Personal Finance App Development: Tips and Tricks
One of the easiest ways to run out of money is not to have a plan for spending. Despite the thousands of books and blogs that have been published about the topic, budgeting is always a personal task — just you and your money. But there is a way to simplify the management of your finances: using special mobile applications.
Let’s find out how to build a personal finance app and consider a development roadmap with the required costs.
What Is a Personal Finance App?
A personal finance app is money management software that enables users to separate funds flows, track expenses, set a budget, and follow it. Such systems allow you to calculate expenses on the go, synchronize with all user accounts and devices, and get helpful insights about money management and investments.
The apps make it easier to:
- Manage everyday finances,
- Create an executable budget, and
- Plan investments and wealth growth.
There are two main types of such apps: manual-entry and linked. Applications of the first kind are simple systems for tracking money flows. All needed data is entered manually. Linked apps’ functionality is many times higher. It is an advanced system that connects personal bank accounts to a user profile, automates data entry, and simplifies transaction analysis.
How to Monetize Your App
To be successful at the level of famous apps (such as Mint, Wally, YNAB, and Personal Capital), you need to think about monetization strategy. Your app can earn revenue in several ways:
- Freemium model. The app provides free essential functions and advanced features in a paid Pro or Premium version. Users can pay for additional functionality, guides to save cash, etc.
- In-app purchases and ads. In this model, access to all features is free. The app’s owners earn money by attracting advertisers and financial product suppliers.
- Integration with third parties. If you create your finance app, you can provide paid access to your SDKs (Software Development Kits) and APIs (Application Programming Interfaces).
- Sale of aggregated financial data. You can collect information and sell it anonymously to third parties. It’s legal if the data cannot be traced back to the individual user.
Personal Finance Application Features
- User dashboard that contains custom information, such as transactions or budget categories;
- Accounts import and synchronization between user’s profiles and devices, and organizing personal financial transactions;
- Support for different types of accounts that simplifies the management of various finances simultaneously;
- Transactions tracking and categorization: the app defines transactions using previous examples or by vendor;
- Budgeting and different reports: income and expenses, net asset value, investment portfolio, debts, etc.;
- Built-in alerts and notifications that help users to make payments on time and avoid penalties;
- Updates and backups that prevent data loss and allow users to track their spending; and
- Customer support that is available 24/7.
How to Build a Personal Finance App
The development process is divided into several steps:
- Market analysis and research. This includes analysis of the market, the subject area (personal finance management), the app’s analogs’ functionality, and a go-to-market strategy.
- Development project management. Experts have to decide which technology and platform to choose and define the desirable functionality.
- Design. This includes selecting the app style, menu structure, and navigation templates that best suit the system’s purpose and functionality.
- Mobile app development. It is recommended to create standalone solutions for iOS and Android platforms. This approach maximizes the application’s quality. To avoid duplicating API interactions and business logic, you can use cross-platform frameworks. Many developers have a negative opinion of using them, but this approach can be more beneficial for business.
- Testing and launching. The QA team must thoroughly test the application. Once the engineers are satisfied that the app is working correctly, it can be submitted to the stores. Last but not least is the post-release system maintenance (support and regular updates).
Development cost depends on the solution type, supported platforms, number of features, timing, and other factors. The average time is three or more months to build the manual-entry application and four or more months for linked systems. To estimate the total costs, you need to consider the specialists’ hourly rate, which depends mainly on the developers’ location and varies from US$15 to US$200 or more.
By investing money and energy in a finance app, the owner always hopes that his efforts will pay off in profit and customer loyalty. But in this race, you still have a lot of opponents counting on the prize. To excel in a highly competitive environment like personal finance apps, you need to partner with a software company that thinks several steps ahead. Only then will you get the best, most cost-effective, and human-oriented software product.
Want to know more about how to start a finance app? Read the complete article in our blog!