How to Create a Mobile Banking App
As recent research in Europe has shown, users are more likely to resort to a smartphone rather than a computer to check the status of their bank account. That's why the trend of developing mobile apps for banking has emerged.
Both parties, the owners of financial institutions and their clients, benefit from using mobile banking software. Clients save their time and get a chance to address financial issues in an easier way. And the bank gets satisfied and loyal customers, which positively affects its profitability.
The world's largest banks already have their own mobile applications. It's time to follow their lead and build a successful FinTech app too. The task is rather intricate, and you need to find a wise approach to it. Luckily, we're ready to help you with our tips.
Difference Between Online and Mobile Banking Apps
Money and bank account management is a natural part of our life. Fortunately, modern Internet and mobile technologies have made it much easier. We no longer need to go to a bank or other similar institution, most financial services are available anywhere and anytime. All we need is a PC, smartphone, or any other device with Internet access.
A natural question arises: what is the difference between mobile and Internet banking? And does it even exist?
Yes, it does, and we're happy to detail the matter:
Access to the service. The Internet banking platform is operated using a browser installed on a PC (mostly). As to mobile banking, access to the service in its current form is possible through an application on a smartphone.
Internet dependence. The name speaks for itself: surely, Internet banking is only available online. However, mobile banking can be dealt with even offline using SMS. The functions of the service will be very limited in this case, though.
Mobility. Mobile banking apps allow customers to get financial services whenever they want, even on the way to work, on vacation, on the street. Internet banking doesn't provide such freedom.
Functionality. Sometimes mobile banking offers fewer features than a website. However, forward-thinking leaders of financial institutions are taking a smarter approach to mobile banking app development and expanding the functionality of their applications.
Interface. Unlike Internet banking resources, mobile applications usually have a simplified interface aimed at small-sized smartphone screens.
What is mobile banking software?
As the name suggests, mobile banking is done using a smartphone or other device of the same type.
History of mobile banking services
Banking organizations have long mastered the digital area and began to serve their clients both offline and online, using special Internet technologies. And people didn’t need much time to appreciate all the benefits of remote account management.
As time went on, mobile devices appeared, and Internet banking ceased to seem so convenient. A more modern solution was required: one that would allow financial consumers to remain as mobile as possible and to perform banking transactions on the go, anytime, anywhere.
This initiated the emergence of technologies for mobile banking apps (which happened around the end of the 90s of the twentieth century). Initially, these services were presented in the form of SMS banking.
How to use mobile banking software
Dealing with mobile banking services is extremely simple:
First, you should go to App Store or Google Play and download the desired application;
Install it and open access to some functions of your device (if desired). If you don't, the service won’t work as it should.
Register and customize the application to suit your needs:
select the frequency of push notifications;
choose the best way of protecting confidential data;
decide on a theme (design) of the interface (if possible);
set funds limits and other useful restrictions.
the application is ready to use!
Types of Mobile Banking Apps
#1. SMS banking
The simplest mobile banking option is SMS banking. The user manages his accounts remotely via SMS. Of course, his capabilities are rather limited, but even such a reduced set of features is better than nothing.
#2. Mobile internet banking
The second option is access to the account through the mobile version of the bank's website. To be precise, we are, again, dealing with Internet banking. The difference is that we work with the system via the browser of a mobile device.
Among the advantages is the high mobility of the service. However, there are significant drawbacks, such as the need to adapt the site to small-sized device screens, which entails a simplification of the interface and a cut in functionality.
#3. Basic mobile banking applications
We've finally gotten to the discussion of developing mobile apps for banking in their modern form. Of course, we are talking about the simplest versions of applications.
These programs need to be downloaded from App Store or Google Play and installed on your smartphone. They have basic functionality and don't provide all account management options. However, the crucial, must-have financial features are available to clients. What's more, the interface of such applications is much more user-friendly than that of mobile Internet banking systems.
#4. Improved mobile banking apps
The most relevant type of mobile banking is modern apps with advanced functionality. These are the same aforementioned applications that have evolved over time (thanks to the advancement of digital technology).
Services of the sort have a diverse set of top-notch features and meet the latest mobile banking app development trends.
Now let’s discuss the benefits of mobile banking application development.
Benefits of Banking App Development
Improving the quality of customer service. Modern mobile banking apps offer users a whole range of services, from conducting various transactions to searching for ATMs. This is the so-called Daily Banking concept.
Increased customer loyalty. The first two advantages of mobile banking are intertwined: by serving your customers better, you increase their loyalty. That's natural, right?
Mobility. Applications provide an opportunity to use banking services anywhere in the world. You don't even need to leave your home and wait in line at the bank to complete a particular banking transaction.
24/7 access. Financial services are available not only during the bank's working hours; customers get access to them around the clock.
