Neobank development goes beyond creating a standard app. It's about delivering an entire suite of services with the highest levels of security, efficient architecture, a visually appealing interface, and top-notch user experience - all wrapped in one to deliver an excellent experience to users.
In this post, we address the question of how to create a neobank and review the key steps of the process.
Regulatory compliances and standards
Fintechs, and neobanks in particular, in most countries, are regulated by national financial regulators. So, how to create a neobank that complies with security standards? First of all, you should learn about the regulatory environment in your target market's countries. You may need to be aware of and follow such regulations as PSD2, PCI-DSS, GDPR, AML, and others. Handling this aspect is a crucial part of neobank engineering, as your team will need to follow the compliance requirements. Besides, it's important to have spare resources to put to the task of regulatory compliance on an everyday basis. It's because regulations are prone to changes, so you need to stay vigilant not to miss anything and adapt instantly.
A banking license
You may ask yourself, how to create a neobank legally? Securing a license for your neobank allows you to provide banking services legally. Thus, before diving into neobank engineering, it's best to explore the types of licenses you may need to pursue. Each of them serves a certain purpose, for example, you may require to obtain a license to provide consumer credits and accept deposits. To select a suitable banking license, define your business needs and objectives and find out which type of license you can apply for in your location. Common types of banking licenses for neobanks may include the following:
- A full banking license: You can obtain it to deliver general banking services, including accepting customer deposits and issuing loans.
- Fintech licenses: These licenses enable your company to deliver services or products without physical branches.
- A payment service provider: Approved by National Competent Authorities (NCAs), they allow neobanks to offer digital payment services under their responsibility.
How to create a neobank that will attract clients in droves? It's crucial to carry out marketing research preemptively to see what kind of solutions are already there. You can use the SWAT analysis to understand where you can do better than your competition. As an outcome of this step, you should find a niche your future neobank will embrace. The good news is that the market of neobanks is far from being oversaturated, so you stand an excellent chance to tap into the market with an original product.
Neobanks gravitate towards mobile technologies, such as iOS and Android. Based on your market research, you can define which platform your target audience prefers. When it comes to neobank development, you'll probably face the question of native vs. cross-platform development. How to create a neobank for an iOS platform? You should add specialists in such programming languages as Objective-C or Swift. If your target audience prefers Android, your goal is to build a team of Java or Kotlin developers.
How to create a neobank for multiple platforms? To reach a broader market, you can launch cross-platform app development. Developers build such applications using a combination of web and native technologies, including Flutter, React Native, Xamarin, etc.
The outcome of this step is to define the set of technologies your future team is going to apply. For example, your neobank development can be based on the following set of technologies:
- Backend: Node.js, Java, Python, etc;
- Database: MySQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, etc;
- Mobile: Swift, Objective-C, Kotlin, Java, Flutter, React Native, Xamarin;
- Cloud: G Cloud, AWS, or Azure.
READ ALSO: Cloud Computing in Banking: Everything you Should Know
The next important step is building an expert team that knows how to create a neobank from the ground up using the technologies we mentioned above.
For neobank development, you require a team of software developers specialized in creating financial solutions. A standard team to build a neobank may consist of the following specialists:
- A project manager;
- Backend developers;
- Android developers (Java or Kotlin);
- iOS developers (Swift or Objective-C);
- Hybrid development specialists (if you go with hybrid development);
- Quality Assurance specialists;
- UI/UX designer(s).
To build a team like that, you can go with hiring locally or choose other options, such as neobank development services that assume building a remote unit in the following way:
- Augmenting your existing staff with missing skills;
- Setting up a remote team in offshore locations, such as Eastern Europe or Latin America;
- Using a "turn-key" service where your neobank will be executed by an outsourced squad.
If you go with a team augmentation or a remote team model, nCube can help you make the most of it by building your neobank engineering unit according to your needs. Acting as your neobank development service, we can add specialists with the competencies required to deliver a neobank. Companies like Life360, Flightright, Encore Capital, and many more chose us to build their stand-alone delivery branches where we act as a provider of a sustainable app development team.
