How to Build a Financial App – A Definitive Guide

finance management software (2)

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How to build a financial app – a definitive guide

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What is a personal finance app?

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What are the benefits of personalized money management apps?

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Efficiently Organize Finances & Monthly Budget

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Securely Manage Finance

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Helps Make Sound Financial Decisions

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Type of finance apps

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Simple finance apps

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Complex finance apps

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List Of Features To Include In Personal Finance Management Apps

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General features

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Features used in an expense tracking app

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Features In A Money Management App With main Focus On Budget and Bill Organizing

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Tools You Can Use To Make An Intuitive Financial Management App

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Key financial app features to make your finance app a big hit

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Account integration

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Security

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AI algorithms

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AI chatbots for useful advice

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Real-time spending and tracking

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Simplicity

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User experience

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Constant customer support

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Alerts and notifications

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Cross platform functionality

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Personalization

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How to monetize a personal finance app?

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Popular personal finance management apps

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Technology Stack For A Personal Finance Management App

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How Much It Costs To Develop A Personal Finance App?

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Wrapping it up!

The flow of money needs to be controlled whether it is a business or personal life. There can be many easy ways to do it. However, we have come very far from yesterday’s complex accounting systems that were used to track the incomes and expenses. Nowadays, more simpler but efficient and personalized finance apps are proved to be the new solution.

Of course, there are many similar types of projects going on right now but if you do it right, you might have a chance to get in the row of the market leaders. And you have to do nothing more than creating a secure and intuitive financial app with some useful set of features.

Easier said than done. It is a complex problem that needs an extensive and detailed response. Therefore, I decided to write a detailed article on the topic and guide you through the process of how to build a financial app. 

What is a Personal Finance App?

Money management apps are becoming popular, everywhere people are using them to control their monetary cycle. Thanks to the advancements of the mobile programs that calculate the expenses in real-time as the same process was a nightmare in the old days.

It is important to know that whoever builds a personal finance app also has a chance to turn it into a pure source of profit. Many other benefits can be availed too. Let us have a brief look at them.

What Are The Benefits Of Personal Money Management Apps?

Talking about the advantages of creating a finance app, they are as follow:

Efficiently Organize Finances & Monthly Budget

Sometimes people face difficulties keeping track of their expenses, especially on smaller ones. Your personal finance app will not only help you analyze your expenses but also your sources of income which could provide you with enough insights to make an informed financial decision. You can also make necessary changes as a result of the analytics provided by the app after evaluating your financial behavior. 

Securely Manage Finance

Having the exact know-how of personal finances make people feel more confident and secure. This is one of the best advantages of personal finance apps. It alos helps you to manage your money between various categories like must-purchases and occasional luxurious buys. And the same time, keeping a certain amount of your income aside for savings.

Helps Make Sound Financial Decisions

The direct benefit of using a money management app is that it prevents you from making any impulsive purchase. The application is used for planning your monthly budgets, funds distribution, and mitigating the risk of wasting money.

In this way, a personal finance app is helpful to you for saving money and get the necessary things done instead of wasting that money in the wrong places.

Types of finance apps

There are many different kinds of financial management software available in the market but all of them can basically be divided into two parts as mentioned below:

  1. simple applications which require manual data entry;
  2. complex services that automate the entry process (and have several other benefits, which we’re mentioning below).

Simple Finance Apps

An app that has a simpler interface for money management is called a simple finance app. In this, the user just has to enter all the data related to their spending manually. And then the application will categorize your expenses and keep a tab on them. It also helps you to plan large purchases and more.

Cons:

  • the human factor increases the risk of mistakes (among other things, a person may be too lazy to enter the data);
  • significant time costs.

Pros:

  • security (as bank cards are not linked to these applications);
  • a simpler (and therefore cheaper) personal finance app development process.

A Piece of Advice:

If you are entering the data manually somehow it needs to be redeemed. This can be done using an effective and intuitive interface design for the finance application. UI/UX is one of the most important operations of the app development process.

So it is not necessary that money management being a complex problem needs a complex situation. You can build a simple solution and offer the services with an option of manual entry. Even famous brands are opting to develop money management applications simply, for example, Wally.

Hence, it is recommended that you act and adopt the approach considering your business requirements.

Complex Finance Apps

The complex finance apps is an advanced version of the simple personal finance app. The user’s accounts and the bank card will be linked to the app program to get the necessary data about every transaction. The process will be completely automatic.

Cons:

  • security is a primary concern because, after all, it’s money that we’re dealing with!
  • the task to build a personal finance app of the 2nd type is a difficult and expensive one (compared to the previous case).

Pros:

  • ease of use, such an application doesn’t force the user to perform unnecessary actions;
  • high efficiency, as relying only on the memory and responsibility of a user isn’t the most reasonable approach.

Helpful advice:

The developers need to work hard specifically on the security of the app and the details of the user’s bank account and transactions. We will discuss later in this article how you can develop a secure personal finance application.

List Of Features To Include In Personal Finance Management Apps

Now, let us look at what kind of features are expected by the people in general from a money management application.