Greater audience coverage, including young people. The younger generation loves innovative technologies, and mobile and internet banking is no exception.
Creation of complex ecosystems. Top banking apps aren't limited to financial services today, they offer real ecosystems to their users. Among other things, customers get access to the goods and services of the bank's partners, whether it is buying train tickets, booking a seat in a cinema, paying for parking, and so on.
Lack of paperwork. By creating mobile apps for a banking institution, we thereby reduce paperwork. A number of documents can be digitized, which helps to decrease the level of bureaucracy.
Cost control. Among the main mobile banking features, there is a special option that allows the user to control his expenses and income in a more efficient way.
Great, we've done with the advantages of banking app development. And how about its disadvantages?
Disadvantages of mobile banking services
Internet problems. Of course, as we've already said, some services are available even offline via SMS, but internet availability is still desirable.
No single international standard for mobile banking services. Although this problem is likely to be solved sooner or later.
Security problems. The owners of the most popular banking apps go to great lengths to protect customer data, but this isn't always possible. Let's say, if an antivirus isn't installed on the user's phone, there is a risk of personal information leakage.
Clients' conservatism. Basically, it’s about elderly people. They find it difficult to accept new technologies.
Problems with the device. There is always a danger of loss, theft, or damage to the device with the installed application, which can lead to very sad consequences.
Key Features of Mobile Banking Apps
Account creation. We start by creating a user account. And the main thing is to provide secure authorization.
User's personal account. Now the user has his own personal account with constant access to his financial data.
Conducting transactions. The main reason for building a mobile banking app is to allow the user to make all kinds of transactions remotely. That is, he must be able to top up the account, transfer funds between his cards, send some money to other accounts, and so on.
Currency operations. In other words, the user can buy and sell currency.
Payment for various services, such as utility bills, Internet, and more. It all depends on which companies the bank cooperates with.
Payment templates. If the payments are regular, the user will be happy to create a template and simplify the entire process. In the future, he'll be able to select the desired template and make a payment in two taps.
24/7 customer support. Let's say your client has encountered a problem while using your service. What should he do? The simplest solution is to ask your company representatives for help. Therefore, the top mobile banking features must include a chatbot option, a feedback form, and more.
Bank branch locations. Add a map indicating the location of your bank branches, ATMs, so that the user can quickly find any of them.
Push notifications, designed to increase customer loyalty. Notifications inform the user about the flow of his funds, as well as warn him about suspicious account movements.
Loyalty program. We are talking about connecting a cashback system, a program for accumulating interest and bonuses (and other things like that).
History. And of course, the list of key features of mobile banking apps would be incomplete without this last option, so that the user can always see the history of his financial transactions, get an account statement, and so on.
Premium Mobile Banking Features
Now let's talk about additional features that will take your application to a whole new level. Their implementation costs more, but they are better at attracting users:
Personalized content. Do you want to win over your customers? Provide them with personalized content suiting their specific needs. Track user behavior, analyze the received data, and adjust your strategy.
Contactless payments, made using the phone. All top banking apps must have the feature in question (considering the pandemic and quarantine restrictions).
Video communication, which will better the interaction of customers with bank representatives.
Improved mobile wallet with an extended set of account management options.
Payment via QR codes won't hurt either. Users would appreciate such a feature.
Virtual cards. They have become one of the mobile banking app development trends in recent years. Thanks to virtual cards, users don't need to have their plastic analogs with them all the time.
Smartwatch support. We are already used to managing some applications with our smartwatches. Why should mobile banking be an exception?
How to Build a Successful FinTech App
Okay, let's start discussing the most interesting part of our article. We won't go into all the details, just outline the very substance of the matter.
Firstly, you need to assess the overall situation. Research the market, analyze competitors and consumers. The resulting data will form the basis of your strategy and ensure effective mobile banking app development.
Of course, you need to hire a team of experienced UI/UX experts able to create cool app designs. Keep reading our article to understand why this step is so important.
Technology for mobile banking app development
Next, you should pay attention to the technical features of creating a mobile banking application or, in other words, the required technological stack.
As you'll see, it very much depends on the approach you choose to the development process.
Native App Development
The ideal option is to create a native app for the platform of your choice (iOS, Android, or both). Such an application will fully comply with the requirements of Google and Apple.
Let's take a look at an indicative mobile app development technology stack that your hired team is likely to use in the case of a native approach.
However, native development is time-consuming, energy-intensive, and, as a result, expensive. And if your budget is tight, choose a different way to develop an application for a banking organization.
Hybrid & Cross-Platform App Dev
The cross-platform approach simplifies the development process several times. Once created, the application will support both iOS and Android devices. It may not be as perfect as the native program, but you’ll save a lot.
Now about hybrid applications. In fact, they are a cross between native and web applications. Designed differently than native services, they resemble them in use.
