Like in many other industries, the global pandemic has caused big waves in fintech. The previous two years were record years for the fintech sector. Before COVID-19, the market was expected to reach $309.98B at an annual growth rate of 24.8% through 2022. However, with the pandemic outbreak, deals activity and investment activity have significantly decreased. According to the latest State of Fintech Q1 ‘20 report by CB Insights, deals have dropped to 2016 levels and funding has dropped to 2017 levels.
But not all fintech sectors have been impacted in the same way. Digital investments, digital payments, and regtech have seen an unexpected boost. As a result, fintech web and mobile app development are on the rise. In particular, this is true of banking, payment, and investment apps that people access via a smartphone. When comparing 2019 to 2020, global sessions for fintech mobile apps have notably increased.
“Global sessions in investment apps surged 88%, while payment and banking app sessions increased by 49% and 26%, respectively during the COVID-19 pandemic” - The Mobile Finance Report 2020 by Adjust and Apptopia.
Why is fintech mobile app adoption on the rise? What are the main trends in fintech mobile app development? And how to successfully kick-start a fintech mobile app development project? Find the answers to these and other questions in our today’s article.
Key trends and technologies in fintech mobile app development
Computer vision, ML & AI, and robotics have already penetrated into every industry including fintech. When using a mobile phone, customers expect to see a lightweight user interface and get instant responses to their issues. So when it comes to any customer servicing functions, intelligent automation technologies can help. For example, instead of spending hours on the phone waiting for customer support when you want to change the password of your banking app, you can ask a chatbot for help. Robo-advisor can provide financial advice by using computer algorithms to build a portfolio and manage your assets based on your goals and your tolerance for risk. In security, big data and data analytics are also used to identify malicious activity, prevent fraudulent transactions, accelerate fraud investigations, and automate anti-fraud processes. Computer Vision is also applied in fintech mobile app development. For example, it helps simplify the customer verification process through a quick video call or a selfie, make a quick transaction using iris or fingerprint scanning, or improve security with the help of the facial recognition technology, etc.
Although it is not possible to survive in the finance industry without intelligent automation technologies, there are cases when the human factor is crucial. When a client has a serious issue, they don't want to be handed over to a robot, they want to deal with people. Thus, fintechs should make a balance between the technology and people.
There is a rising trend of gamification in fintech mobile app development. To increase user engagement with a mobile app, fintechs introduce various gaming principles. For example, they create rewards for completing certain tasks or engage users with game-like content. Referral policies, cashback programs, points, badges, puzzles, quizzes, fancy data visualization, short videos, and social media - all this is a part of the gamification technique which many businesses are currently using.
#3 Voice commands
Today, many fintechs incorporate Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant, and other voice-enabled home devices into their banking ecosystems so that customers can use the app via voice commands and make different financial transactions. In a face of the pandemic, voice-enabled payments can become a new normal as people try to minimize their physical contacts and require an ultimate touchless payment experience. According to the Business Insider’s The Voice Payments Report, there will be 77.9M voice users in 2022. Voice payments in fintech mobile app development are going to revolutionize the finance world.
Microservices in mobile app development enable fintechs to build flexible solutions that satisfy the needs of modern customers. With microservices, applications are broken down into components, which are independent of each other. Instead of the monolithic approach to apps, where everything is built into a single piece, microservices structures an application as loosely compiled services that communicate via APIs. Microservices work with fintech mobile apps well due to a number of reasons:
- AI and blockchain are easier to implement with microservices
- Faster time-to-market
- Improved scalability
- Managing microservices is easier
- Simplified debugging and maintenance
#5 Open banking
The adoption of open-banking API frameworks for secure and fast data sharing between banks and fintechs is popular in fintech mobile app development. Data sharing between banks, financial institutions, fintechs has been already in place for many years. But it was the unsecure “screen scraping” method of sharing consumer financial data. It had significant downsides in implementation, testing and support costs, scale limitations, and security risks. Thus, a group of banks, fintechs, and financial services institutions around the world have united and formed the Financial Data Exchange (FDX) organization to set a single standard for secure financial data sharing. Open APIs are a more secure data transmission alternative, which leads to industry unification and standardization. According to a Juniper Research report, the number of open banking users is expected to more than double in size, to 40M, by 2021 due to the pandemic.
The blockchain technology continues to disrupt the fintech sector. Use cases of blockchain in fintech mobile app development are numerous: starting from smart contracts and faster payments to digital identity and auditing. Today’s customers require more sophisticated features of a fintech mobile app: a wallet that includes both fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies; a decentralized database of digital assets; a track record of all transactions, etc. And blockchain can help make all of this possible.
Read more on the topic:
- Fintech development outsourcing: A complete guide
- How to solve big growth problems in fintech development: Scale-up report
- 15+ fundamental rules of fintech app development. Part One
- 15+ fundamental rules for fintech app developers. Part Two
What are the essentials of a successful fintech mobile development project?
Conduct a product Discovery Phase
First, you should understand the feasibility of your fintech mobile app. Thus, it is important to conduct a Product Discovery phase. You need to assess the total cost of ownership and the profitability the solution could bring. Also, you should evaluate possible risks and define minimum business and technical requirements.
