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25 Mar 2021
Madhukar Jangir

How to Create a Wallet App for Android and iOS?

Are you surfing the internet to find out how to create a wallet app for both Android and iOS? Well, the answer to getting this right for both platforms is here. Read this complete article to learn everything that you will need to build your own e-wallet.

A study by Mordor Intelligence revealed that in 2020, the mobile payment market was valued at $1449.56 billion. The study also predicted that the market would grow with a CAGR of 24.5% over the forecast period to reach $5399.6 billion by 2026. Brick and mortar stores across the world are continuing to adopt and integrate mobile payment solutions, with some of the most popular choices  Samsung Pay, AliPay, PayPal, and WeChat Pay, to accept digital payments. With the pandemic, there has been lifestyle changes, and changes with the way commercial activities take place. The digital payment trend will continue to grow for several years or maybe over the decade.

With more and more people leveraging instant payment capabilities via their mobile devices, many retailers have started focusing on enabling contactless payments and offering loyalty cards, discounts, and gift cards to encourage consumers to pay via online means of payment. 

Now we know that there is a global demand for payment apps, let's get straight into how to build a digital wallet that meets the customer expectations in 2021:

First, Understand the Industry Regulations

Being compliant to FinTech regulations isn't very straightforward, as there are several regulations. FinTech companies have to follow. Mobile wallet compliances differ country by country, and you will have to be 100% updated with the requirements in your market. I would recommend you to read my previously published guide on FinTech Regulations - Fintech Business Compliances - An Overview

In addition to the country-specific compliances, you'll also have to comply with PCI (Payment Card Industry) security standards that apply in the market that you want to opt for. 

Which Mobile Wallet Software Development Kit Should You Pick?

Here I'm mentioning several Software Development Kits (SDKs) to help you build your e-wallet app. Don't misunderstand SDK with an off-the-shelf platform. E-Wallet development is a full-fledged development process. The SDKs will only make your job a bit easier. We'll talk about the e-wallet mobile app development process after the SDK options.

Mastercard Mobile Payment SDK

This SDK is provided by the financial services giant Mastercard. The Mastercard SDK includes a library of tools that help developers in building a mobile wallet app. Moreover, this SDK has a simple app and a testing simulator to ease out the process of mobile wallet development. 

Here is the link to access the Mastercard wallet SDK - Mastercard SDK. To be noted that the Mastercard SDK only supports solutions related to Mastercard Cloud-Based Payment specifications only. As Mastercard provides this SDK, it supports transactions for both in-store payments as well as online mobile payment transactions. You can develop mobile wallets for both Android and iOS using this SDK. 

PayPal Mobile SDKs

These SDKs come from the pioneer of mobile payments, PayPal. PayPal's Braintree direct SDKs allow developers to build mobile payment wallets for both iOS and Android. The GitHub Android documentation for this SDK is available here, whereas for iOS visiting here.

Remember that FinTech regulations different from nation to nation. Braintree is ok to be used in some countries, while for some countries, PayPal provides an alternative method - PayPal Native Checkout SDK. This is a mobile version of the PayPal web checkout. You can get the complete documentation for this SDK here.

Other Mobile Wallet SDKs

Where To Host Your Mobile Wallet Backend?

Before you jump into understanding how to develop a mobile wallet app, It is essential to know where to host your mobile wallet app's backend. We at Nimble AppGenie, prefer using SaaS solutions for mobile wallet backend hosting. It helps us to save significant amounts of time and money for our clients. The following are the most popular Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS) solutions available in 2021:

What About the Cloud?

As discussed previously, the FinTech industry is highly regulated, and the regulations differ country by country. Depending on the nation that you want to operate in, you will have to ensure that the data remains within the country borders.

Hence, you won't be able to use public cloud services, as they often use servers residing internationally. The alternative option for you is picking a hybrid cloud solution or a private cloud. You can choose among the following cloud service providers:

What is the Cost to Develop Mobile Wallet?

The pricing plans for cloud service providers and MBaaS platforms can be found on their websites. Other than this, the e-wallet mobile app development cost heavily depends on the mobile app developers. The complexity of your mobile app (including features) will determine the efforts required for the development. However, the geographical location of your software development partner will significantly influence the hourly cost for developers.

To give you a ballpark estimate, a basic e-wallet app's development cost will lie around $25,000 to $50,000. In contrast, mobile wallet apps with high-end features such as bill payment integration and online financial services (like M-Pesa and AliPay) will cost approximately $75,000 to $100,000.

What Features Should You Incorporate Into Your Mobile Wallet App?

Mobile wallet is a highly competitive industry, and in order to excel among your competitors, you will need to integrate valuable features within your wallet app. The following are the essential features for mobile wallet apps in 2021:

Feature for mobile wallets

Intra-Wallet Payments in a Jiffy

Your mobile wallet should instantly transfer money between the payer's wallet to the payee's wallet. If your wallet takes even minutes to transfer money, I'm confident that you'll lose a lot of users. It is the core characteristic of every mobile wallet; hence, there is no space for an error when your wallet holder is trying to make a payment for goods or services.

Payments Between Bank Accounts

In 2021, every mobile wallet should transfer money between the payer's and payee's bank accounts. The payee should also have an option to receive money to their bank account or wallet. This facility should also be available for intra-bank transfers when payer and payee have accounts in different banks.

