The bank's success at the beginning of the twentieth century could be easily assessed by the size of the chandelier and the height of the ceiling in its headquarters in a building with monumental columns and a huge oak door with gilded handles. Nice memories, sweet approaches, but not actual any more. What is actual? Let’s find out together with the article by our CTO Nazar Hazdun, published on Forbes Technology Council, further expanded with some more details and examples on the topic.
In this article: we will look at what led to the success of such companies as Monzo and Revolut, what are the main features in fintech applications, how to create a online banking app and the most important question - how much money do you need to build a fintech app :)
Recent drastic changes in the global life paradigm have led to both stress and opportunities. It would be unfair to say that we weren't ready for new challenges — quite the opposite. We had been preparing for those for decades, and finally, the new framework of reality presented the opportunity to make the jump.
Digitalization and globalization of the international economy attracted significant innovations to all sectors, but I would prefer to concentrate on the financial one. We all live fast, and many of us don't fancy spending hours at bank offices. We can now sign documents with digital signatures and watch movies on devices whenever we want,and some of us haven't used cash in years. It creates an excellent field for innovations in the banking sector and an all-embracing competition to differentiate and win.
I'm basing my story on research and experience. One of the most recent projects we have accomplished at Geniusee is a neobank, and I believe similar requests to software development companies must be pretty frequent these days.
What is the efficient way to create a neobank that thrives?
Working with finances requires plenty of documents, as it brings great responsibility and is based on many rules and regulations. Your responsibility depends on the stack on which you choose to build your bank. There are two approaches, and both are pretty livable and working financial business models.
1. Full-stack neobanks:
Built on a platform model.
Have their own banking license.
Keep the entire value chain from front end to back end under control.
Use a least/asset-light approach.
Have their own proprietary core banking system (CBS).
Have leveraged unsoiled data to gain customer insights/offer personalized services.
2. Front-end-focused neobanks:
Do not have a banking license.
Partner with a larger established bank
CBS tech systems are off the shelf or external.
Control the front end of the value chain (customer interface).
Support B2C and B2B apps.
Target niche segments (millennials, SMBs, entrepreneurs).
How do you make it safe?
In any of these cases, your first step is to find an issuing bank, which you can cooperate with afterward based on your stack's features. After that, there's a difference.
If you stick to a full-stack neobank creation built on a platform model, the most important thing you should consider is the necessity of having your banking license. You will certainly need it, as you will work with a full-cycle banking service for your customers, providing lots of data and sensitive personal information. It should be secured, fraud-protected and compliant. If you save card data on your servers, you have to be PCI DSS compliant — which is possible but somewhat complicated and time-consuming to become. This stack requires a bigger team and more costly systems.
If you want to test the fintech neobank idea without getting certified, you can go with a front-end-focused neobank stack. Your product will be a cross-functional B2B or B2C application — which, as in the previous case, can also provide banking operation services to your target audience and customers for your issuing bank. However, in this case, you don't apply for certification; you only choose the trusted payment platform, which is already PCI DSS compliant. There are several top platforms, and you can choose which one to rely on. The main advantages of delegating this responsibility are that these platforms let you fasten your project's time-to-market. These platforms are already PCI DSS compliant. With this model, your primary task will eventually be to take good care of deep marketing research and then the development of the neobank application itself.
You've almost certainly heard about Know Your Customer (KYC) — the standards for financial institutions that decrease the vulnerability of the project and customers from criminal activities. It establishes a customer's identity, estimates the risk of money laundering by customers and evaluates the nature of financial activities to ensure that the source of those is legitimate.
The customers' information given to you, while being your biggest asset, remains sensitive data. Your behavior with it might be a strong trust-builder or checkpoint. A KYC provider allows you to solve a crucially important issue.
If you aggregate onboarding, KYC and CRM all from the very beginning, you can know the flow of all of your customers' life cycle phases. Every side of their identity is available to track and analyze.
KYC providers generally offer enough space, and many companies can provide KYC inexpensively and very reliably in the majority of cities globally.
How do you make your neobank flexible?
API gives you the freedom to adjust your own application with the other existent products or services with no need to know their code and spend extra money. For example, an API aggregator allows cooperating with several payment systems at once with a single implementation point.
