Insurance providers, banks, investment companies, funds, and trusts… What do they have in common? All of them need to have their financial apps to be custom-made. Otherwise, they won’t be able to satisfy the ever-growing pickiness of their customers.
Since you’re reading this, your company works in the financial sector, and you know you need an app. But, as you’ve already learned, that’s not enough.
Before you can kick off your partnership with a financial software development services provider, you have to explain what you want your app to be. And you need to settle on your requirements before you even choose the company itself.
The best way to put it into words is by writing a feature list. Of course, the core features depend on your services, clients, and niche. But there are also 7 must-have features all successful financial apps have in common.
Let’s break them down.
1. Smooth User Experience
According to a global survey of financial service organizations, “improved digital experience for their customers” is among the top three priorities for 80% (Statista, 2020). So, if you want to compete with them, you need to make it your highest priority, too.
But what makes the user experience great? In a nutshell, it’s not just about the user interface, although how you design it plays its role, too. How you design the customer journey is the make-it-or-break-it factor—it has to be as simple and short as possible.
Here are 5 other best practices that any financial software development company should be able to follow:
- Conduct user testing to have insight into their real—not assumed—needs;
- Have a clear visual hierarchy for the app’s contents;
- Design with accessibility and usability in mind;
- Take user’s context into account;
- Make your language simple.
2. Data Security
Finance is one of those industries that handle a lot of sensitive data. And it’s not just your users’ personal data that can be in danger. If your developers slack off at this part, your clients’ accounts can get robbed, and your corporate data can end up getting leaked. This can spell doom for FinTech businesses like crypto exchanges selling digital currencies. It’s critical to build in sophisticated cyber security protocols to ensure data security from hackers.
Here are 4 security features your FinTech app has to have:
- Multi-factor authentication. There are plenty of options here. It can involve a unique single-use code sent by text message, a short-living link sent via email, fingerprint authentication, and more.
- Data encryption. All of the communication between the user’s device and your servers should be encrypted or tokenized. That way, even if the data packets get intercepted, hackers won’t be able to make sense of their contents.
- Secure app logic. It’s not just authentication and encryption you have to worry about. Your financial software development services provider should know how to protect you from potential attacks like cookie tampering and denial of service.
- Fraud prevention. Your app should include AI-powered algorithms that will recognize and flag suspicious activity. Then, they can either block it or ask for the user’s authorization.
Of course, this isn’t a full list. Discuss all security risks and solutions with your financial software development company.
Also Read: How Are Hardware Wallets More Secured?
3. Push Notifications
They are your direct line of communication with your clients, so don’t miss out on this feature. They can deliver real-time updates for your clients (which they’ll appreciate) and serve as your direct (and highly personalized!) marketing channel.
Keep in mind: push notifications get open more than 90% of the time!
What’s more, push notifications aren’t reserved just for mobile apps. Web and desktop apps support them, too.
4. Analytics & Reporting
Everyone loves dashboards. Pie charts and graphs have the power to make boring numbers easy to grasp at just a glance.
But it’s not just dashboards you should include. Your clients will also appreciate:
- Reports. This is the summary of all user activity. These reports should be simple and provide insight to the user. You can also make them downloadable—this is especially useful in banking and insurance apps.
- History. Users need to review their history when (not if) they forget when they made that payment or filed that claim. So, make sure they have this option—and that it’s detailed enough.
- Predictive analytics. It’ll help you deliver more targeted marketing campaigns by analyzing every user’s behavior in detail. Users, in return, experience a more personalized approach. It’s a win-win for both sides.
No business in the financial sector has zero feedback from their clients. And if your customer support is still in-person and by phone only, you’re not making it easy for your clients. That brings down the quality of their experience – up to a point where they start thinking about saying “goodbye” to you.
Integrating your support within your application can make the whole process less cumbersome and stressful, provided it’s done right, of course. Here are 3 ways your financial software development services partner can do it:
- Online chat. It’ll connect your users with your support employees via instant messaging.
- Request-a-call feature. Sometimes, texting just doesn’t cut it. For these cases, you can offer your clients this option. They’ll appreciate having a call when it’s convenient for them and with no waiting in line.
- Chatbot/virtual assistant. These are your two AI-powered solutions that can reduce the workload on your support team. However, they have their limitations, so don’t think of them as a 100% substitute for real-person interaction.
6. Optical Character Recognition (OCR)
Integrating with the user’s smartphone camera to do some scanning is one of those features that probably doesn’t come to your mind first. But it’s great for reducing manual output – and that’s something users love.
Here are just a couple of examples of how you can implement it:
- If your app will process insurance claims, ask users to just take a photo of their documents. The data recognized by OCR can be used to autofill the claim form itself.
- If you want to develop a payment or banking app, add the feature to scan the credit card number with the device’s camera.
7. Integration with Other Apps/OS Features
Your product won’t be existing in a vacuum. It’ll find its place among dozens of other apps on your users’ smartphone or browser home screen. And it should be able to communicate with those apps and platform-specific features to facilitate your users’ lives.
Here are several integrations you should consider:
- Fingerprint authentication and FaceID/Face Unlock for multi-factor authentication;
- Geolocation services for personalizing the UX and additional features like showing your nearest offices on a map;
- Apple and Google Pay, as well as payment gateways like Stripe and PayPal;
- Siri and Google Assistant for making voice search and control possible.
Also Read: 5 Ways To Market Your Small Business
In Conclusion: 5 More Requirements to Consider
Wait, don’t close the tab just yet! There are 5 more things you should contemplate before talking to a financial software development company:
- Performance. How many users is your app expected to handle?
- Scalability. What are your projected user base growth goals?
- Platforms. What platforms are you going to launch your app on (web, Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, etc.)? For an MVP, web, Android, and iOS apps should suffice.
- Legal requirements. Which regulations will your financial software have to comply with? (e.g., General Data Protection Regulation and Payment Services Directive for the EU)
- Multilingual and multicurrency support. Which languages does your target audience speak? What currencies do they use?