apps for banking:
- 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 development 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.
Best Mobile Banking App Features
Considering the differences between mobile and web/desktop products, let’s look at the best mobile banking app features. The next two sections reveal features of core (web/desktop) systems and mobile solutions.
Core Banking Services
Core banking functions as a back-end system that processes users’ orders and makes it possible to complete requests. Today, the 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.
- 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 Services
As we have stated earlier, top mobile banking apps 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.
- 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.
How Much Do Banking Apps Cost to Make?
In general, the best online banking app should pass a few process stages during its development. Each stage has its own costs that depend on the requirements, complexity, schedules, change requests and other custom specifications that vary.
However, the process is often the same as it includes discovery with business analysis, software architecture planning, UI/UX design, web and/or mobile development, testing, release, and further tech maintenance. In total, the projects start from $25,000 but may exceed $1 million.
Hence, it’s nearly impossible to answer how much do banking apps cost to make without knowing the requirements. Don’t hesitate to contact us and get your free 30-minute consultation. During it, we can make the first estimates and show the expected total cost of our dev services.
The Best Apps for Banking
To understand which applications are appreciated by customers, you can take a quick look at our list. The mentioned software products are one of the best among all smartphone and tablet apps in 2019:
- Ally – top mobile banking.
- Capital One – simple and user-friendly.
- Bank of America – cashback and security.
- Chase – appearance and prepaid cards.
- Wells Fargo – bills and investments.
Surely, the concept of each app and the structure of features depend on your vision. Developing a mobile banking application requires a thorough understanding of the end-users. Hence, you should base your offering on the customers’ demands who may not know how to build a banking app but surely are aware of their own wishes.
Tips on Creating Mobile Banking Apps
Mobile Banking Services
The financial industry is a highly dynamic environment. Today, when many new startups tend to disrupt the ecosystem, banks should adapt by introducing new technologies, interaction options, and features. That’s why 2020 and 2021 will be years of great changes. If you know the emerging trends, it will be easier to survive and provide the best apps for banking.
Here are five of the most prominent trends in the finance mobile app development for 2020:
- Blockchain. Decentralized systems are here to stay. They introduce innovative forms of financial management, particularly for mobile phones. High privacy and transparency, combined with coverage, can help a lot of underbanked people.
- Cardless ATMs. Modern banks slowly move away from plastic cards and focus on mobile-only processes. Thus, we can expect for NFC-based ATMs that will allow customers to deposit and withdraw funds using smartphones only.
- Open banking. According to the recent EU directives, banks should open their platforms for external producers. This cooperation will help FinTech startups to deliver better services using banks’ infrastructures. And users will get more cool apps.
- Smart bots. Thanks to AI and machine learning, conversational machines have become smarter and smarter. Today, they help users to check balances, transfer money, and so on. Tomorrow, they will replace human operators, most likely.
- Voice banking. Combined with bots and other AI systems, voice commands will make our life way more convenient. Phones will act as mobile hubs through which users can do almost anything from the bank-related tasks.
Working with Diceus
With 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 having the best mobile banking app is crucial for any team that wants to flourish.
With us, you can forget about development difficulties because we take care of everything. Start with filling the contact form to get the first free consultation. Further, we will provide 360-degree business analysis, define the core goals of your best online banking app, create it utilizing the Agile methodology and MVP ideas, so you will be able to check how things work without insane expenses. Our development company isn’t a regular outsource team, it’s a technology partner with unique custom solutions developed for each client individually.
Guaranteed software project success with a free 30-minute strategy session!
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 that 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 Build a Mobile 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 development 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 an 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 Do Banking Apps Cost to Make?
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 by 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.