In this world of digitization, nobody would like to dig through a stack of receipts to track and manage their expenses. Still, it is vital to keep track of personal finance, since saving is an important matter of financial stability.
Personal expense manager apps are the best remedy to make personal finance handling efficient and effective. Personal finance management apps like Money Manager Expense and Mint deliver substantial value to the users by streamlining the expenses. Considering the number of downloads that they have on app stores, it can be derived that expense manager apps are trending nowadays and it is therefore worth investing in expense manager app development.
In this article, we'll discuss the best approach to expensive manager app development and the features that you should incorporate in your app. We'll also learn how to calculate the expense manager app development cost.
But first, let's understand the market trends:
Current Market Scenario
A recent survey of 1,039 US millennials by Credit Karma, discovered that most of these individuals (almost 85%) feel too burned out to think about and deal with personal finances. This presents a huge opportunity for personal finance manager apps to tap in with a blue ocean business strategy.
The Existing Players
The app stores already have a few successful apps that are dedicated for personal expense management. Still, there is a room for more personal finance apps when considering the increasing global demand. The following are the top 5 expense manager apps in 2021:
Money Manager Expense & Budget
Money Manager is the editor's pick on Android play store and is the #1 personal finance manager app. The app operates on a double entry bookkeeping accounting system. The app allows users to define the type of expense and mode of payment, which ultimately reflects in the expense visualization charts. The app also allows users to manage their debit and credit cards within the app.
Once recommended by Google Playstore, AndroMoney is a personal finance manager app that supports multiple currencies. The app gives users an option to visualize their spend data via multiple charts. As the app is based on the cloud, the users can access their profiles from any device.
Mint is a free money manager and financial tracker app that even allows users to check their credit scores. The app allows users to create several spending goals i.e. transportation, leisure, food and beverages, rent, etc. having access to the data from each category allow users to become more aware of their spending habits.
Although I have a couple of more expense manager apps that are worth looking into, I'll skip to the next part where we'll discuss several other things that you should know before you opt for money manager app development.
Banking Apps are entering the market
Conventional banks are increasingly adopting innovative technologies to improve operational efficiency and offer new product/service lines. Modern banking apps incorporate many features that help users manage their finances. The budgeting and expense management is also one of the features that banking apps utilize to increase customer retention.
For example, Alliant Mobile Banking App has an expense management feature that allows users to track where they've spent their money. This increases competition for your app idea.
AI-powered virtual assistants steal users
In addition to the Banking Apps being your competitors, there are some other apps that fall into the FinTech ecosystem, which also compete with personal finance management apps. Apps related to messaging and payment integrated AI-powered chatbots can be very effective in helping users with finance management. These virtual assistants track user's spend, offer budget options, and provide personalized assistance. I recommend you to consider implementing chatbots into your expense management app. Plum, Digit, Cleo are among the best FinTech chatbots that you can keep in mind when analyzing these features.
Target user base is getting younger
Around 26% of the world's population is under 15. For that matter, many FinTech apps are targeting a younger audience. Greenlight, BusyKid, Plan'it Prom are among popular apps that educate teenagers about managing their personal finances.
Crypto is the future
With the rise of cryptocurrencies, it has become essential for FinTechs to consider support for digital currencies during expense tracker app development. You can gain competitive advantage, if you allow users to track and manage their digital currencies such as bitcoin. For example, Mint users can easily manage and track their Bitcoins. Some other solutions like Coinbase and OSOM specifically focus on managing and trading crypto currencies.
Features You Should Incorporate
Although gamification was considered to be a gimmick a few years ago, it is now an integrated part of mobile app strategies for several industry verticals. It's not uncommon for people to think of money as a game. Banks often offer prize-linked accounts, where instead of giving interest, the bank encourages customers to deposit a minimum amount to obtain aggregated interest.
The similar concept can be applied to the expense management mobile apps. You can offer several deals in return to your users for meeting their goals.
Every individual has their own financial goals. With personalization, your app users will be able to create their custom spending goals. Nobody likes generic functionality. In fact, the personalization feature will improve user retention. Also note that the personalization shouldn't be limited to finance handling. You can also allow users to personalize notifications and several other things in the expense manager app.
Among several other applications of artificial intelligence and machine learning, Chatbots or virtual assistants are the most suitable use cases of AI for money manager app development. By analyzing user's spend habits and financial goals, the virtual assistants can suggest areas of improvement. A virtual assistant helping in finance management is effective to keep users on track.
