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Finance is one of the most complex subjects, yet everyone needs to be well-versed in it. Learning personal finance is not an easy undertaking, especially for adults with preexisting responsibilities and concerns. Personal finance apps are designed to help people take control of their money and improve their life quality. Mobile app development services pave the way to efficient and simple personal money management.

However, tackling this endeavor on your own can be intimidating. How do you deal with regulations and data protection laws? What is the difference between native and cross-platform mobile development services? Thinking of how to build a personal finance app that empowers people to improve their financial situation, you need to consider many factors. In this article, we’ll discuss personal finance app development, essential features, costs, and monetization models, and delve into a step-by-step guide to guarantee a successful product.

What is a Personal Finance App?

Personal finance apps are designed to help individuals manage their finances using a mobile application. Depending on the niche, users can make transactions, plan their budgets, track expenses, and learn about the money management process.

Finance app development delivers secure mobile solutions that contain all the relevant information to manage personal finances. From bank accounts and credit and debit cards to online payment systems, users can grasp their financial situation in a single and concise overview.

The convenience and simplicity of modern finance apps empower users to become more knowledgeable about their funds. According to the Global FinTech Adoption Index, 75% of consumers have used a finance app at least once to make a transaction or payment. Moreover, the number is expected to grow across the globe.

Types of Personal Finance Apps

Before we dive into the ins and outs of personal finance management, let’s explore the most common types of personal finance apps.

Personal Finance App Development

Budget Planners

The most basic type of finance app is a budgeting solution that allows users to keep track of their spending. In the world of overconsumption, it can be quite challenging to monitor your expenses and save up for more ambitious purposes. Using budgeting apps, users can break down their monthly cash flow, pay attention to their spending habits, and adjust them to meet their goals.

Investment Apps

Historically, the world of investment used to be a highly exclusive club, available only to people with considerable wealth. Luckily, technological advancements in recent years have democratized the industry and made it accessible to everyone. Using investment apps, people can learn about market trends and opportunities, utilize robo-advisers, and invest in various stocks.

Peer-to-peer Payment

P2P payment apps facilitate a simple and straightforward way to make a transaction between different banks. Sometimes, wiring money from one bank to another can be difficult or pricey, and that’s where P2P apps shine. Whether users are paying for professional services or loaning money to their friends and family, such personal finance apps provide an easier connection among multiple banks.

Financial Management

Unlike basic money management apps, financial management solutions aim at educating their users. Instead of simply aggregating and consolidating information, these types of apps provide actionable tips to optimize user expenditure. A finance management app analyzes input user data and, based on their habits, income, and goals, teaches them financial literacy.

Banking Apps

Financial institutions can create a finance app to improve user experience and reach wider audiences. Providing users with 24/7 availability, secure transactions, and smooth operations increases the bank’s reputation and credibility. The rise of digital banking has also facilitated the emergence of neobanks that allow users to create online-only bank accounts.

Industry-specific Challenges of Finance Apps

Different sectors impose various regulations and roadblocks when it comes to developing a software product. In the world of finance, you will be dealing with strict security rules, legal restrictions, and UX/UI design. Let’s investigate which challenges await you on the way to building a finance app.

Personal Finance App Development

Robust Data Protection

Among the ever-rising cybersecurity threats, dealing with sensitive data puts an even larger target on your back. Make sure to protect users’ financial accounts from people with bad intentions to avoid penalties and reputational damage. Adhere to the following best practices in finance application development to deliver a secure and reliable platform:

  • Multi-factor authentication (MFA)
  • Ended-to-end encryption
  • Secure Know-Your-Customer (KYC) process
  • Trusted libraries
  • Limited individual sessions

User-centric Design and Navigation

Finance is a complex topic that can be hard to grasp without preexisting knowledge and experience. To allow your users to effortlessly navigate your personal finance app and meet their personal goals, make sure you provide an appealing and simplistic design. Utilize infographics, dashboards, and other visual elements to make the financial breakdown easy to comprehend.

