Managing personal finances by digging through bills and receipts can be overwhelming.

Personal finance application lets you maintain your budgeting, spending, and investment records on paper and electronic devices for easy access.

So personal finance apps, bringing considerable value, are in high demand and are mushrooming the app stores globally. These money management apps help users track their finances and manage their budgeting and spending habits.

Building a personal finance app is, thus, a good investment for a business.

But do you know all the nuances of developing a unique personal finance app?

Here's a step-by-step guide to building such an app. It will provide an answer to all your doubts and questions.

Read further to learn about the different types of personal finance apps and what features to include in your app.

Let's start by first understanding what exactly a personal finance app is.

What is a Personal Finance App?

Just as there is an app for almost everything today, a personal finance app is a money management application. It helps you regulate and keep track of your financial flow, set a budget, and get meaningful insights about your savings and expenditure.

Market Overview

When building a new personal finance app, ensure it can survive market competition. After all, your and your competition's audience and market segment will remain the same, even though your app's functionality will differ.

That's why it is essential to do thorough market research before launching and even designing a new personal finance mobile application.

Here's a list of major market players

  • Mint — This is one of the popular personal finance apps which lets you track your finance for free.
  • You Need a Budget — This is one of the best debt payoff and budgeting apps offering educational resources.
  • Prism - This is one of the best apps for paying bills. It offers the ability to sync with a vast number of billers.
  • Spendee - This is one of the best options to manage shared expenses, as in the case of a household.
  • EveryDollar — This is one of the detailed budgeting tools and expense trackers.
  • PocketGuard — This is a money management tool with a friendly UI.

In addition to the market players mentioned above, traditional banks have entered the market of personal finance management. Today, you'd find many banking apps having budgeting features.

For example, Alliant mobile banking app.

This means that there is additional competition for your product from banks. On the other hand, this also means banks can also purchase your app.

Also Read: A Complete Guide to Decentralized Finance

Role of a Personal Finance App

Build Personal Finance App

The role of a personal finance app is to make your life easier. How? By facilitating, you manage your finances efficiently.

Personal finance apps simplify financial management and offer a great way to take a front seat and see where you are spending your money. Besides, you get valuable insights about better money management, access to various investment options, advice, and insurance inputs, and also prepare for financial emergencies.

Here is a list of the standard functions a personal finance app performs.

  • Tracks bills and expenses.
  • Calculates income and expenditure.
  • Plans out the budget.
  • Organizes finance.
  • Analyzes the data and generates insightful reports.
  • Offers transparency over the user's income and spending.

Also Read: Rising Significance of Blockchain in Finance: Exploring Future Opportunities

Types of Personal Finance App

Two types of personal finance apps are available- simple and complex financial apps.

Let's find out more about these applications..

1. Simple Financial Apps

As indicated by its name, this type of personal finance app is a straightforward app that requires users to input their data or financial information manually.

Besides adding all the records personally, the user must manually indicate the category of every purchase and income.

It offers an easy way for users to keep track of their expenses, plan future investments, and budget.

Advantages:

  • There is almost zero risk factor here because none of your bank accounts need to be linked to the app.
  • Because of a straightforward app development process and simple features, this app is inexpensive.

Disadvantages:

  • Because of the manual data entry, the human error rate of the app remains high.
  • Manual data entry also makes the entire procedure time-consuming.

2. Complex Financial Apps

This kind of app is a lot more complex since it is designed to automate the money management process for users. First, it allows the users to link their cards and bank accounts for automatic data synchronization. Then, with advanced tools, it fetches needed information from your accounts.

Advantages:

  • This kind of app is much more all-inclusive than a simple financial app. It offers many features to its users and allows them to perform many functions instead of just a few basic ones.
  • This app is very efficient because it saves users time.
  • Real-time updates are one of this app's most significant benefits, so your user is constantly updated about everything happening.

Disadvantages:

  • The app development cost for this type of app is high compared to a simple financial app.

How to Create a Personal Finance App?

Here's a step-by-step approach to creating a personal finance app.

1. Understand Your App User

Knowing your user well can simplify many things for you - it helps build a better product, identify the features required, and build an effective promotional plan for your app.

