FinTech is rapidly changing. New developments and market needs spawn every year and apps’ holders have to adjust. These 12 tips for FinTech app development will help you enhance your product.
What we can see, even with the naked eye, is the trend towards expanding product offering. If an application is dedicated to loans, it looks for additional value. If an app lets people invest in products like bonds or derivatives, it searches for business partners outside of the main product scope. These moves present added value to users and make them think twice about changing the service provider.
That’s the key to modern FinTech – 3rd party partnerships. But what else? What else is interesting, important, and with it?
Go with the flow, but on your terms
It’s always good to monitor the market and follow trends. It’s bad to blindly follow big data and not put a spin on it. Watch the competition but take from our article what you need the most and what fits your application.
- Find your competetive advantage. Know your audience and your niche inside and out. Find out what makes your audience tick and what they are looking for. Focusing on real value and adressing real challenges will make your application stand out. You can target a specific niche or go wider and think about millions of users around the world. The choice is yours but know what you want to achieve.
2. Choose the right technology stack. Let’s start simple but essential. If you want to easily and quickly scale your product and steer it towards new trends, present, and future, you need reliable tech. Think about your current foundations. Do they get the job done? Does your team or external software vendor achieve goals quickly and without bottlenecks?
If not, do your homework. Scan the market for the right technologies. Don’t be afraid of a deep dive – read, listen and compare. Make sure you cover not only traditional software tech and frameworks but also the cloud. The right cloud and support system for it can make the world of difference. Technology stack is extremely important, start with basics.
3. Design with personalization in mind. FinTech is about choice and personal needs. Nothing highlights and enforces this message more than in-app options. Users need the choice between pre-arranged settings and how they actually use the product. From light and dark mode, through a number of settings displayed on a screen, to default or customized messaging right after splash screen.
What is displayed after the app’s launch is extremely important. Different people react to different options and use various features. They must have an option to personalize a home screen and multiple options within the app.
4. Onboarding and useful copy are a must. The next logical step is an in-app copy. That is practical to users, not forceful. You don’t need to sell people on a product, they already have installed it. Maybe they use a demo or have the lowest subscription plan. Or maybe the priciest. It doesn’t matter anymore, they’re here, they’re using your product. Now what?
Don’t convince people the product is good. If the app is on a phone, the argument is there. What you have to do right now is to tell people how they can optimally use the app to reach their goals. Through onboarding and helpful copy, people will not only reach the most needed features but they could also be engaged with the product and act as ambassadors. Word of mouth is one of the most successful strategies. Especially if you don’t have a big marketing budget.
5. Use microservices. Building a cohesive application with yesterday’s tech is not effective enough. Microservices allow fintechs to build flexible solutions. With this approach, applications are broken down into components. They are independent and easy to manage, develop and secure.
Microservices allow fast development and interconnections. Between themselves and 3rd party solutions, which is huge if you want to integrate your product with an external application. Communication goes through an application programming interface (API).
There are multiple benefits of using API. The application is agile, scalability is improved, time-to-market is significantly reduced. Blockchain and artificial intelligence (A.I.) integration is easier, as well as debugging and maintenance.
6. Before you go with anything of that, conduct a Product Discovery phase. Why? Because this will tell you what do you actually need for the product, how much will it cost, and how much time will you need for product development.
You will also assess the ownership and profitability of the solutions, as well as difficulties that may come up during the development process itself. With the tech team, you will also define risks, as well as business and technical requirements for the application.
Why do we put this part in the middle of the text instead of talking about it upfront? Because everything should be in-line with your business needs. What the application is all about should always come first, then the tech should follow. There are, however, solutions worth mentioning right away. To plant a seed and give you an overall look at the state of the industry.
7. Find your competitive advantage and build on it. Get to know your competition and define your own niche. There’s another trend that is directly opposite (see below), but if you want to go with a main single service (like loans, investment, or account management) then this is the way for you. Build the application around your core. Along with strong messaging, this will be your competitive advantage. A single-use, but insanely polished. It can be a good idea, especially if you have a small team.
8. Think about evolving into a super-app. On the other hand, if you have resources…There is a strong trend that turns single-purpose products into Swiss knives. Products like Chinese WeChat serve as a powerful tool for everyday life. With products like these, users can use cashless and mobile payments, buy insurance products, invest, take a credit or a loan. They can also book a hotel room, buy a drug in an e-pharmacy or buy goods through e-commerce stores. They can even search for a job or store files in a cloud.
We observe a strong trend to morph into super apps in the West. Even Walmart, a company that went through a digital transformation relatively late, think about this direction and change the policy on their product. If you want this, it will require serious financial application development efforts but it will be worth it. Don’t rush into it, just analyze if it’s for you.
9. Use the emotional design for increased traction. Functionalities are not everything. Slick packaging that translates into slick experiences, is also important. Award users for achieving milestones. Saving more money in back-to-back months. Increased earnings year-to-year. Anything and everything that makes a direct difference in users’ life.
What it will do for you? It will show care and mobilize people. To earn more, save more, and look for positive impulses in their lives. FinTech doesn’t have to be about money alone. It can stand for inspiration. It can even generate one. Remember about emotional design throughout the development. It’s not only a market trend, it’s a necessity.
10. Remove unnecessary elements. Since FinTech applications are used mostly on the go, people don’t have time to think. They need information right away. Clear and to the point. The more you give them on a single screen, the more crowded it will be. Thus, the increased chance for opting out.
Use negative space (or white space) to separate user interface (UI) elements. Use bright colors to make a statement and work in line with emotional design priorities. Focus on what’s important after a tap, not what will be important a tap away. Yes, sometimes users go through options and perform a chain of activities. Set up the account, make the first payment, etc. Don’t get ahead of them, focus on one step at a time. Let the design and in-app microcopy reflect that.
11. Think about unexplored venues. Mobile crowdfunding, for example, is the way to go. A crowdfunding app is a digital platform where people can raise funds for a campaign or a cause. Furthermore, crowdfunding is among the most common activities in the industry. From businesses to non-profit organizations, every entity needs a reliable and robust platform that helps them in raising money through crowdfunding.
Increasingly popular (through apps like AppStori, Indiegogo or AppsFunder) the niche will steadily become mainstream.
12. Think about post-launch support. The app is ready but now what? People expect constant support. New features, expanded functionalities, enhanced performance. Think about what you can do to elevate their experience while delivering new quality with reasonable low workload for the team behind the app. This will build trust between your company and community. It will also generate some additional buzz, which is invaluable in today’s market.
The most important part in all of this? Your business goals and your audience’s real, not imaginary problems. Filter the current needs through what you think is best for your business and build on it. There are good practices and ideas out there, but not everything will fit like a glove. What we have proposed is a list of current trends and steps towards success. Cherry-pick what suits you best.