The concept of API aggregators appeared as a result of open banking development, and API aggregators already significantly improve digital banking technology flow even in the first stages of development. The main advantage is the ability to share data about customers among connected financial organizations. That makes not only digital banks but all banks rise even faster.
When your customer is already on the path toward creating a neobank, the main thing to remember is that automation and digitalization are just the ways to simplify the final customers' experience. The biggest value your company gives to your customer is a good product. The main values this product brings to the final users are safety, convenience, and speed of operations. Trust is fragile and should be cherished at all stages. Be their reliable partner, develop like this is the most important project in your portfolio, test like you are the strictest QA to ever exist and release it to make a difference on the market”, - says our CTO Nazar Hazdun in his post on Forbes Technology Council.
The Internet banking system dates back to the 80s of the last century, when the Home Banking system was created in the United States. This system enabled depositors to check their accounts by connecting to the bank's computer via a telephone. Later, as the Internet and Internet technologies developed, banks began to introduce systems that allowed depositors to receive information about their accounts over the Internet.
For the first time, the service of transferring funds from accounts was introduced in 1994 in the United States by the Stanford Federal Credit Union, and already in 1995 the first virtual bank, Security First Network Bank, was created. But, to the disappointment of the founders of the project, it suffered a fiasco due to strong mistrust on the part of potential clients, who, at that time, did not really trust such an innovation.
Bank of America was the first bank to achieve success in online banking. By 2001, it became the first among all banks providing e-banking service, whose user base of this service exceeded 2 million customers. At that time, this figure was about 20% of all clients of the bank. Interestingly, already in October of the same year 2001 the same Bank of America carried out 3 million money transfers using online banking services for a total amount of more than $ 1 billion.
Let's talk more about how to make a fintech app like Revolut & Monzo.
The history of the UK fintech project Revolut clearly shows how important it is for the founders of a startup to grasp the needs of the consumer and offer the product or solution they need. Revolut has become the tool that has helped solve the problem of commissions in foreign exchange transactions, including an application and a multi-currency debit card. The card provides for an account simultaneously in euros, dollars and pounds. This allows the cardholder to pay abroad in the desired currency, and not pay commission for conversion.
Benefits of Revolut:
Monzo is one of the largest fintech players in the UK market. The company was founded in 2015 by Oxford graduate Tom Blomfield. It has managed to become one of the leading challenger banks, the main features of which are the absence of physical branches and an emphasis on communication with the user through a mobile application.
Thanks to a client-oriented approach, a convenient mobile application and competent work with the community, the startup was able to attract more than 2.5 million customers and become the main competitor to Revolut.
Since one of the main goals was the desire to save customers from the complexity, overload and incomprehensibility of traditional financial services, the company decided to abandon the use of words that complicate speech. This concerned not only the communication of technical support in chat with customers but also, for example, the development of items in the menu, writing articles in the corporate blog and the user agreement.
Benefits of Monzo:
Back in 2014, Starling Bank was born from the ground up as a startup with the goal of making banking easier for people. At the moment, the number of open accounts has exceeded 1 million, the bank manages deposits in the amount of 1 billion pounds sterling and for 2 consecutive years has been recognized as the "Best UK Bank".This fintech project is also interesting because it is the first project founded by a woman - Anne Boden. 30 years of experience in the financial sector helped her understand how to start a mobile banking business.
Boden calls Starling “the bank for people who live their lives on a smartphone”. After a year of traveling the world and exploring the latest developments in technology, the woman realized that customers are used to living in real-time, and tried to implement this in her startup. Boden came up with the idea of creating an online bank for which she raised $ 70 million for her project.
Benefits of Starling Bank:
Before you start a banking app developing process, it is important to define the key features of the application. In this section, we will share a list of basic and extra features that you need to use in mobile banking application development.
1. Sign Up + Profile Set Up
2. Onboarding Screen
4. History of Transactions
5. Branches and ATM Map
6. Support Page
7. Push Notifications
Let's take a look at how to make a mobile banking app more user friendly.
This part is very important for the development of mobile banking. This is because you can implement security features for authentication (passwords, biometric scanning, other issues, etc.) in it.
Although we generally do not recommend adding too many fields with questions via the "registration" phase, there is a difference here. You must ensure that the personal information of your customers is strictly protected. More additional questions can help you with this.
