The pandemic turned a spotlight on the need for meeting the customer's digital banking needs. Several studies have confirmed the dramatic impact the pandemic had on the digital banking infrastructure. A study by Entersekt and PYMNTS.com found a 200% jump in the use of mobile banking since the beginning of the pandemic. Hence, it becomes apparent for banks to invest in banking mobile app development. Before we jump on learning several aspects of mobile banking app development, let's discuss the latest mobile banking industry trends.
Banking Mobile Apps Trends
What's more important than the jump in the number of mobile banking users is that almost 45% of the banking consumers agreed that mobile banking are among the top-three factors of why they would choose a banking institution. The report by Insider Intelligence stated that this number is an increase from 38% in 2019.
A study by Deloitte revealed that most of the global banks are very far from sufficient digital infrastructure, despite an increase in their technology investments. Therefore, the digital transformation trend in the banking sector is expected to persist. The study also found that in 2022, European banks will spend one-third of their IT budget on emerging technologies, whereas North American banks will spend half.
Another piece of research by Deloitte found that one of every five individuals have used at least one banking service for the first time during the pandemic. Only 6% of the respondents stated that they’ve never used a mobile banking app; most of the first time users stated that they’d continue using mobile banking services in the post-pandemic era.
Cost to Develop a Mobile Banking Application
Banking app development cost depends on several factors, including the technology used and the features implemented. However, roughly, the cost of mobile banking application development lies around $94k considering that the total development time for a fully-featured banking app is 3760 hours. The direct factors that affect the cost of banking app development are the operating system, technology preference, and app features. Most of the time, developing a mobile app for the Android operating system is more cost-efficient than for iOS. However, banking mobile apps don’t require to use many features that native mobile apps can leverage. Hence, I recommend banking institutions opt for hybrid mobile app development.
Mobile Banking App Development Process
Considering several industry-specific compliances and digital banking security, it isn’t easy to develop a mobile banking app. Mobile banking apps need to be user-friendly and secure at the same time. Therefore, the mobile banking app development company that you hire should have a clear understanding of the digital banking environment. The following is the typical process of banking mobile app development.
1. Define Your Banking App Concept
Different banks have slightly different priorities in terms of features and functionalities. There is no need to reinvent the wheel when you can simply learn from the existing apps and speed up your banking mobile app development. However it should be noted that your banking app should differentiate from your competitors in some ways. You can perhaps offer payment services (via QR codes or NFC) within your app so that your bank customers don’t have to use third-party e-wallet services to pay at retail stores.
2. Assess Existing Market Condition
When you know your banking app concept, you should ensure that you also understand the current market. For you, the market is primarily your existing customer base. You will have to segmentize your customers in terms of age, interests, income level, spending habits, and education status.
Also, for competitors analysis, I recommend doing a SWOT (Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats). Try to identify the best things about your competitors’ apps and implement them into your app if you find them relevant for your target audience.
3. Design Banking App UI/UX
Indeed, designing FinTech app user experiences is quite challenging. Many FinTech app development companies directly jump to UI/UX development without creating the wireframes/mockups. Throughout our years of experience in FinTech app development, we’ve learned that every FinTech app, including banking mobile apps, require particular attention when it comes to user experiences. Therefore, mockups will allow FinTech developers to identify the user-flow and design the perfect information architecture. Our designers at Nimble AppGenie make use of Axure and Mockingbot to create wireframes and mockups for FinTech apps.
4. Develop Technical Architecture and Backend
The performance of your banking app heavily depends on the technical architecture it is built upon. There are several aspects like workflow, database, user interface, and service tools that form a technical architecture. The following illustration will help you understand what is technical architecture:
When you have your banking app technical architecture ready, you should start working on backend development. The backend developers will have to spend a lot of time in building internal code and integrating external APIs to make sure that your banking application operates with smooth functioning.
For the backend, many developers use SaaS solutions, whereas others build the entire infrastructure by themselves. We at Nimble AppGenie, prefer using off-the-shelf SaaS solutions, i.e. Firebase, Cloudkit, and AWS Mobile Hub, to create mobile apps for the banking industry. However, for apps that require personalized features and have very different requirements from the industry trends, we develop the backend from scratch.
