The Complete Guide to Starting a Fintech App

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Considering how technologies like blockchains and application programming interfaces (APIs) have evolved, the time has never been better to build your own fintech app. These technologies and other fintech trends are great opportunities to solve issues plaguing people, and innovations have provided more accessible ways of developing an app without having to have extensive coding and IT knowledge.

If you have the idea—the solutions are at your fingertips. 

But, first, what steps are necessary to ensure a successful fintech app? Read on for all the help you’ll need to get started.

What is Fintech? 

Fintech is the buzzword for everything related to finance and technology, including online payment and money-transferring platforms to cryptocurrency exchange and budgeting apps. Your online banking app? That’s fintech, too.

So, you’re probably using fintech in your daily life without realizing it. For example, when you sign into a website to pay a bill or check your mortgage balance—that’s all done through financial technology. Cashless payments are prevalent these days. So much so, in fact, that people are using their smartphones to make transactions through virtual cards and wallets! 

When you think about it, money is involved in everything we do. That’s why the fintech industry covers many areas, from banking to borrowing and more, including lending, wealth management, and cryptocurrency-based solutions. 

What is a Fintech App?

Because fintech covers such a wide range of services, a fintech app can be defined as a piece of software that provides financial services in some form. 

With fintech in the digital age, you can handle your money online. It can help make everyday life a whole lot easier. Fintech apps also go by the name financial applications or even just fintechs. Fintech apps offer customized services and products to users. Comparisons tools, budgeting tools, and all your account details in one place are just a few examples of the features fintech apps can offer. Fintech apps can even be software infrastructure, like payment as a service, that is useful as the core infrastructure supporting other apps. 

The financial industry is simply booming. Fintech apps are great for everyone, not just traditional banks and financial institutions; they make it easy to manage and track your money, do banking, and even find the best rates for loans and insurance.

Reasons to Develop a Fintech App

There’s never been a better time to consider building a fintech app, and there are plenty of reasons you should get started right now. If your fintech startup has a great idea for an app to solve a problem or offer financial features that are more efficient or convenient for users, this will provide value. 

One of the fastest ways to take control of your finances is to learn about general financial knowledge. A fintech app that offers financial education and solves a pain point is an excellent way to promote your product. It can make our lives easier and help us better manage money. Knowledge of personal finance also helps us make important decisions and effectively manage our finances.

Fintech App Features

Before starting your fintech app development, one of the most important things to consider is how the general public will receive it. Make sure your application includes these features before releasing it to the public:

Security

With more people using online applications to share information, many people are wary of the threat of data breaches. A good fintech app must include protections to keep users’ information secure and private. A fintech developer must implement various security measures on their app. These include blockchain, encryption, two-factor authentication, and data obfuscation. Using a payment infrastructure service like Sila will ensure that your security needs are met. 

Visualization

A visually pleasing dashboard gives users a depiction of things like spending history, transactions, payment history, or charts to better understand what they’re doing with their money.

AI Learning

Artificial intelligence (AI) has become an integral part of any fintech application. Algorithms draw on various inputs to analyze and provide learning opportunities that your users will benefit from. 

Payment Integration

Almost all fintech apps and companies implement some form of payment within the application. Generally, you will want to use one or a combination of banking, mobile wallet, and ACH payments API. 

Financial Automation

Smart contracts allow fintech firms to integrate financial automation features previously unheard of in financial services.

Steps to Create a Fintech App 

The tech financial sector is relatively new, but it’s quickly taking off as the world gets figuratively smaller and finances become more complex. 

Building a Fintech app is an attractive prospect. It can also be challenging and lead to wasted time, making the wrong decisions about features, or even complete failure. 

However, you can do things before building the app that will help you avoid these pitfalls. 

1) Define your objective 

It’s essential to have a discovery phase before you build any fintech app because it’s only during this phase that you’re sure you’re building the right product. You need to make sure that your product is suitable for your business and users. So be sure to define your objective. A good objective should be clear, achievable, and quantifiable to know if you are successful.

You need to know what your users want, why they want it, what is stopping them from getting it, and how it will benefit them—and you—when you provide it through your app.

One of the first steps to successful marketing is knowing your target audience. User-centered design works because it takes a user’s demographics into account, highlights their challenges, and uses language that the user can relate to, making them feel more comfortable. Your app should be user-friendly and benefit your target audience by solving a problem for them.

You should also determine what users expect from an app, rather than just the problems they face. Improving your user experience means making sure you’re meeting their needs; it’s essential to understand what they want. This is a critical step in designing a successful project. Be aware of fintech regulations for the integrations you are looking to add. 