Continuous Innovation

The fintech industry continues to expand and come up with new technologies to make finance management more available. For example, nearly all modern finance apps offer crypto wallets to store, exchange, and invest in cryptocurrencies.

Blockchain Ecosystem with Banking Platform

Finance App Development Regulations 

Personal finance app development imposes a slew of legal requirements, regulations, and laws. To minimize the potential threats of dealing with financial data, regulators have created specific frameworks. However, the content of these regulations varies from location to location which makes this industry especially hard to navigate. While some countries offer sandboxes to test new products, others enforce strict rules and procedures.

US Regulatory Frameworks

  • The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) regulates national and federal banks.
  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) makes sure the consumer is protected.
  • The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) protects investors and maintains efficient and fair markets.
  • The Federal Reserve System oversees banks and other financial institutions to ensure stability in the sector.
  • State-level regulations differ depending on the state and provide additional regulations or leniency for finance apps.

EU Regulatory Frameworks

  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) regulates user data within the European Union. From collection, storage, use, and disposal, the law dictates how companies can ethically deal with user information.
  • The Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) manages payment services across the EU.
  • The Anti-money Laundering Directive (AMLD) administers practices that prevent money laundering.
  • The E-money Directive deals with electronic money, including the issuance, distribution, and security.

The EU has created a sandbox that enables finance apps to test their ideas in a controlled environment without facing harsh regulations.

Emerging Trends in Regulatory Practices

One of the most significant trends is digital identity, which is a set of characteristics that allow a computer to differentiate between users. This system can help companies prevent fraud and facilitate a safer space across financial apps.

Open banking is another tool that increases innovation in the market. This approach allows banks to share customer data with external service providers to develop new features and services. This trend also drives international cooperation, enabling organizations from different countries to work together.

Finally, cryptocurrencies and regulatory sandboxes remain prominent trends in the financial sector. However, new technologies require new regulations, and crypto is not an exception. To prevent money laundering and fraud, regulators are introducing new laws to secure the world of crypto-finance.

Essential Features for a Budget-friendly Finance App

Finance apps require a set of essential features to deliver even the most basic application. In this section, we will focus on the functions that you need to provide to build a successful finance app.

Personal Finance App Development

User Registration

Finance app development companies tend to shorten the registration process to keep users engaged. Instead of demanding newcomers to immediately complete every step of authorization, limit the procedure to one or two at a time. This way, users can start browsing the app and benefiting from its features sooner.

To safeguard user data, provide biometric authentication features like face recognition and fingerprint analysis as well as MFA and other industry-standard practices.

Account Integration

To maximize results, businesses create finance applications that cover multiple use cases and consolidate data in one location. This requires integration with various financial apps and accounts. You can start by integrating credit and debit cards and other bank accounts to provide a holistic overview. In later iterations, consider tethering the personal finance app to crypto wallets and other digital solutions.

AI-powered Recommendations

Artificial intelligence is the master of processing vast amounts of data and identifying patterns. By collecting and analyzing user data, AI-driven bots can provide personalized advice to optimize spending. This feature can empower your customer base to be more conscious about their money management habits and use their funds more efficiently.

Spending Tracker

A spending tracker is a feature that allows users to monitor how much money they spend on various items and categories. Knowing their spending habits provides an actionable plan on how to reduce expenditure and begin saving. Financial app development usually involves graphs, charts, and other visuals to make the breakdown of the expenses more digestible.

Goal Setting

Based on AI recommendations and monthly expenditures, users can set up in-app financial goals to keep themselves accountable. Following through with such objectives is easier with regular reminders and notifications. Make sure to remind your audience about their saving goals to keep them on the right track.

Powerful Search Engine

Build a reliable search engine to aid users in discovering information quickly and effectively. Especially if you’re offering materials regarding personal money management, make sure they are easy to find.