5. Banking App Frontend Development
Banking apps have to be reliable. It should immediately respond when the user inputs a command. The most crucial thing about the mobile banking app frontend is that it should provide banking services with a sense of reliability. The banking mobile app will be accessing real-time data from the bank’s servers, which makes it essential for frontend developers to deliver reliable interfaces.
The software development life cycle ends with the testing phase. Irrespective of your software development methodology, testing will occur at the end of every sprint. The team of Quality Analysts (QA) will check your banking app for possible errors in the functionalities and code. The QA team compares the original requirement document with the final produced app to make sure that everything is as expected. After the first testing sprint, the QA team sends the code back to the development team and asks them to resolve the bugs/errors. When developers are done fixing the bugs, they forward the app to the testers (QA) again. With a green flag from the QA team, the app gets ready to be released.
Crucial Features to be Incorporated
Many technology experts will overwhelm you by recommending unnecessary features for your banking mobile application. Well, you might not need all the features; in fact, for your banking mobile, MVP will need very few features, and even your full-fledged app might not need all the available features. Here I’m mentioning the crucial features of your mobile banking app.
Account management is an umbrella term for several features that help customers manage their bank account. Features that lies in Account Management are:
Manage Account Information
The customers should be able to modify their account information using the mobile banking app only. It won’t help if the customer has to visit the bank branch or open the web portal just to change their phone number or residential address. This feature has proved to be very helpful to realize the digital-only banking world.
With the banking mobile app, customers should be able to order or manage their debit or credit cards. Many times when the customers lose their cards (especially the ones that have contactless payment capability), they have to block the card immediately. In this situation, banking mobile apps are a lifesaver.
Check Account Balance and Recent Transactions
Giving the customers easy access to the recent transactions and current account balance will improve their service satisfaction. Many times, the customers require a physical copy of their recent transactions. For this, you can allow them to download their bank transactions over time in .pdf or .xls format.
Fast Monetary Transactions
Customers in this digital-savvy world want their banking mobile app to be able to perform almost all the banking services that they would access in the bank branch. With payment capability via NFC, QR-codes, and UPI, the customers can leverage digital payments via your banking mobile app.
The developers will have to integrate your banking mobile app with your banking server for the payment functionality. They would also integrate third-party payment gateways such as PayPal to enable mobile payment. You can also allow users to pay using the payee’s mobile number associated with their bank account. If you charge any fee for a particular type of payment, you should make it clear before the customer pays for that.
24/7 Customer Service
Most users have a very steep learning curve when it comes to mobile banking apps. Hence, the users might need immediate help, when they are trying to access any banking service via your mobile app. It is an unnecessary expenditure for banks to hire dedicated customer services. With technologies like AI and ML, it has become possible to improve customer service quality and availability. Although developing your banking chatbot will add to the total cost, it is feasible to invest in as chatbots will eliminate your need to hire customer service for most of the customer touchpoints. While developing the banking chatbot, you’ll have to think about the possible scenarios where the customers would require assistance. It has seen that FinTech chatbots reduce a lot of operational expenditure for banking and financial companies. On top of all, they are available 24/7. There are several other ways in which the FinTech chatbots can help you improve your service delivery. For instance, the customers can easily tap the help icon to connect to the AI-powered customer representative immediately.
How to Select the Right Development Partner?
So, now you know how to build a mobile banking app and the cost associated with it. You might be looking for a software development partner that can help you with your banking mobile app development. Or are you still in a dilemma about whether to build your mobile banking app in-house or just outsource it to the experts? Previously, I’ve written a guide to help you make the right decision. You can read it here - In-House vs Outsourcing Software Development.
If you are going forward with outsourcing, you might want to know how to pick the right software development partner that can build you the best mobile banking app. You can read the following guide to understand how you can choose the right software development partner for your banking application development - How to find the Right Mobile App Development Company?
At Nimble AppGenie, we are experts in FinTech app development. Since our inception six years ago, we’ve been helping banking financial institutions strengthen their digital infrastructure. Our core competency lies in developing mobile apps for banking and financial institutions; hence we’re your perfect choice for your mobile banking application development. You can reach us at - email@example.com
Madhukar is marketing communication specialist at Nimble AppGenie. A writer by day and reader by night, he specializes in technical blogging. Throughout the time, he has been helping businesses by writing valuable business guides and articles. Nimble AppGenie is a renounced fintech and healthtech development service provider that is helping small-large scale enterprises.