General Features

  • User authorization and account creation
  • Profile with all user details
  • Linking to bank accounts and credit cards
  • Track transactions and view history
  • Double-entry bookkeeping accounting system
  • Secure Passcode (Pin, Fingerprint Sensor, OTP via Mail & SMS Authentication)
  • View financial statistics and analytical reports for a specific time period
  • Manage Spending categories & Sub Category like “food”, “travel”, “clothing” etc.
  • Search & Filter expenses by category, payment method, status, description, tag, etc.
  • Backup/Restore & Synchronization: Auto backup on Dropbox, Google Drive, and Cloud, Automatic sync between multiple devices
  • Connect to PC and use all features via desktop app
  • Manage Investments: Mutual Funds, Real estate investments, Stocks

Features Used In An Expense Tracking App

  • Track expenses, allowances, and incomes
  • Track Multiple bank accounts
  • Scan receipts and bills
  • Manage taxation
  • Track liabilities or debts like loans and credit card EMI’s
  • Parsing SMS messages of Credit/Debit Card and bank
  • Export income and expense report to email, excel sheet, HTML, CSV, and PDF
  • View expense reports via desktop app
  • Bookmark function for frequent expenses

Features In A Money Management App With main Focus On Budget and Bill Organizing

  • Bills organized based on categories, week, month, and year
  • Manage & Schedule Recurring Payments: Credit card payment, Electricity & Water Bills Payment, Mortgage, fines, IRA investment, etc.
  • Send alerts via Push Notifications: future bill payments, Change of cost standard, Low-balance alert, etc.
  • Manage daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly budget
  • View expenses and income on a calendar

Tools You Can Use To Make An Intuitive Financial Management App

  • Currency converter
  • In-App Calculator
  • Loan calculator
  • Credit card payoff calculator
  • Interest calculator
  • Create Notes on Calendar
  • Create a Shopping list

Key financial app features to make your finance app a big hit

1.  Account integration

The primary or the major task of financial software is to accumulate all financial accounts of the user including credit cards, debit cards, pans, mutual funds, and many more. This will make your personal finance app a one-stop solution for everything related to money management.

2.  Security

It is true that with great powers come great responsibilities. Now, if your finance application is holding all your confidential data then it is also its responsibility to protect it. And this key lesson of business can be learned well from the Fintech companies.

Developing an app and protecting it are two different things. Although many technologies can be used to keep your money safe and secure. These technologies are as described below:

  • Biometric security measurements: In this, the app will be protected using a unique characteristic of a person for example a voice-enabled password or a fingerprint. It will be extremely difficult for someone to steal your money when your money management app is secured using biometric technology.
  • Multi-factor authentication: Sometimes, the hackers or attackers can get through a single barrier of security but if multiple-factor authentication is applied, then it will make their work harder. Two-factor authentication is widely used in modern apps to protect the sensitive information of consumers.
  • Real-time alerts: It is of extreme importance that users are notified of every activity conducted through the app in real-time. The users will gain confidence if they come to know that their personal finance app will send them notifications if anyone is trying to access their sensitive information or their user account.

3.  AI algorithms

In terms of developer app revenue and user engagement AI is transforming the mobile app development industry. With the help of artificial intelligence, you can personalize the user experience. And it can make your personal finance management application more effective.

AI can categorize your expenditures incorporated into your application. It also enables you to classify your costs spent on s[ecific categories like medical, entertainment, investment, groceries, and more. It regularly updates and renders data visualization of your money spent on every category by looking into expenditure analytics.

4.  AI chatbots for useful advice

Do you want access to the all of consumer’s data? AI chatbots are a perfect choice. They make a request to the app and then the app will further analyze and offer suggestions. When the application is tracking your spending habits, the AI chatbots offers you insights into your credit scores. Additionally, it also advises you in managing a budget.

Such AI-based recommendations are helpful with efficient financial management. Therefore, AI-based customer service chatbots are used to imitate human interactions. They are proficient at rendering desirable information in no time.

5.  Real-time spending and tracking

Tracking the expenditures is what the money management app should do. This features come in handy in every personal finance application. This will save you both time and money. It is also necessary that the users don’t have to switch applications to track their investments and expenditure on a single platform effortlessly.

6.  Simplicity

The users mustn’t have to face complexities in the operations of the finance app as it involves very crucial details. There is one popular rule implied in the industry. It is said that a customer should be able to reach wherever they want in just three simple taps. So, remember the three clicks rule in your mind while you build the application.

7.  User experience

One of the primary reasons why an app leads to a downfall is that developers are very focused on building an app that they sometimes sidetrack the need for elegant design. It is recommended that developers should maintain the balance between the design and functionality of the application. It is hard but if you want to build a successful app, it is possible.

Build on a complex subject, a finance app must have a user-friendly design that leads to a better customer satisfaction rate. To develop an app with an enhanced user experience, you must know your target audience and their preferences. Your approach to app development should also be user-centric.

The user experience of an application is the deciding factor whether the customers are willing to use your app or not. Therefore, the finance management app you develop makes sure it is easy to use and navigate. That can easily boost your business growth.

