How to Create a Mobile Banking App?

Fact: by 2019 mobile banking users will represent 32% of the global adult population.

The question is whether your institution is ready for the shift towards mobile banking?

So far we have noticed that the growth in mobile banking usage has exceeded most of the banks’ expectations. Only a few large national banks are offering great experience to their customers, while the rest are now doing the “catching up” and finally placing mobile banking application development on top of their agendas.

If you are among the latter, this guide is for you. Below are the tips to develop a secure, intuitive and anticipated mobile banking app for your customers.

Understand What Drives The Mobile Banking Usage In The First Place

To get an accurate project cost quote from mobile banking app developers, you’ll need to come up with a list of product specifications first. Or simply speaking – a list of features you’d want for your app. Of course, those features should be based on the actual user demands, rather than your educated guesses.

Forrester recently investigated some of the common behavioral patterns among the mobile banking apps users:

  • 87% of respondents use the app to check their bank account balances and 74% to review a recent bank transaction.
  • Users, who opted to receive account alerts log into their app two more days per month, compared to those who opted out.
  • Yet, 90% of consumers admit that they opted out of receiving notifications as most of them are rather useless.

According to another survey conducted by The Financial Brand, you should build a mobile banking app with the following user needs in mind:

 

In general, before developing a mobile banking app, you should take the time to survey your customer base and narrow down the list of the most requested features. Then rank them regarding priority if your app development budgets are tight.

Settle on The Optimal Mobile Platform

Do you want to develop a banking app for Android or iOS first? That’s the next question you’ll receive from the developers.

Let’s weigh in on the pros and cons of each platform:

  • Android’s smartphone market share has hit 2% in Q2 2016. In October 2016 Android has constituted 75.2$ of EU5 smartphone sales, while iOS has accounted for 21.2%.
  • Yet, Apple still has more supporters in some of the highest paying markets including Japan (51.7% of smartphone sales), The UK (44%) and the US (40.5%).

Device Atlas has created a great map illustrating, where each platform prevails:

Now, let’s take a look at how the cost to develop a mobile banking application varies depending on the platform:

  • To build an Android app, developers should write 40% more code and tend to spend 28% more time working on the project in general.
  • The timeline extends mainly due to larger device fragmentation (there are some 1,500+ different Android gadgets on the market right now) and additional product/testing and debugging.
  • The app development price may also be higher if you choose to support older Android OS (as users tend to forget to update their gadgets in a timely manner).

iOS app development services usually take less time, especially if you choose to design an iPhone or iPad only app. And most Apple fans tend to keep their gadgets updates to the latest OS, which again reduces the timeline and the costs.

Plan For The Advanced Security

The biggest consumer barriers to m-banking adoption are the security concerns. In fact, 55% of consumers surveyed by Gallup admitted that they avoid using mobile financial solutions as they have doubts about the safety features.

Custom mobile apps for banks should ooze security. However, you’ll also need to strike a balance between those advanced security measures and the product’s usability. Here are a few tips for that:

  • You can enable Touch ID authentication to reduce the friction of typing passwords. The feature is also available for new MacBook Pros.
  • Log-out users automatically after N-minutes of inactivity.
  • Ask users to provide the password only to assess certain functionality (e.g. make a payment), and allow no password access for N minutes to popular features like viewing account balance.
  • Urge users to update the app regularly.
  • Implement additional security measures and authorization if the user suddenly accesses the app from an unusual location (without prior informing the bank). For instance, send one-time text passwords instead of asking to type in the app pass.
  • Always inform them about the important transactions via text/emails.
  • Allow users to set limits on payment transfers through the app.
  • Clearly state where your official mobile banking app can be downloaded as there were already some 65000 of malicious banking apps reported around the web.
  • Do not allow using and installing your apps on rooted devices as that increases the security risks.

If you have the budgets, biometrical authentication is rapidly becoming a new trend in mobile banking app development.

This year TD Bank Group and MasterCard decided to partner with Nymi – an innovative authentication solution provider. Together, they have developed a pilot wearable device that would authenticate payment transactions using the user’s unique heartbeat rate. Their pilot transaction has proved to be successful.

Design a Minimalistic and Attractive UX

The best route to ensure high user adoption is to ensure that your app is easy-to-use. And that seems to be not-so-common with mobile banking apps.

For instance, making a mobile deposit is quite challenging with certain banks:

Here are a few ideas to create a stellar user experience within your app:

  • Test, test, test. Before you roll out a new update or a new feature test your product ruthlessly. A few negative comments on the App Store can alienate a large number of users.
  • Offer customization based on frequent transactions. Create hotkey access shortcuts and feature the most commonly used features prominently on the main screen.
  • Personalization is important. Let users opt-in and out of the notifications/content, they wish to receive.
  • Include rich interactions and account for common mobile gestures like pinch, swipe, and rotate movements.

What Are The Mobile Banking App Development Costs?

So, what should you expect to pay for a good-looking and well-functioning mobile banking app?

According to Exicon, 15 of the leading US banks have spent over $80 million on developing some 606 mobile banking apps. That is roughly $132.000 for one business app.

Of course, there are no two same projects and the development costs will vary depending on:

  • The platform
  • Requested features
  • The region you choose to outsource to/local developers’ salaries.