Currency Exchange

Whether as an investment or for a business transaction, some users require a currency conversion feature. Include a function that allows customers to swap between different currencies to increase user satisfaction.


From the user interface to custom infographics, enable users to create tailored functions to enrich their experiences. You can also showcase the capabilities of customization using an AI chatbot.


Finance application development agencies built gamification features into their systems to increase user retention and engagement. For example, investment apps provide users with in-app fantasy currency to incentivize them to begin trading without taking actual risks. A personal finance app can also reward its customers for using certain features, meeting their financial goals, saving enough money, etc.

Continuous Customer Support

Companies employ AI-powered chatbots to streamline customer support services. No matter how simple your system is, users may have questions regarding onboarding and features. Create a strong and accessible chatbot tool that responds to common queries while the rest is handled by the human customer support team.


Finally, enable custom notifications to allow users to decide which actions they want to be informed about and in which way. For instance, some users may want to receive alerts via emails, while others through messages. However, don’t overwhelm your customer base with notifications to avoid fatigue and frustration.

How to Monetize a Personal Finance App

Monetization is an important step in the mobile development process. There are a few methods of generating income from a personal finance app that we will discuss in this section. Keep in mind that combining several models will likely maximize the revenue.

Personal Finance App Development

In-app Purchases

In-app purchases include transactions made inside the application to gain access to more advanced features. For example, you can charge for using certain functions that are not available in the free version of the solution.

In-app Advertisements

Among the most ubiquitous methods of monetization is in-app ads. However, make sure the ads are relevant to the user to avoid ad fatigue. This requires user data collection and analysis to identify which product may interest this particular customer. Additionally, ads must be seamless and not distract the user from the personal finance app content.

Subscription Model

For a more advanced application comprising numerous features, a subscription-based model is a great choice. In this approach, you can provide a free app version with only basic features and charge a monthly fee for more complex transactions. You can even deliver several tiers depending on the type of user, monthly cash flow, location, etc.

Affiliate Marketing

By partnering with other financial apps and businesses, you can simultaneously promote your product and generate an income stream. For instance, you can collaborate with a credit card company and earn a commission whenever your user signs up for a new one.


Especially if you’re lacking capital for the finance app development process, consider crowdfunding as the means of generating initial funds. In exchange for financial support, you can offer various rewards, discounts, and other incentives to the investors. Not only can you collect enough money to build a personal finance app but also create a community around your product.

Data Monetization

The collected user data will be helpful to you and an array of other companies and institutions. Once anonymized, this data can be sold to allow other businesses to develop solutions in the finance market. However, before selling user information, make sure to collect consent to protect yourself from legal and reputational damages.

How to Build a Personal Finance App in 8 Steps

This part is a step-by-step guide on how to create a financial app in eight steps.

Personal Finance App Development

#1 Build User Personas

User personas are representations of your target audience packaged in one or more fictional characters. Creating user personas helps businesses visualize their customers, understand their needs on a deeper level, and relate to their pain points. You can start by interviewing users from different demographics and recording their limitations, issues, needs, and goals.

Sift through the accumulated data to identify the dominant qualities and traits and describe concrete personas. The deeper you describe the better can you visualize and empathize with your potential audience. This exercise helps companies not only discover their target user base but also find a way to relate to them.

#2 Conduct Competitor Research

Do your own research to learn about the current state of the industry, fintech trends, and main competitors. Identify what they do better to learn from them and find the weak spots on the market to discover your niche.

Using these findings, you can exploit existing market weaknesses to create a product that solves them. Identifying a niche area allows you to specify a unique value proposition which gives you a competitive advantage from day one.

#3 List Essential Requirements and Features

Study your competitor research and finalize the list of crucial features that your personal finance app will have. In the modern-day personal finance app development process, companies tend to launch a minimum viable product (MVP) prior to unleashing fully-fledged functionality. Building an MVP not only saves resources but also allows you to validate your idea before investing more money and time.

