From peer-to-peer payments and digital loans to Insurtech, cryptocurrency, and crowdfunding platforms – the Fintech industry is blooming. In a thriving market like this, a special place belongs to Fintech apps. More friendly and nimble than traditional financial services, they have secured their place in the daily routine of many people.
User-friendly, helpful, and secure Fintech apps always appeal to customers, even in a highly competitive market. This post addresses the question of how to build a Fintech app, including key steps and some essential elements of software development worth considering while building a Fintech app.
How to develop a Fintech app: Key steps
The process of building a Fintech app varies from company to company, but there are some steps you should take to end up with a secure and reliable Fintech app.
Step 1. Launch market research
So, how to develop a Fintech app your users will love? Start by doing research – dive deeper into the market and identify less competitive segments. Going into a saturated market often requires coming up with new ways of creating value. Whichever strategy you choose, this step can be laborious, but it's impossible to build a great Fintech product without thorough market and competitor research.
Market research will help you elaborate a concept of your Fintech product, including its key features. Some best practices here may include the SWOT analysis and user persona research. Based on this, you will decide on the type of gadgets (smartphone, tablet, or wearables) as well as the operating system(s) you will build your Fintech app for.
How to build a useful Fintech app? Such apps understand the customer and realize the problems they may face. The main question your market research should cover is how your app can help your users solve their problems. It's a good idea to use the 5 Whys methodology, in which you can identify the needs of your target market by answering a set of questions. For example, you can start by answering the most general question: "Why do the users need your app?" The answer can be: To pay instantly. Then you follow with the next reasonable "Why:" "Why do they need to pay instantly?," and so on. Answering a set of such questions can help you outline a slew of must-have features that will address your users' pains.
Step 2. Create tech requirements
How to develop a Fintech app properly? It's important to select the right stack of tools, including technologies for the interface and server side as well as the types of APIs and databases you’re going to use. Choosing the wrong programming language or tools can negatively impact your app’s security, scalability, and performance. Moreover, given that Fintech apps gravitate towards mobile technologies, chances are you will be faced with the question of native vs. cross-platform development. You can go with native technologies (Swift or Objective-C, Java or Kotlin) when building a Fintech app for iOS and Android, respectively. Alternatively, you can apply cross-platform technologies (React, Flutter, Xamarin, etc) to build platform-agnostic solutions.
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The outcome of this step should be a detailed technology requirements documentation your team will use when building a Fintech app. It should outline the features of your app and delivery milestones. To create a proper document you will require Fintech development talent who knows how to build a Fintech app, which brings us to the next step.
Step 3. Assemble a team of Fintech application developers
Selecting a stack of technologies is only one part of building a Fintech app. This venture requires a diverse team to address all aspects of software development. Fintech apps have industry-specific architecture and compliance requirements, which makes the process different from developing any other kind of app. Sourcing developers with relevant skills and experience will benefit the entire process as they know the ins and outs of Fintech development.
As a company that builds Fintech teams (among other types of teams), we can say that it takes a coordinated team effort to build a Fintech app. For example, our team helped Encore Capital design and develop a debt management web platform and mobile app. Based on our experience, a full-fledged squad of Fintech application developers may include the following skillsets:
- A software architect;
- A UX/UI specialist;
- Android Developers (Java, Kotlin, Android Studio, etc.);
- iOS Developers (Swift/Objective-C);
- Quality Assurance unit;
- A DevOps engineer.
When it comes to building your tech unit, you can go with a local team or choose from other options that imply remote development, such as:
- Extending your existing team with skills you lack on-site;
- Building a remote team in nearshore or offshore zone;
- Using a "turn-key" solution executed by an outsourced team.
If you go with a team extension or a remote team model, nCube can help you make the most of it by sourcing Fintech application developers from Eastern Europe or Latin America.
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Step 4. Build first versions
How to build a Fintech app and validate your idea fast? Use the MVP approach. A team of Fintech application developers will create the first versions of your Fintech app, which will help you test the waters and see early users’ reactions. Based on this, you will be able to identify and improve the logic of the app and resolve any inconsistencies before you move on to adding more features and building a full-blown version.
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Step 5. Take care of Quality Assurance
Another critical question is how to develop a Fintech app properly. It's impossible without testing its parts using various approaches. While the methods of Quality Assurance vary, they all share a common ground – to ensure that it functions properly and is understandable, secure, and easy to use.
- Security testing
How to develop a Fintech app and meet security regulations? The answer is security testing. With that in mind, your team of Fintech application developers and Quality Assurance specialists should prioritize identifying vulnerabilities and eliminating them early on.
- Automation testing
Testing and improving a Fintech app is a continuous process that should be baked into your team’s daily routine. With that in mind, it’s best to automate Quality Assurance using a set of tools to get rid of the laborious process of manual app testing.
- Load testing
Another important aspect for the QA team to handle is load testing. It’s executed to ensure that what you're building is a product that can fare well when the data volume increases unexpectedly. With load testing, your Fintech application developers will identify potential bottlenecks and eliminate them.
- Regression testing
Chances are you’ll continue improving your Fintech app during its entire lifecycle. When the codebase is in flux, regression testing helps you to ensure that the Fintech app you’re building is secure each time the code is altered.
- Database testing
Fintech apps are associated with complex transactions, so checking if the database works correctly is a must. This kind of testing includes load testing to see how well the database can handle increasing volumes of data as your Fintech app scales.
- Multiplatform testing
Many Fintech apps are built for multiple operating systems, so it is crucial to test for compatibility with each. Be it an iOS, Android, or a cross-platform solution, your Quality Assurance team needs to ensure compatibility for all.
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Step 6. Ensure infrastructure security
The protection of the entire infrastructure is critical and should be made your priority. If your servers are hacked, your customer’s data is at risk of being stolen. Thus, taking care of your Fintech app's security includes a mix of stringent protocols and cybersecurity measures, including the following:
- Multi-factor authentification (MFA)
Relying solely on the password strength of your users is not the wisest of security solutions. When building a Fintech app, it’s best to implement multi-level authentification (MFA): A process that requires the user to provide two or more verification factors to gain access to the app. Another reason is that the majority of security regulations declare MFA as a must to ensure a high level of compliance.
- Data encryption
Like MFA, data encryption is a requirement when you address the question of how to build a Fintech app securely. Encryption protects the user's data from prying eyes. Combined with other measures, it guarantees the utmost security, which also increases the trust of your users.
- Firewalls and antivirus solutions
Using a combination of firewalls and antivirus solutions turns your app into Fort Knox. Modern firewalls are known for warding off all kinds of cyber threats. The infrastructure of your Fintech app should also be protected with a powerful antivirus solution so it doesn’t fall victim to viruses or spy programs.
- Real-time threat detection
Real-time monitoring ensures that you will react to the threat instantaneously, as opposed to hours without a real-time solution.
- APIs protection
Building an effective and robust Fintech app requires using APIs, which may become a target for cybercriminals. To protect your APIs, it's best to use a digital signature or authentication tokens and proactively detect and eliminate APIs vulnerabilities.
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Building a Fintech app: Final step
Now that you've built your Fintech app, time for the final step – its launch. Your team of Fintech application developers will help you publish your app and optimize it for the app store of your choice so it reaches your market faster.
We believe that having a team who understands the nuts and bolts of Fintech is key to building a great Fintech app. nCube can help you set up an experienced and skilled unit of Fintech application developers. Let's connect.