8.  Constant customer support

Every customer today wants 24*7 customer support services and it is a basic requirement when it comes IT industry. This will not only keep your customers loyal but if you provide services in different languages then you can attract the global clientele.

9.  Alerts and notifications

Alerts ad notifications are one of the most basic but significant features of any application, finance is no different. They help the users in the following cases:

  • More expenditure
  • Low balance in the account
  • Upcoming bills to be paid
  • Great deals for investment or savings

10. Cross-Platform Functionality

Cross-platform functionality means that you don’t have to build your app from the scratch every time for a new platform. A single app is flexible to operate on every available or necessary platform. In terms of a finance app, this is a great feature. All the proceedings are streamlined to help the users to save time and effort.

11. Personalization

To offer financial solutions and that too personalized, it is required for an app to gather an adequate amount of user information. In short, your application can be called the personal finance app only if it can offer personalized solutions regarding your finance.

It is also necessary for you to know that while many can develop the apps on their own – as a one-man army, depending on the scale of an app and complexities – a large team is needed. So, if you are thinking of something similar, make sure that your financial app development company employs a team of the following:

  • Business analysts
  • Product owners and managers
  • UI/UX designers
  • Developers
  • QA testers

How to monetize a personal finance app?

It is impossible to relate these two terms – free and revenue. Apart from providing a stellar solution, one of the primary objectives of building a personal finance app is to make money. So, it is time to address the question of how to earn money from your fintech app?

  • In-app purchases: Through this strategy, you allow the users to use the basic version of your app for free while you offer the premium features of the application in a paid version. The premium features may include an advanced version, a course on finance, or some latest functionalities that will be appreciated by the consumers.
  • Integration with third-party services: Through this, you allow the users to give access to the third party that is relatable to the business. It is advantageous as it can increase the usability, functionality, and ultimately the audience of your app.
  • In-app ads: The easiest way to make money through your app is In-app ads. However, developers should take care that there aren’t any banners that pop up too frequently in the app. As it can be frustrating for the user.

Popular Personal Finance Management Apps

There are many well-known and widely used money management app, the names of some of them are given below:

  • Acorns – Invest Spare Change
  • Qapital – Smart Personal Finance Manager
  • Albert – Budget, Save, Invest
  • Mint – Budget, Bills & Finance Tracker
  • You Need A Budget (YNAB)
  • Walnut – Money Manager & Expense Tracker App

Technology Stack For A Personal Finance Management App

  • Marketing Stack: Google AdMob, Google Tag Manager, Mailchimp, Google Sign-In, Mandrill, Segment
  • Developer Stack: PHP, NGINX, Bootstrap, Amazon Cloudfront, Adobe Flash, Angular JS, Apache Commons, CoffeeScript, EmberJS, Github, Google Maps, HTML 5, Node.js, Play Framework, PostgreSQL, RawGit, ReactiveX, Ruby on Rails,
    SQLite, Stylus, TypeScript, jQuery
  • iOS mobile app: Swift, Objective-C
  • Backend/API: Ruby, .NET, Postgre DB
  • Admin panel: React, Angular, jQuery
  • Analytics & Data Science Stack: Amplitude, Google Analytics, VWO
  • DevOps & IT Stack: Jira, Bugcrowd, Cloudflare, Comodo SSL, Crashlytics, ExpressionEngine, Fabric, Facebook Comments, Gravatar, Heroku, Jenkins, Phusion Passenger, Rollbar, Wistia, Zencoder
  • Productivity & Operations Stack: G Suite, Google Drive, Google Hangouts, Slack
  • Product & Design Stack: Font Awesome, Trello, clipboard.js
  • Customer Support & Success Stack: Forumbee, Intercom, Help Scout
  • Finance & Accounting Stack: Recurly, Square
  • Other Stack: 1Password, TripActions, Mixpanel, ClickTale

How Much It Costs To Develop A Personal Finance App?

The costs to develop an app depend on a lot of factors. In the case of finance, the following should be considered:

  • App Features
  • Location of the development team
  • App Design
  • App Complexity
  • Third-Party Integrations
  • Certifications & Compliances
  • Development Platform (iOS, Android, or Hybrid)
  • Duration of the development project
  • Tools & Technologies used
  • Size of the app development team (Project Manager, Developers, Designers, Testers)
  • Maintenance & Support

If you consider all the above-mentioned factors to develop an app with basic features and a simple interface that too for a single platform, then it can cost approximately around $30000. But if you are thinking to build an app with advanced features, third-party integration, and for enabled for multiple platforms the approximate cost will be around $60000.

Still, it should be noticed that the cost of app development highly depends on the requirements.

Wrapping Up

I hope that upon reading this post, you have got deep insights into app development for finance and personal money management. If you think that you have a solution that will help the people out there. If you think it may make them better manage their budget, track their expense, investments, and many more then you definitely should build your won application. 

However, if you face any difficulties, have any further queries or suggestions, feel free to share them with us in the comments section below. I will gladly address them as soon as possible.