Also, make sure to do your market research so you understand what other tech companies are doing in your industry.

2) Planning

Before you start building your fintech app, you need to plan out a roadmap and determine the crucial points a fintech startup and app needs for success. 

What exactly do you want the fintech app to do? Will it be able to store virtual currency? Which type of digital payment options do you want to include? 

To ensure a successful project, create a timeline that includes deadlines, milestones, and deliverables. Stay on track by prioritizing tasks that need to be taken care of before the deadline.

When planning, always put high-risk integrations higher up your list to include them in every aspect of the project. Fintech apps often have complex integrations and regulations to adhere to, so you should prioritize these.

3) Implement

Your users will need access to their bank accounts to complete financial transactions. Using Plaid’s API through Sila, you can connect your customers with their bank accounts. Plaid is a leading API for the fintech industry, and it has several powerful features that make things simpler and more manageable. 

Plaid delivers onboarding as fast as your product grows and can consolidate a user’s financial data on one platform. The single sign-on capability also reduces the risk of data theft and makes it easy to launch new features.

4) Ensure Compliance

As you know, it’s vital to protect the sensitive data collected or use by your fintech product. Compliance should be a focus, which includes things as simple as data encryption and PCI DSS for data storage. However, if you want to grow, then handling all of this compliance on your own is tough. 

This is why Sila provides many compliance features as part of its core product. Sila provides an embedded KYC (know your customer) and AML (anti-money laundering) compliance program through a versatile API that makes it easy for fintechs to stay compliant with the law. We also use third-parties to offload data storage so that saves human resources, time, and risk, and makes managing your fintech projects far easier.

Sila’s API benefits fintech startups in cryptocurrency, P2P lending, and payment services with AML compliance solutions. You will know that your app is compliant so that you can spend time developing and managing customer relationships while ensuring that transactions are safe. 

As a fintech company, you have undertaken the trust of your users, and when they use your app, they expect an excellent product and for you to look out for their safety. You can take a few small steps to reach this goal:

  1. You should always understand the legal agreement with all of your applications. This includes app permission levels, DMARC policies (anti-fraud settings), and the best ways of accessing data via our financial APIs.
  2. Brush up on KYC/KYB regulations and any other legal obligations.
  3. Data privacy is an important topic you should pay extra attention to as a business. Generate data privacy and management policy for your company’s protection.
  4. Ensure that your employees are aware of regulations and compliance measures.
  5. Hire a compliance officer to help you with the complicated regulation your product needs to follow.

Your customers’ security is a huge responsibility. Users are trusting you to protect their digital assets, which can be pretty comparable to the value of your life’s savings. Make sure to build your credibility with them by doing this because it will help them trust you and the app.

5) Get Your Tech Stack

Finally, we have the tech stack. Once you know what you want your product to do, your target market, the APIs you need to collect, and compliance, you’ll want to accumulate your tech stack. For fintech, your tech stack includes: 

  • The API aggregator that will host the app
  • The APIs that you will use
  • Your compliance and policy information
  • Your app dashboard for ongoing monitoring
  • Your testing sandbox

Luckily, with Sila, you have one product that fills all these needs. WIth Sila, you gain access to our status as a bank agent through Evolve Bank & Trust and the powerful technology that Sila is made up of at your fingertips.

6) Review & Sandbox

You should make sure to have several check-ins throughout the development process of your financial service app. You can use them to ensure your key strategic aims are never too far from your mind.

By using analysis of user behavior and reviewing what is working and what is not with A/B testing, you can ensure that your app is thriving and meets your customers’ needs. You will be continually testing your product in the sandbox thorughout the process, especially as you add products, but be sure to check in periodically to fix bugs and get used to this process.

Starting Your Fintech App

Whether you’re looking to start up as a full-fledged financial institution or you want to build a investment platform online, you’re starting your journey toward a fintech app. At Sila, we give fintech startup firms the tools to create a product that is made with your ideas and then add professional services and support so that you can grow to reach as many potential customers as possible.

With interest in startups and fintech growing, now is the best time to build your financial services app. To create a successful product, you need to identify a problem and then design a process that will provide solutions.

We can help you with fintech app development, building an app with fintech features that enable cool financial features direly needed in this complicated and growing economy. With products for your fintech app, including ACH, bank account, bank account balance, wallet, and Ethereum APIs and KYC, KYB, and EIN verification APIs, you’ll be able to start building your next breakthrough fintech app in no time.