The ‘complex’ password, connection to the phone number or email, personal security questions, and customers agreement with the Сonfidentiality Policy and other banking terms they accept by creating personal data should be completed during registration.
Onboarding new users is a critical step towards the success of your application. There are a number of factors to consider when designing an onboarding screen in order to make the process truly valuable to users.
Key features of a good onboarding screen:
Making financial transactions is a key function of fintech applications. Therefore, great importance should be attached to this function. In addition to making transactions between any card, bank and account, we recommend adding payments for the following items:
It will also be convenient for a modern user if they have reminders about regular payments. This can be either a reminder of the regular payment for mobile services or a reminder of the monthly payment on a loan.
Transactions screen is the main part of your app where your clients can follow their payments and transactions since the very beginning of their using your remittance software.
Also, the transaction feature ought to be organized in detail and include:
Another cool feature for your sending money software is the daily, weekly and monthly expense filter. These categories can be different: by class (food, medical services, traveling, gaming), by date, by the measure of cash (up to $50, $100, more than $250, ect.), etc.
An ATM and branch map may seem like a very basic feature, but you shouldn’t neglect it. The small details show your care for clients. It will be an excellent additional service for your customers. Each user of your application can find an interactive map at the right time and determine the nearest ATM or bank branch. Furthermore, if you add new technologies to make your app more interesting, you can achieve some great results.
You can also gamify this by involving your user in an exciting game to get cashback. For example, you can suggest "Withdraw money from an ATM on street X" or "Get a new card at branch X".
As an addition, you can also create the feature that allows your user to take the line in a bank branch using the application.
Providing the most personalized approach to your clients is the key to your business success. You need to make sure that your customers have 24/7 technical support and can get professional consultation or advice anytime they need it. We’re sure that developing a great customer support system is one of the best ways to become the very bank that clients love and are willing to be part of.
Here are a few key items to make your clients support as user-friendly as possible:
94% of iOS devices support sending mobile push notifications, while among Android devices this figure reaches 99.4%. According to Leanplum, mobile notifications drive 9.6x more users to make in-app purchases. In addition, customers who receive push notifications spend 16% more time inside the app than those who do not receive any notifications on their phone. With the help of mobile notifications, customers can get important here-and-now information such as:
Push notifications can help your sending money software enhance engagement and grow the customer relationship. An effective alert strategy can also help to position your app as the customer’s go-to app for financial services. However, it only takes one incorrect message to make a customer switch off forever. Your client should immediately understand why they are being contacted, and service provider messages must drive positive action.
Coupled with account aggregation technology, push notifications can become smarter, leveraging a user’s financial behavior. This allows your remittance software to transform their existing alerts and notifications feature from a reactive, event-driven service to a proactive personal financial management tool.
Your user can be rewarded for a wide variety of card spending. You can set the conditions by which you can get a good percentage back.
The benefits of cashback include efficiency, the ability to dispose of the return at your own discretion, the ability to form a loyal attitude of consumers towards the company.
The advantages of cash back include:
Cashback is available in a wide variety of locations and for a wide variety of purchases. With a competent approach, it is possible to save significant amounts per year, and then spend them in partner stores or on any other purchases.
QR payments have several advantages over other payment methods for purchases. First of all, they allow you not to carry cash and bank cards with you. All data required for the transaction is available from the payment application.
Implementation of such a function is not a matter of one day. It is necessary to work out the step-by-step placement of application screens for both users and merchants, to carry out serious work with the backend and UI/UX specialists to get a simple flow with minimal steps and maximum benefits. But the costs are justified by the new features.
In the fintech industry, investments and trading are getting more and more popular every day. If you allow your customers to do it with the help of your app, you can improve the user’s experience and create some extra reasons why users should choose you and not other banks.
In the process of mobile banking application development, seven main types of life cycles are used. A typical mobile banking application development cycle is called "cascading" and looks like this.
The key task of this stage is to figure out how clearly formulated the requirements for the project are.
Why are requirements so important? At the start of a banking app development requirements help you to understand what features and functionality will make the banking app useful. If the developers do not receive a complete and clear description of what the program should do, then the result will most likely not please the customer.
Based on the initial requirements, a preliminary design estimate is prepared. Also at this stage you can clarify the clauses of the contract, approve the payment procedure and all the important details of work.