READ ALSO: How to Build a Fintech App
How to create a neobank that appeals to your users? The design stage is crucial to reach this goal. With that in mind, strive to build a beautiful and intuitive user interface (UI) to ensure high levels of engagement. Your UI/UX designer is a key person who will be responsible for creating your neobank's brand and experience, from the color theme, menu structure, icons, and buttons to the logic behind the user experience, which should be straightforward and aimed at user engagement. Another crucial task of a UX/UI designer (and your marketing unit) is to define the characters of users, describe the user story, and draw up a customer journey map. These aspects will affect your neobank development process and its success.
At this point, your team can dive into creating a prototype of your neobank based on the created design. Without a prototype, it can be difficult to engineer a neobank that will meet your requirements and expectations. A well-defined prototyping process, on the other hand, lets you get a taste of the future product and ensure it ties back to the right logic and ensures stellar user experience. After the prototype is ready, you and your team can validate it.
How to create a neobank your users will fall in love with? A good practice is to start with a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). It's a no-frills version of your product that consists of only key features that allow the app to function properly. An MVP is a useful tool to test the waters and see if it's a good fit for your target audience, without wasting time building complex functionality your users may not appreciate. The main features of a neobank are as follows:
- Sign up/log in. How do you want your users to access your neobank? It's best to provide several options to authorize, for example, via Google, email, or their accounts on social media. To enhance security, it's important to provide two-factor authentication to verify the identities of your users, including a code sent to the user's smartphone, fingerprints, face ID, etc.
- Home. This is the introductory screen from which the user can access their cards, balance info, and other functions your neobank provides.
- History. This screen displays all payments that have been recorded, to allow users to track their spending and income. It should give an idea about the amount, recipient and sender info, and the time/date of the payment.
- Saving. Your users may want to use your neobank to save some money for a rainy day. With that in mind, you can add a Round Up feature in your neobank, which when turned on will round up the debit card spend to the nearest dollar and send the spare change to their savings account.
The biggest value of an MVP is that you can see how early users react to your neobank, analyze their feedback and improve the product to ensure a better experience later.
READ ALSO: How to Find the Best Financial Software Development Company
Testing your MVP helps you see your product in action and understand if its logic is properly implemented and straightforward and analyze how users interact with your neobank. This stage is important to understand if your product has any gaps and allows you to spot areas for improvement. After the testing stage, you may want to take your time to alter your product to improve it.
At this stage, your team should translate your MVP into a full-fledged product within a full-cycle software development process that includes the following steps:
How to create a neobank properly? It's a good practice to begin with structuring and documenting the product requirements, including tech stack, product features, and team roles. The outcome of this step is the scope of work with milestones and deadlines.
- Neobank development
At this stage, the tech team rolls up their sleeves and writes code for all the neobank elements, using documentation.
Your Quality Assurance team puts the code to test using a variety of methods to ensure all software elements are properly executed and the product is bug-free.
- Production Deployment
The team deploys a product in the production environment. After that, the users can access it, and your team can collect their feedback, uncover gaps and improve the product.
The team supports the product till it goes defunct, including bug fixes, improvements, etc.
According to a PwC report, users appreciate neobanks more than traditional banks because they offer a more secure service. Neobank development specifically emphasizes securing user data with modern technologies and adapting to emerging threats as fast as possible.
Your neobank will store and process sensitive data and personal info of users, so it's essential to go the extra mile to ensure the utmost data security and privacy. How to create a neobank with the highest levels of security? Your team should design and implement such staples of security as two-factor authentication, data encryption, and biometrics (fingerprint recognition or face recognition). For security purposes, your neobank can also enable users to block their cards and set up a PIN.
READ ALSO: How Digital Banking Software Development Changes Financial Services
Final stage: Continuous improvement
Your neobank development process doesn't end after it has gained the first users: Your team will continue to improve your product, and should do so consistently. To that end, a full-fledged tech team is required. We at nCube can build your tech unit specialized in native or cross-platform technologies. The engineers we provide can dive into neobank development from scratch or design and develop new features as well as have your back when it comes to continuous improvement. Let's connect.