How Much Does It Cost to Build a Stock Trading App: A Development Guide

Today, stock trading platforms are quickly moving to a digital world. So-called DIY (do-it-yourself) investment via smartphone applications is becoming more popular. Our article will examine how these systems work and generate income for the owner and what it will cost to create a stock trading app.

What a Stock Trading App Is and How to Monetize It

A stock market app is an online (web, mobile, or both) system designed to make it easier to buy and sell on trading platforms, manage and update investment portfolios, and choose strategies. Automated trading systems allow users to have things under control the whole time and are suitable for long-term investments or short-term deals.

Typically, all trading apps have a similar work scenario.The user:

  • Registers in the app and links the bank account;
  • Sets up a one-time transfer or periodic deposits;
  • Buys the stock once it and its current trade come up on the screen;
  • Sells stocks (this option works almost the same as buying).

The main monetization strategy is commission. The system charges interest on deposits, user transactions, and stock transactions. This strategy can be combined with the freemium approach. Essential product features are free for all users, but additional ones are available for a fee.

Other income sources are:

  • Revenue for directing orders for trade execution;
  • In-app ads; or
  • Paid admission to technology tools, such as application programming interfaces (APIs).

Challenges and Legal Issues

If you have an authorized brokerage business and want to expand into mobile markets, the legalities challenges will be easier to solve. But, in the case of a newly established company, you have to think over the legal issues beforehand. Consider that you have to:

  • Obtain a license from the regulatory body in the country of the trading platform’s placement;
  • Join investor protection programs and regulatory institutions like SIPC and FINRA to increase credibility;
  • Follow the PSD2 Directive and similar rules to protect consumers’ sensitive data; and
  • Protect users and their money via multifactor authentication, 256-bit AES encryption, AI-based fraud prevention, and other security tools.

Features of Trading Applications

In most cases, trading apps are similar in their basic features:

  • A personal account where the user can edit and update settings and profile data, track transactions, and monitor all quotes in real-time;
  • Stocks trading tools to execute orders, monitor market positions, and display real-time data;
  • Assets management tools: trade stocks, ETFs, and other investment vehicles; make deposits with the ability to check status in real-time;
  • Analytics tools that help the user to observe transactions’ results and robo-advisers that simplify creating portfolios, trading, and investment;
  • Notifications and newsfeed that help to keep investors informed of exchange rates, initial public offerings (IPOs), and other details.

Development and Costs of a Stock Trading App

For fintech apps, the generally accepted development methodology is Agile. Following this approach, small cross-functional teams work in collaboration with application owners. The development includes:

  • Discovery and research. The idea of a product is validated and turned into a business model and development roadmap.Experts collect all the info to define the app’s features, design strategy, and line-up.
  • Formulation of the development approach. Developers consider the mobile app’s platform, managed cloud services, third-party APIs for core and non-core features, and other crucial tools.
  • User interface design. One of the app’s crucial aspects is visual analytics. Designers must think over the line and bar charts, stochastic oscillators, candlesticks, and other graphs.
  • The development process. This is divided into several lines: mobile and web, frontend and backend, and iOS and Android. For each case, software engineers select programming language and tools; for example, Java and .NET for writing code, JavaScript or Angular for frontend development, etc.
  • Testing, delivery, and maintenance. QA engineers conduct complex testing across platforms and devices to establish the correct performance. After placing the app in stores, you have to ensure technical support, troubleshooting, and regular updates.

Development costs are determined by the solution’s complexity, features set, and additional factors, such as connecting payment gateways and cloud services. On average, creating a native mobile app takes 5–10 months. The time cost needs to be adjusted for the developers’ hourly rate, which varies from US$15–20 to US$100 or more.

Considering this, the full price of a stock trading app can be either US$25,000 or US$300,000. On average, the total cost of developing a stock trading mobile application is US$55,000.


It must be said that stock trading platforms have many complications. To avoid problems, you need to choose a software solution provider carefully. Only then can you reach a high level of return, security, and user satisfaction, with a resulting application that takes your business to a fundamentally new level.

Find out more about trading app development and its cost in our full article.

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