Here at The Sneakers Agency we have a number of favorite fintech mobile apps such as Robinhood, Moneylion, Clarity Money, and Coinbase to name a few. In this post we talk about the extra special sauce that goes into making an exceptional fintech mobile app.
5 Focus Areas for a Fintech Mobile App
We recently had the pleasure of attending the Empire Startups FinTech Conference held here in New York City on April 18, 2018 which was on fire with entrepreneurial energy. For the unfamiliar, Empire Startups is the world’s largest community of fintech (financial technology) entrepreneurs, investors, and corporate executives. These regional conferences offer an unparalleled opportunity to take in leading-edge solutions from some of the most innovative startups you’ll ever encounter.
That high level of innovation is largely because fintech challenges are especially strenuous. During a full day of panel discussions and product demos, it became clear that fintech startups all face an unusually high bar across five areas:
- Legal. Every startup has pressing needs for cash. With fintech, there’s an added level of legal costs to cover – working with finance attorneys to make sure a company is buttoned up with 100% regulatory compliance requires serious money and time.
- Credibility. Startups angling to handle other people’s money must win their trust. There’s no room for cutting corners on anything customer-facing, from branding to presentation to website. Nobody trusts their money to someone who appears to be hamstrung for cash.
- Security. Speaking of being trustworthy, getting hacked is one of the worst things that can happen to a fintech company. These startups have to take extra care with information security, creating systems and infrastructure that are robust and tightly protected through well-managed, solid IP and engineering practices.
- AI. The real breakthrough for many fintech solutions is leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning, which has scary “big brother” overtones for many people. It’s imperative that a solution’s AI be explained very carefully – a balance of effective and non-threatening.
- Uniqueness. While product management is a challenge for any startup, fintech startups are in an exceptionally competitive and innovative space. Success requires a clear business model that is attractive to investors and customers as well as supportive of product initiatives.
How Having an Exceptional Fintech Mobile App Helps Address Web Challenges
Virtually all companies we encountered at the Empire Startups FinTech Conference either have a mobile apps as part of their solution, or greatly need one. This isn’t just a check-box feature; the quality of the mobile app can make or break a fintech solution.
Keep in mind that any fintech mobile app will be subject to the challenges noted above. If you can tackle them successfully on a smartphone, that effort will translate to a better fintech web solution, with developers taking the lessons learned in mobile app creation to website development. Done properly, this will result in a more streamlined mobile web experience that focuses on the most important functions and optimizes performance – which will improve the site overall.
Having a satisfying mobile app also increases the marketability of fintech products and services. You can’t overestimate the convenience factor – people want and need financial information at their fingertips, and will favor solutions that deliver a superior mobile experience. That’s especially true in urban centers, where professionals are heavy users of mass transit. Every day, we see scores of people busy with work in New York City subways, and it’s a safe bet that a significant portion of it is personal financial management.
Fintech Mobile App Development Costs
Fintech’s unique set of challenges means that the real cost of creating a startup in this space can be 1.5-2x the cost of a non-fintech startup. As mobile app development shares those challenges, higher cost considerations apply to that portion of the effort as well.
We’ve covered budgeting consideration for mobile apps in general in The Real Cost of Building Mobile Apps. If you’re plotting your course in fintech, it’s a good idea to visit that piece – in addition to helping you budget accurately for mobile, it lays out proven measures for making sure the dollars you do budget are put to optimum use.