developing a mobile banking application

10 must-have features when developing a mobile banking application

No one will be surprised when we say that banking applications have become essential tools for personal and business financial management. In fact, their impact on the market is undeniable, as they facilitate fast and secure transactions from anywhere. So much so that, according to a Forbes report, 76% of Americans use mobile banking apps for transactions. This trend is even more pronounced among Millennials and Generation Z, with an adoption rate of over 88%. Thus, the mobile banking scenario has been organized as follows: 

Main mobile banking business models 

  • Challenger Banks: Financial institutions that compete directly with traditional banks by offering innovative digital services. 
  • Neobanks: Fully digital banks, without physical branches, providing a modern and accessible banking experience. 
  • Traditional banks: Established institutions that are adopting mobile technologies to improve their services and compete with new market players. 

What are the main differences between them? 

The basic answer: Neobanks and Challenger Banks are distinguished by their technological approach and operational agility. Thus, they have: 

  • Open technical infrastructure: they use a microservice architecture, eliminating the problems of monolithic systems of traditional banks. This architecture facilitates rapid upgrades and scalability. 
  • Data-driven operations: unlike traditional banks, neobanks use real-time data analytics to adapt their business models to market needs, offering personalized services based on user behavior. 
  • API layer: neobanks employ open APIs to provide a seamless user experience and take advantage of business opportunities, thereby increasing their sales and customer base. This also allows them to easily integrate third-party services to offer a more complete and personalized experience. 

In the face of this new order, a big question arises … 

What are the essential characteristics of a successful digital banking application? 

Let’s take a look at some of the most important ones:

  1. Onboarding:

The onboarding process can define the user experience from their first contact with the application. Thus, it is essential that the process is intuitive, simple and efficient. For example, including a tour of the application to familiarize users with its functions. In addition, using clear indications in the user interface (UI) and offering secure authentication through passwords and biometric data, such as fingerprints or facial recognition, are important aspects to ensure security and accessibility from the first use.

  1. Secure authentication:

As it was mentioned, security is essential in banking applications. Thus, the implementation of multiple layers of security, such as strong passwords, two-factor authentication (2FA), real-time alerts for suspicious transactions and data encryption, are a critical requirement to protect both user information and transactions. In addition, the use of biometric authentication and behavioral analysis adds further protection against fraud.

  1. Simplified payments:

Incorporating functionalities that enable fast and secure payments, such as QR codes, immediate transfers between accounts and payments for services directly from the application, are features that customers value highly. It is also recommended to enable recurring payment scheduling for services such as invoices and subscriptions, ensuring that users do not miss any important payments.

  1. Push Notifications:

Push notifications are essential to keep users informed about their financial activities. These notifications can be of various types, for example, transactional, alerting the user about deposits, withdrawals and other account movements in real time, or promotional, offering discounts and promotions. It is important that they are customizable so that users can choose what type of alerts they wish to receive.

  1. Transaction management:

Effective transaction management includes a dedicated screen where users can view the history of their transactions in a clear and detailed manner. This functionality should enable the search and filtering of transactions, as well as the automatic categorization of expenses for better financial management. It is also useful to offer analysis tools that help users better understand their spending habits.

  1. Recurring payments:

As previously mentioned, automating recurring payments is a much-requested functionality. Allowing users to set up automatic payments for services saves them time and reduces the risk of forgetting important transactions. Beware! The option to receive reminders before automatic payments are made can also be very useful for personal financial management.

  1. Customer support:

Offering effective support is crucial to quickly solve any issues or questions users may have. Incorporating intelligent chatbots that can handle common queries and provide immediate responses, along with the option to escalate to a human representative for more complex issues, ensures a much more positive customer experience. In addition, we recommend including a help center with frequently asked questions and tutorials that can reduce the workload of real-time support.

  1. Expense tracking:

Providing expense tracking tools helps users keep detailed control of their finances. This can include customized reports that show spending by category, interactive charts that make it easy to visualize habits, and savings goal-setting features. Financial projections based on past behavior and recommendations for improving financial health are also valuable resources.

  1. ATM and branch locations:

Integrating maps to show the location of nearby ATMs and branches is a convenient functionality that enhances the user experience. Using services such as Google Maps or Apple Maps, users can easily find the nearest locations, get directions and view additional information such as hours of operation and services available at each location.

  1. Trade and investment:

Facilitating investments and financial trading is an attractive feature for many users. Offering access to investment markets, such as stocks and cryptocurrencies, directly from the app, along with customized analysis tools and recommendations, can attract users interested in growing their wealth. In addition, rewards and cashback programs for frequent use of the app can further encourage user participation and loyalty.

A unique opportunity 

In summary, the development of banking applications requires careful planning and the implementation of essential features that ensure security, convenience and user satisfaction. With the proper integration of these features, financial institutions can offer a modern and competitive banking experience, tailored to the changing needs of the market. Furthermore, the growing demand for digital financial services, driven by the pandemic and the increased adoption of mobile technologies, suggests a bright future for this industry. Developing a mobile banking application is not only a necessity to stay competitive, but also an opportunity to innovate and attract a new generation of users. 

Do you want to develop Fintech applications and mobile experiences that boost your organization?

At ThinkUp we can help you. For almost a decade, we have been developing exceptional mobile applications and user experiences. We create world-class digital products for startups and enterprises, with the goal of transforming and strengthening our partners’ businesses. 



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