Bill Payments

Mobile wallets in 2021 aren't just about making peer to peer payments; they should also be capable of helping users pay for utility bills, loans, rent, mortgages, etc. With the increased popularity of digital money, mobile wallets will be expected to do much more than money transfers. 

Card Management

Mobile wallets require users to store user's card (both virtual and physical cards) information to allow seamless payments. With this, the users won't have to input the card information every time that they make a payment. Storing the card information within the mobile wallet is safer than carrying the physical cards all the time, as the card information stored is encrypted.

Contactless Payment Technologies Integration

To make the customer checkout experience seamless, more and more brick and mortar stores are adopting contactless payment technology, such as QR codes and NFC (Near Field Communication). To be noted that QR code payments are the most popular contactless payment method.

Robust Security

When it comes to handling finances, security should be the foremost priority. Every financial transaction needs to be encrypted from end-to-end. FinTech developers make use of several technologies to ensure mobile wallet security. Some of them are tokenization, two-factor authentication, biometric authentication, OTP, SMS, and end-to-end encryption.

Seamless Onboarding

Mobile wallet developers face several challenges while designing the customer onboarding process. With nearly 40% of the users in Europe abandoning the FinTech apps during onboarding, it is essential for wallet developers to create a seamless onboarding process.

The mobile wallets are intended to save user's time and efforts; hence, your mobile wallet app should allow users to sign up and validate their identity directly from their mobile device. The following is an example of seamless onboarding for mobile wallets:

  • Users download the app and launch it.
  • User feed personal details Id Est Name, Mobile No., E-mail ID, Profile Picture, etc.
  • User feed the OTP received on their mobile number/email.
  • User sets up their password.
  • User uploads the scanned copy of their national ID.
  • The admin verifies the identity and approves/rejects the authentication.
  • If user identity is authenticated, they can add their bank accounts and cards to the mobile wallet app.

Rewards, Coupons, and Discounts

Marketing and sales staff understand the importance of lucrative discounts and rewards. In addition to providing customers with relevant benefits, your mobile wallet app should allow users to manage their rewards and loyalty points. As most of the markets already have a few mobile wallet apps, it's essential for your app to have such features to stand out.

Bill Splitting

It is a very revolutionary feature for mobile wallet apps. Many wallet apps don't have this feature; hence it can be a competitive advantage for your app. The users should have an option to add their peers to every bill by requesting them to make payments.

Another advantage of the bill splitting feature is that it will organically get you more customers due to word of mouth marketing. The payment ease will trigger users to become loyal users to the application.  

E-Wallet App Development Process

1. Define Your Wallet App Concept

Considering that various mobile wallet apps are out there already, you should have a clear understanding of what type of mobile wallet app you want to have. Remember that your app concept should have a few significant differentiators in terms of functionalities, effectiveness, fee costs, or features. Your response to the following questions will help you prepare a practical app concept:

  • What customer pain points does your mobile wallet app resolve?
  • What is the unique selling point of your wallet app?
  • Why will users prefer using your app over your competitors?
  • What differentiates your app from the competition?

2. Analyze the Market

When you know the type of mobile wallet app you want to develop, it’s time for you to identify the existing players in the market and their strategies. You can refer to my recently published article on e-wallet trends - E-wallets 2021 Trend, Types of E-wallets, and Challenges.

It is advised to conduct a quick SWOT analysis. SWOT (Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) will allow you to compare your strategies and app concept with your competitors.

3. Design UI/UX

No matter how tempting it sounds to design the user interface and experience without creating mockups directly, it is never a good practice to do this while developing a mobile wallet app. Mockups will enable you to identify the user flow and all possible user journeys. At Nimble AppGenie, our designers use Mockingot and Axure to create seamless user interfaces.

4. Design Technical Architecture and Develop the Wallet App

Mobile wallets require to be secure and highly available, and it all depends on the technical architecture. All the aspects of your mobile wallet apps, including programming language, database structure, technologies, features and UI/UX, cumulatively form the technical architecture. The following illustration will help you understand technical architecture better.

crowdfunding app development cost

After deciding the technical architecture, the developers will set up a development environment for your mobile wallet backend. To be noted that backend development is a lengthy process and will affect your app’s functionality and performance.

The frontend developers will work on developing the frontend for your mobile wallet app. Using technologies like JavaScript, HTML, and CSS, the developers will replicate the design created in .psd or .xd format during the designing phase.

5. Testing

Testing is an indispensable part of a mobile app development process. The quality analysts check the code developed by the developers and try to find errors. They send the errors back to the developers, and the developers resolve the issues to make the app bug-free. The wallet app can be uploaded to the app stores only after receiving a green flag from the testing team.

Conclusion

When you know how to create a wallet app for Android and iOS, it’s time to decide whether you should develop it yourself or hire an experienced FinTech developer. I’ve created a guide to help you with this question. If you have already decided to hire a specialist e-wallet company, then get in touch with us as we are the globally recognised number one company for e-wallet app development. - In-House vs Outsourcing Software Development.

Also Read: How to find the Right Mobile App Development Company?

Madhukar Jangir

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.

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