Develop the MVP
To build a successful MVP, you need to start with a business problem statement and identify your end-users. Then, you can proceed with mapping your user journey and prototyping. Once, your MVP is ready, you should deploy it to a certain group of end-users to test it and improve the quality of the product. With the help of their feedback, you can determine the acceptability and competitiveness of your product in the market.
Incorporate security at all stages of the development process
Fintech is one of the most regulated industries. It requires companies to implement, test and continually monitor a certain set of administrative, physical, and technical controls to protect sensitive data. It is obligatory to comply with the requirements as set by Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (“PCI-DSS”), General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), PSD2, FCA, or other applicable regulations. The development team should implement security best practices right from the start of the project.
Set up the effective engineering process
The success of a fintech mobile app heavily depends on the following aspects:
- Gather a solid project team with relevant expertise in DevOps, cloud, Java, Kotlin, React Native, Swift, Node.JS, UX/UI, QA & testing, etc.
- Choose the right project methodology
- Set up infrastructure properly
- Decide on an appropriate architecture pattern
- Define the tech stack
- Establish the right success metrics
- Check and review the security policies and align them with fintech mobile app development
- Implement innovative technologies like AI, Big Data, AR, VR, and Blockchain to enhance the user experience
Success stories in fintech mobile app development
- One of N-iX clients is a leading provider of prepaid MasterCards and current accounts for consumers, small businesses, and local government authorities in the UK. The company has issued over 1.9M cards and processed more than £10B in payments. They have partnered with N-iX to develop a native fintech mobile app from scratch for Android and iOS. Our team started with the Discovery phase, helping the client identify their needs, goals, and key requirements. We developed the MVP and then enriched the product with other sophisticated features:
- Helped the client comply with the EU's revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2), which ensures highly secure online and mobile payments as well as better consumer protection.
- Integrated the Open Banking components with the existing technology architecture;
- Developed API in line with the technical specifications and made it available for registered TPPs.
- Ensured that the system is running smoothly and make regular reports to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
- Implemented Strong Customer Authentication;
- Introduced push notifications that allow the client to save costs on sending SMSes;
- Performed integration with Snowdrop 2.0 that makes customer transactions clearer
- Our client is the fastest-growing online broker based in Canada. The company provides a number of self-investing and trading products. It boasts over $9B in assets under administration and has more than 50,000 accounts opened every year. The N-iX team has helped the client build two React Native apps from scratch for investors and advanced traders taking into account the user needs. We began our cooperation with developing PoCs for the client to estimate costs and reduce the risk of failure of the end-solution. Our engineers have extended the client's cloud infrastructure team and contributed to the infrastructure modernization. To accelerate the time-to-market of mobile apps, we have built a comprehensive test automation framework from scratch. The N-iX team contributes to the migration from a monolithic architecture to microservices ensuring more reliability and scalability of our client’s business. Besides developing mobile apps, our specialists have been also involved in building web apps: two feature-rich mortgage calculators that help users to plan payments towards their mortgage.
- Our client is one of Europe’s leading fuel-card suppliers offering a complete set of products and services for international transport companies. The company was looking for a partner for a long-term cooperation to develop a secure mobile payment solution which consists of many components: mobile payment application, enrollment service, tokenizer, and Mobile Payment Processing Application (MPPA). The main objective is to create an end-to-end virtual payment channel with the help of which fleet managers can issue virtual cards and drivers can make payments on every company’s site. The N-iX team has started collaborating with the client on the mobile payment app designed for iOS and Android. We have proposed React Native as mobile front-end technology to cover both iOS and Android platforms. The idea is to write code once per both supported platforms as there are no constraints in using cross-platform framework. The project is under development. As a result, the client will be able to significantly cut card production costs; decrease card-delivery time, and reduce card administration tasks while providing its customers with better service.
How N-iX can help you:
- N-iX boasts an internal pool of 1,100+ experts.
- N-iX is trusted in the global tech market: the company has been listed among the top software development providers by Clutch, in the Global Outsourcing 100 by IAOP for 4 consecutive years, recognized by GSA UK 2019 Awards, included in top software development companies by GoodFirms.co, and others.
- N-iX partners with leading global companies such as Currencycloud, Globacap, Ratesetter to help them launch fintech projects.
- N-iX is a Select AWS Consulting Partner, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, a Google Cloud Partner.
- We have profound cloud expertise and employ 300+ cloud engineers. Our cloud experts are certified by industry leaders.
- N-iX experts have proven experience working with such technologies as blockchain, computer vision, AI & ML, robotics which are essential in fintech web and mobile app development.
- Our expertise in cloud computing includes cloud-native services, on-premise-to-cloud migration, cloud-to-cloud migration, as well as multicloud and hybrid cloud management.
- We offer professional DevOps services, including Cloud adoption (infrastructure set up, migration, optimization), building and streamlining CI/CD processes, security issues detection/prevention (DDOS & intrusion), firewall-as-a-service, and more.
- N-iX has broad data expertise to design different kinds of data solutions: Big Data / Data Warehouse / Data lake development, Business Intelligence, Data Science, Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning, etc.
- N-iX has been named No. 72 on the 2020 CRN Fast Growth 150 List for the substantial growth and performance over the previous two years.
- N-iX is compliant with PCI DSS, ISO 9001, ISO 27001, and GDPR standards.