Bills organization by week, month, and year will empower users to keep track of their past spends. The users should be able to search bills by category, status, payment method, description, or tag. You should also allow users to download the bills in CSV, HTML, PDF, or Excel format.
Financial Goal Setting
As stated previously, the financial goals for every individual are different. Some may want to reduce their spend on food while others on liquor. Allowing users to customize their financial goals will make them rely on your expense management app more.
Every app has the notification feature, with the result of this being users receiving tons of notifications on their mobile phone. It becomes challenging for them to attend every single notification, considering the high stream of notifications from several apps. Users often disable notifications from apps, and if you don't want them to do the same for your expense management app, allow them to pick the type of notifications that they would like to receive. For example, it will help if you notify the users about their daily financial goals.
Steps to Develop an Expense Manager App Like AndroMoney?
Developing an Expense Manager App Like AndroMoney is quite simple. You should have a clear understanding of what values you want to deliver to the users. The following are the steps to a successful expense manager app development.
1. Define Your Expense Manager App Concept
Considering that several expense manager apps are out there already, you must be clear about your app idea. One thing to remember is that your idea has to have a differentiator about it in terms of features, functionalities, cost, or effectiveness. Your answers to the following questions will help you formulate your app concept:
- Which customer pain point will your app solve?
- What is the USP of your app?
- Why will people use your app?
- How you're different from your competitors?
2. Conduct Market Research
When you have a clear idea of your expense manager app, it's time to identify the market trends. I've already covered the industry trends in the earlier part of this article. However, you can dig for more information on the internet and with primary research.
This phase of mobile app development also requires you to conduct competitor analysis. I recommend you to do a quick SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis. SWOT will help you compare your app concept and strategies with the competitors. Try to find the USP of top expense manager apps. However, your USP should be unique and clearly defined.
3. Design User Interfaces and Experience
Many FinTech developers skip creating mockups before they jump on UI/UX designing for FinTech applications. Mockups are very helpful for your development process. They'll allow you to identify user flow. The technical term for this is ‘information architecture', which shows all the possible user journeys. Our designers at Nimble AppGenie use Axure and Mockingbot to create astonishing user interfaces.
4. Create Technical Architecture and Develop Backend
Your app's performance and security heavily depends on the technical architecture. The architecture involves all aspects of your expense manager app, be it programming language, technologies, database, user interfaces, or features. Refer to the following illustration to understand technical architecture better.
After building the architecture, you should develop your expense manager app backend. It is a lengthy process to set up the environment and build internal APIs to ensure smooth backend implementation. This step is very crucial for your expense manager app development.
Developers can either use a SaaS solution or develop the backend from scratch. We at Nimble AppGenie prefer using SaaS solutions including Firebase, Cloudkit, and AWS Mobile Hub. It allows us to save time and money for our clients. Also, for apps that require more personalized features and have specific and rigid requirements, we build the backend from scratch.
5. Frontend Development
Testing is an inseparable part of every software development process. Irrespective of the software development methodology you're going with, testing will be there at the end of every development sprint or process. In the testing process, the quality analyst team tests the app functionalities, and compares them with the specifications in the detailed requirement document.
With successful completion of the testing process, the QA team shares their insights with the development team, and asks them to fix errors/bugs. The development team makes the required changes and afterwards, the quality analyst team retests the code and functionalities. With a green flag from the QA team, the software product is ready.
It is true that expense manager app development doesn't require much effort in terms of deciding the necessary features, required technology, and platforms to develop the app for. But, considering the entrance of other banking and finance apps into expense management, it is essential for standalone expense tracker apps to improve on existing functionalities.
For instance, these apps can partner with mobile payment apps to gather data about the customer expenses. This way, no matter which payment service the customer uses, the expense manager app will get the expense data and can provide users detailed insights about their spending.
If you're confused about whether you should develop the expense manager app in-house or outsource it to a software development company, I would recommend going with the latter. If you can form a clear requirement document, it is better to get your software developed with outsourcing. However, I've written an article on this subject - In-House vs Outsourcing Software Development
At Nimble AppGenie, we're experts in developing FinTech applications. Not every development company will be able to help you integrate your app with several payment apps. You need experts on this task. We've been developing FinTech solutions for more than 6 years and are familiar with industry standards and regulations.
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.