To ensure that you have the same understanding of the result with the development team, the goals and functions of the product, a business analyst is included in the project.
The purpose of the stage is to collect your requirements for a mobile banking application and translate them into the development language. The list of tasks of a business analyst varies depending on the scale of the project and the degree of elaboration of the initial requirements.
The aim of the design phase is to make the banking app pleasant, understandable and user-friendly.
At this stage, the designer actively interacts with the business analyst. Together they create a design based on a prepared set of materials. The designer is responsible for how the fintech app interface will look and react to user actions. For this, a screen map, graphic elements, and a detailed prototype are created, taking into account various use cases.
Next, the front-end developer works with the layout. Their task is to "animate" the layouts of designers so as to get an interface with which the user can interact. They makeup interface elements, logically and functionally linking screens to each other using HTML markup, CSS stylesheet, programming languages, frameworks and libraries.
The result of the work is static pages of the future site, laid out exactly according to the layouts. While working on the client-side of the user interface, the frontend team prepares requirements for backend developers.
The task of back-end mobile banking application development is to make sure that the response from the server reaches the client and the designed blocks function as desired. Another task is creating a convenient and safe environment for filling and updating content on the site for the customer.
Testing is necessary to ensure that all pieces of the banking app perform as expected.
QA engineers should first of all check compliance with the design, technical specifications, prepare test documentation, conduct manual and automated testing. All this helps to check the work of different software parts of fintech app and to minimize bugs.
QA engineers get to work when you submit requirements for a banking app or part of it, for which the development team is responsible. Before testing a project, testers analyze the documentation, clarify requirements, and participate in discussions during development.
When the product has already been tested, you get ready to deploy on the server fintech app. Also, the development team can help you choose a server and configure it.
To build a banking app that stands out from a large number of competitors, it is important to make it technically sound and really helpful when it comes to solving the problems of your consumers. But what is banking app development cost?
Banking app development cost for iOS or Android is determined by two main criteria.
The assessment takes place in two stages:
1. Preliminary, free cost estimate. Although the preliminary estimate is called rough, it allows you to accurately find out the required amount of investment required to create an application before signing any contracts. That is, you can get it within 1-2 days, for free.
2. The exact price for the application development. A more accurate assessment of the price list of application development is supported by an agreement, which fixes the terms and stages of work with a detailed description of the final result.
There are also cases when, during the development process, with an increase in the depth of understanding, a rethinking of the original task occurs, which can affect the final cost. That is, nuances arise that could not be foreseen before, and decisions are made to remove something from the primary list as unnecessary or add something to it, especially when unique applications are created that have no analogues.
It's good if the company has already built apps with similar functionality. In this case, the answer to the question "What is banking app development cost?" will be more accurate than if the developers had no experience in such applications.
Below you can see the price table for building a banking app MVP based on the average hourly rate in Eastern Europe:
You can make a more detailed calculation of creating an online banking app in a specially Price and Time Estimator.
Geniusee fintech app development expertise began with the development of online wallets. Then blockchain technologies were added in projects for the development of cryptocurrency exchanges, investments and trading. Now we are focused on banking services, payment systems and cryptocurrency exchanges. In development, we use NoSQL, relational databases and mat systems. analysis. The production environment is built using firewalls, web server load balancing and database replication to ensure fault tolerance and performance. You can find our successful fintech software projects in our Portfolio.
What do we offer:
Such online banking apps like Monzo and Revolut are digital banks that are inherently more flexible, more responsive to consumer needs, more customer-friendly and more personalized than traditional banks. Their biggest advantage is that they start right from the digital platform with the latest technology.
Therefore, traditional banks will very soon need to figure out how to meet this challenge and Monzo and Revolut can be a good example to follow.
This article provides a general overview of mobile banking application development like Revolut or Monzo and answers the question how to develop a fintech app. Each client task is unique and requires careful study and evaluation. Fill out ‘Contact Us’ form, that is at the bottom of the page, and get free consultation with Geniusee specialists and find how to create a banking application in Android or IOS. We will help you to more accurately determine the stack of technologies required for the development, the required amount of time and the cost for creating your future remittance software application.
And remember - the more often a customer uses your bank, the more you earn. And a mobile application is the shortest way to a modern client's heart.
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