The development timeline, according to Finextra report, is usually between 6 and 12 month (45% of respondents). Yet, 28% of banks manage to deploy an app in less than six months, while 22% need over a year to build a comprehensive solution.

About Author

Slava Bushtruk is CEO+Founder of Alty, Inc. He’s been in software and app development for nearly a decade with over 75 successful projects under his belt, ranging from startups to enterprise clients. You can connect with him on LinkedIn or shoot a quick hi at [email protected]

How Long Does it Take to Make an App?

Planning to build an app? Let’s talk about how much will it cost and how long will it take to build a mobile app.

Planning to build an app?

Let me guess the two burning questions you have – how much will it cost and how long will it take to build it?

I wish I could look at your product description and immediately state the app development timeline, accurate up to one day. But that’s not how things work.

Yet, having worked in a mobile app development company for nearly a decade, I can tell you in details what goes into determining the project scope and the respective time required to build a certain product.

How Long Does It Take To Make An App: 3 Key Determinants

Time is often the most critical factor for startups. And your first question should be – do I want to build a full-feature product or an MVP to present the concept to potential investors and validate the business concept with the actual users?

Obviously, the time to make an app will vary accordingly. MVPs take on average 2 to 4 months to develop. Full feature products may take between 4 and 18 months, again, the exact number largely depends on the requested features, technology, and some other product specs.

So let’s start with the basics for determining the app development timeline:

Industry Scope

Before hiring the developers to build your custom app, you’ll need to do some homework too aka scrutinize your target audience.

Why does it matter so much?

For starters, it will help you refine your app concept and answer the next key questions required to determine the exact project timeline:

  • Which platform and device range will I target? Do you want to build an iPhone app only, or launch an Android version as well? What kinds of devices are more popular within my target market?
  • Who’s my competition? What kind of features does their product offer? Do I plan to build the same ones or offer additional perks?
  • What features does my target audience need in the first place? If you are aiming at an MVP, you should cut down the list to the key top-5s.

Now, how does that correlate with the time and costs?

According to the Next Web, building a Pinterest-like MVP will cost you around $120, 000 and will take 6+ months.

Building a simpler version, for instance, the one that allows curated link submissions sans images and without an external “Pin it” add-on, will cost you half the price and take between 3-4 months.

Bottom line: Don’t let the scope creep roll in. If you need to build an app fast, refine your features list to the bare minimum; validate your assumptions with the target audience and hire a proficient team in your domain (aka people who have already developed similar products and know exactly what they are doing).

Platform and Device Range

Deciding whether you should build an iOS or Android app first can be crippling, especially if your target audience uses both kinds of devices.

Here are some tips to help you make the right decision:

The mobile app development timeline for Android apps is 10-20% longer compare to iOS. The reasons are quite simple:

  • Due to Android’s open-source nature, apps require more testing prior to releasing.
  • Currently, there are over 12,000 types of Android devices out there, meaning you have to either design for a large number of screens or settle for supporting only a certain range of devices.
  • Android users, unlike iOS, don’t upgrade regularly to the latest OS, meaning additional complexity blends in to support older OS.

Probably, that’s the answer why 30% of the 50 top paid and 50 top free iPad apps are not available for Android as well.

how-long-does-it-take-to-create-mobile-app

Yet, building an Android app certainly makes sense if you plan to tap into a larger international market. After all, there are three Android users in the world for each iOS user. If you wish to scrap large demographics with a free/freemium product, building an Android app first certainly makes more sense.

The Most Time-Consuming App Development Elements

Clutch has made a rather accurate timeline breakdown of various app features, which you can use as a cheat-sheet for your project:

 timeline breakdown of various app features,

Additionally, I’d like to comment on widest variables in terms of price.

App Design

The prettier you want your app to be – the longer this stage will take. Graphical apps with custom animations and transitions can take well beyond 14 hours to draft. If we are talking about games, the number can go up to 30-40 hours.

Hence, opting for a sleek minimalistic look and asking the design team to user existing design patterns versus creating custom ones can be your best bet.

App Scalability and Backend

If we are talking about a social networking app, for instance, scalability is essential. Facebook uses well-supported MySQL and PostgresQL databases for structured data and those may take longer to develop.

As a powerful alternative, though, you can opt for a noSQL database like MongoDB, which is equally robust but takes less time to integrate.

Admin Portal and/or CMS To Manage The App

Again, depending on the type of the product you may need a simpler or more complex admin panel to overview the relationships and processes within your app. Do inquire about the best tools and tech stack to use for your product in advance.

Final Words

So how long does it take to build a mobile app? The short answer is – 2 to 4 weeks for simple projects and at least 6 months for more complicated products.

Yet you should always remember that you can only pick the two elements from this triangle:

how-long-does-it-take-to-create-mobile-app-3

You can build a great app fast, but it will likely cost you a lot.

Or you can get a cheap and well-made one, but it will take much longer.

And there are always chances that a cheap app built at supersonic speed may end up being quite a mess.

Hence, set your priorities accordingly and seek for faster development options through refining your project scope, rather than reducing the research or testing timeline.


About the author

Slava Bushtruk is CEO+Founder of Alty, Inc. He’s been in software and app development for nearly a decade with over 75 successful projects under his belt, ranging from startups to enterprise clients. You can connect with him on LinkedIn or shoot a quick hi at[email protected].  Tech Blog and Website