Therefore, research and defining critical demographical criteria to draw a user persona should be the first step.

But wait! Before you begin reaching out to anyone for your app, you must know who you want to reach, their location, age, education, if they have any children, etc.

Answers to these questions will help you determine what features your app will offer.

Also, you'll be able to understand if the user will be ready to pay for your services.

2. Conduct Competitor Research

competitor research

This step is crucial as it helps you become aware of what your competitors are up to. Do thorough research on your competition and the kind of fintech app they offer.

Do take care that this research aims not to emulate your competitors but to figure out what they are doing well and what can be improved.

3. Identify The Problem

To build an app, you must identify the problem your new app will solve.

Find an answer to what it is about the existing personal finance solutions that are keeping their users from achieving their goals. Is there any new technology that would make the user experience smooth?

Can your app solve a problem that other existing financial apps have overlooked?

4. Security is The Key

Pay attention to the most critical aspect of any financial app - "Is my app safe?" This is the biggest concern for a potential user.

Especially now, as there are cases of personal information leaks, as many of us have started regarding Facebook and Google business models as an infringement of human rights, security must be considered the most important by fintech solutions.

This is how you can enhance the security of your user's data:

  • First, apply a two-factor authentication which is an excellent safeguard for your user. It enables user verification with the help of two forms of identification, e.g., a passcode and a one-time-use code sent via text message or e-mail.
  • Cut down the session mode to a particular time so your app won't run unprotected.
  • Be careful when displaying the personal information of the user. It is not a good idea for financial apps to use eye-catchy and colorful fonts. We need to make the app safe to run even in public places.
  • Pay special attention to applying PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) and GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) to your app.

5. Think of All The Features to Include in Your Finance app

Short-list and begin with the crucial components that every personal finance app must have. They include

  • Account authorization: Make sure user account authorization is fast and easy. Also, it must be secure as lots of private info is involved.
  • User profile: Include this feature for users to add and edit basic information about them.
  • Income and expenses tracking: This feature must allow users to control money transactions and do real-time tracking.
  • Notifications: Ensure your users are notified about upcoming payments, increased spending, or a reminder to update important information.

In addition, you can include advanced features in your finance app for setting goals, linking bank accounts/payment services, calculations, additional reports, etc.

6. Select a Tech Stack

Tech Stack

Once you are clear about the features you need in your app, it's time to decide the tools and technologies you would need to build the app. These tools and instruments include libraries, databases, programming languages, frameworks, etc.

This is yet another essential step.

First, let's talk about the front end of your app. This is the layer that your app users will interact with. Since it deals with the elements of the look and feel of your app, wisely choose the right frontend tech stack for user engagement.

The key frontend technologies you should use are HTML, CSS, and JavaScript combined with frameworks.

The backend is responsible for faster data loading time, complete security, and ease of transactions.

The backend stack can include the programming languages such as Ruby, Python, C++, and C#. They are considered the best for financial solutions.

Moreover, your database should be secure and be able to process queries quickly. You can use MongoDB or Kibana.

In addition, depending on your personal finance app's complexity, you may need to include APIs and AI solution integrations.

Also, consider whether you want to build a native or cross-platform app. This decision, too, impacts your choice of tech stack.

7. Build a Convenient UX Design

Money management for users should be easy with a personal finance app.

An exceptional UX (user experience) will help you succeed. The look and feel of your app should make the users want to use the app.

A simple UI (user interface) is essential in achieving a must-have UX. For example, while an attractive and decorative font might look great from a design standpoint, it's useless in a finance app if it's difficult to read.

Consider adding easy user flow and switching in-between screens. Make sure your users see only the information needed at the moment - don't overwhelm them by displaying a lot of information. Besides, ensure proper onboarding of users.

8. Testing

When the development process of your personal finance app is finished, and you are ready with your first MVP, your QA team must now test the app.

Since the app deals with people's money, the potential consequences of neglecting the testing can be catastrophic.

The testing process you'll do with a personal finance app is the same as with other apps. It just needs to be more rigorous.

It is best to involve people related to finance in this process.