And there are also a few more technologies for Mobile Banking Apps. You might find them useful too.
Now you know the technology to build mobile banking applications (or rather, technologies). Start small and create a simple model of your future full-fledged application (the so-called MVP model).
Such a model will have only main mobile banking features, nothing extra. With MVP, you'll be able to save money and test the initial version of the application on end-users
Publishing an application to app stores
The application is ready to launch and can be published in App Store and Google Play.
Improving your mobile banking software
Now your task is to collect user feedback, analyze it and adjust your strategy. It's never too late to become better.
Challenges in Mobile Banking Application Development
When you start building a mobile banking app, do your best to protect your users' data. After all, the statistics are very disappointing:
Since 2015, the number of fraudulent transactions in mobile banking has increased by 600+%.
Almost 90% of digital fraud is the result of account hacking.
In 2020, losses from mobile fraud exceeded $ 35 million.
However, you shouldn't abandon the mobile banking app development idea for fear of not dealing with security issues. Better ensure decent data protection with the following techniques:
Multi-stage user authentication system.
Encryption of all information, including data stored on the device.
Using one-time passwords to confirm transactions.
Applying passwords to access the application itself.
Automatic app blocking in case of loss or damage to the device.
And we haven’t listed all the methods that the best mobile banking apps use to protect user data.
Of course, security comes first, but application usability matters a lot too. Mobile banking services should be easy to use, intuitive and user-friendly.
So pay as much attention to the issue in question as possible. Follow the rule of 3 steps: the fewer taps the user needs to do to perform the selected financial transaction, the better. Of course, provided that you don’t compromise the security of user data.
Mobile Banking App Development Trends
If you’re serious about building a mobile banking app, you must understand in which direction the entire sector is evolving. Therefore, you'll find it useful to know the latest market trends:
More active use of the smartphone camera. Among other things, many payments are being increasingly made using barcode scanning (which you won't be able to do without your camera).
Remote identification. Previously, a face-to-face meeting between a client and a bank representative was always mandatory. However, quarantine has offered an alteration in the usual business processes. And now identification is gradually moving into remote mode. Such methods as video identification, electronic digital signatures, and others are being introduced.
Voice technologies. Why not provide your client with special top mobile banking features that allow him to manage payments using his voice?
Artificial Intelligence. In particular, AI-based chatbots and robotic financial advisors are becoming rather popular.
Financial discipline control. Also, the latest types of mobile banking apps help in financial monitoring. Company owners can resort to special features to better assess their business processes and prevent possible risky operations.
Integration with instant messengers and social networks, which will improve the communication of clients with bank employees and bring the exchange of documents to a new level.
Additional trends. Also, don’t forget about the growing demand for biometrics, NFC payments, as well as integration with external B2B services.
The Cost of Developing a Mobile Banking Application
How much money do you need to spend to build a successful FinTech app? Let's say right away: a lot. It's not the time to skimp and screw!
Surely, it is impossible to name a specific price without clarifying all the details first. Although the diagram below might help you get your bearings:
Best Mobile Banking Apps
We've covered the most important topics, now it's time to identify a few of your competitors. To begin with, we suggest paying attention to the most popular banking apps... at least, three of them.
Bank of America
This financial giant is one of the largest banks in the United States. Besides, it is ranked 23rd among the most influential companies in the world (according to Forbes). Bank of America was founded by Italian émigré Amadeo Giannini in the early 20th century in San Francisco. In those days, it was called 'Bank of Italy' and focused on helping immigrants.
Giannini's company got its current name closer to the 30s after the merger with the bank of the same name from Los Angeles.
One of the reasons for Bank of America's success is its focus on innovation and active use of digital technologies. Among others, the business owners decided to build a successful FinTech app. And their efforts paid off completely.
Capital One is another well-known American banking company. Compared to the previous example, its history is less impressive (it has existed only since the end of the 20th century), but it has already managed to enter the list of the largest US banks. What's more, Capital One has earned a reputation as a technology-driven financial institution. So it's no surprise that the mobile service they've created has joined the top banking apps.
JP Morgan Chase
J.P. Morgan Chase is, too, a very strong player in the banking sector. The organization offers various types of financial services and doesn't limit its activities to the United States only. It works with clients all over the world.
The history of the company dates back to 1799 (which inspires respect, isn't it?). Although in those days the financial institution was known as The Bank of the Manhattan Co. Later, it became part of The Chase Manhattan Bank. In its current form, the bank has existed only since the beginning of the 21st century.
J.P. Morgan Chase is the leader in the investment banking market and popular even with large corporations and government agencies. And its mobile banking software is one of the best.
If these market leaders have appreciated the benefits of mobile banking application development, you need to pay attention to digital too. And we offer our help!