Make sure you do -

  • Security testing - That includes penetration and info vulnerability checks
  • Data integrity - This includes thorough database testing
  • Usability testing - It should check the user-friendliness of your app
  • Functional testing - Do this to make sure integrations and interfaces are working well
  • Performance testing - This includes checking the load, spike, volume, and scalability level of the app

Once everything is tested and improved, you can launch your app. Launching is about more than just posting the product to stores. There is a full-fledged marketing strategy behind it. Please make sure you pay attention to it.

Also Read: How Finance Companies Use Intelligent Automation to Boost Customer Experience and ROI

Key Features to Include in Your Personal Finance App

Here are the features that make an excellent personal finance app.

1. Registration And Onboarding

App Onboarding UI

The statement - "The simpler, the better" holds for any mobile app, more so for a financial app. However, most financial apps are complex. Therefore, you must work out all the details to make your users comfortable with your solution.

Let's take the registration process. It is crucial to make the process of registration smooth.

A lot of data needs to be verified in a personal finance app. You can decide to split the registration form into multiple steps. No more than two to three questions should be asked at every step.

In addition, to enhance security, including biometric authentication here.

2. Account Integration

Your budget management software should be able to gather all financial accounts, such as credit cards, debit cards, loans, bank accounts, and mutual funds of the app user.

In short, your app should be a one-stop solution for everything about money management.

3. Insightful Advice via AI Chatbots

Chatbot

AI or Artificial Intelligence in fintech can vastly increase your team's productivity, even surpass humans in certain aspects.

Because customers look for conciseness, accuracy, and responsiveness, especially in finance-related issues, AI chatbots prove beneficial here.

AI allows chatbots to analyze user behavior. As a result, they bring a lot of value to the users by giving them insightful advice and desirable information in no time, turning them into a financial coach.

4. Real-time Spending Tracker

A money management app is incomplete without a real-time expenditure tracking feature. Such a feature comes in handy as it saves time and money for users.

You should not need your consumers to switch apps to track where they are spending/investing their money. This should be handled on a single platform.

5. Personalization

By customizing the user experience in your app as per the user's requirements, your personal finance app can become more appealing to the user. For example, display the user's transaction history in an interestingly designed infographic or customized reports. You can also create a helpful chatbot for the user.

6. Gamification

Gamification is a fascinating concept. App developers across many industries are using it these days. It's a wonderful way of keeping your users engaged.

By gamifying the user experience, you encourage users to interact with the application more frequently. On the other hand, the user considers a gamified money app a fun way to help them achieve their saving goals better.

By employing the gamification concept in your personal finance app, you can

  • Incentivize your users to save more
  • Improve user's daily financial management
  • Enhance user's knowledge of financial services and products

7. 24x7 Customer Support

Constant customer support in a financial app is of great importance. Customer support in multiple languages can get you clientele from across the world and keep your customers happy and loyal.

8. Alerts and Notifications

Mobile App Notifications

This is one of the most critical features included in a finance app. Users in case of need notifications and alerts

  • More spendings
  • Low balance in the account (wallets or bank)
  • Upcoming bills
  • Interesting investment deals

9. Points and Rewards

The app users need motivation from time to time. That's why you must keep offering them rewards and points.

They can be in the form of discounts, cashback, coupons, and credits.

10. Financial Advice & Consultation

Make sure your app also provides financial suggestions and advice from experts.

This would benefit users as they'll learn about additional ways to save money, invest, and keep track of their expenses.

In addition, you can include the following advanced features in your personal finance management solution.

  • Common currency converter
  • Calculator
  • Credit score calculator
  • Tax calculator

Build A Personal Finance App with Imaginovation

Personal finance apps are in high demand. And why not? After all, they offer a one-stop solution for your money management concerns. In addition, they facilitate you to do smart budgeting.

Thanks to the intelligent algorithms used in these apps, users get alerts and notifications about mandatory payments and unplanned expenses.

If you want to launch a personal finance app, contact us at Imaginovation. We can help you turn your unique finance idea into reality. We will help you build an app offering a frictionless user experience and all the advanced features for money management.

Imaginovation is an award-winning web and mobile app development company with vast experience crafting remarkable digital success stories for diverse companies.

Let's talk.

Author

Michael Georgiou

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Personal Finance App?
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