An MVP includes only essential functions that are necessary to perform the integral task. For example, a P2P payment system consists of a digital wallet, a connection to bank accounts, and a money transfer option. In further finance app development iterations, you can add more advanced features to the application to make it more attractive to the audience.

#4 Find an IT Partner

This step can be taken earlier or later depending on your expertise, budget, and objectives. If you have a fully equipped team on board, you may want to delegate a part of the project to speed up your finance app development. Otherwise, outsourcing app development is a common tactic that allows companies to focus on their core competencies while benefiting from a strong application. Choose a mobile app development company with experience in finances that offers an extensive collection of case studies, and uses appropriate technology. 

Consider preparing a mobile app request for proposal (RFP) to evaluate the expertise of candidates. An RFP document should contain all the vital data required for the bidder to make an informed decision. From technical and business requirements to available resources and scope, make sure the document conveys the project as well as possible.

#5 Create a Requirements Document

Compile all the discovered data in one document to create an easy overview of the project’s scope, timeline, resources, etc. A mobile app requirements document is a blueprint that will help you navigate the personal finance app development process. Furthermore, this template streamlines the onboarding stage and helps newcomers swiftly grasp the product idea.

Don’t forget to mention the tech stack that you will use in the development process. Consult with your IT partner to choose the best cross-platform development framework to build a robust and high-performance solution. You can also opt for native development—however, this tends to be marginally more expensive.

#6 Build an Appealing Design

Creating an appealing design is a huge part of the finance app development. Pay attention to user flow to ensure the navigation is smooth and effortless. The design should be simple yet extensive and compile all the necessary data in a concise way.

Wireframing and prototyping are widely used concepts during design creation. Lightweight simplistic sketches of the future design, they help companies visualize user flow and develop better visuals. Research shows that high-fidelity wireframing can half the design process allowing you more resources for other time-consuming tasks.

#7 Coding and Testing

One of the most pivotal stages of developing an app, coding is the process of building functionality, data management, admin panel, visuals, etc. Make sure you’re using the best mobile app technologies for your goals to maximize the results.

Even though it’s technically a separate stage, testing has long become an integral part of coding. Using Agile methodology practices, personal finance app development organizations utilize sprints to split the entire development cycle into manageable components. This way, you can develop a small feature, immediately run tests to identify bottlenecks and make further improvements.

The Agile approach allows you to discover bugs before they end up in the production phase which considerably cuts the costs. Additionally, this model is more flexible than traditional development cycles and leaves room for changes on the go.

Mobile application testing includes multiple test scenarios to ensure the solution is impenetrable, solid, powerful, and functional. Run the following tests to provide your customers with the best possible finance app:

  • Security tests check vulnerabilities in the system
  • Data integrity tests verify database performance
  • Usability tests make sure the app is user-friendly
  • Functional tests validate the performance of integrations and interfaces
  • Performance tests assess the load, volume, and scalability of the application

#8 Launch and Maintain

After all the features are built and tested, you can release the personal finance app to a small group of beta testers to gather feedback and make corresponding adjustments. However, even after the public launch, maintenance will continue. Without continuous updates, your app will accumulate vulnerabilities that will put you at a higher risk of a data breach. Furthermore, constantly releasing new features will keep your product relevant.

Cost of Personal Finance App Development

The costs of creating a finance app can drastically vary depending on app complexity, tech stack, IT partner’s location, and other factors. So, how much does it cost to make an app in the financial sector? At a minimum, expect to pay from $25,000 to $80,000 for a basic application that includes expense tracking and management, goal setting, and simple transactions.

To reduce costs, businesses opt for MVP creation, wireframing, rigorous tests, and other measures that minimize risks. Another aspect that can help you build a budget-friendly finance app is outsourcing. Offshore outsourcing implies cooperating with companies based outside of your area. For example, you can partner up with an agency based in Eastern Europe and unlock considerable savings.

Online Banking Platform for SEPA Payments with Enhanced Security

Build a Personal Finance App with NIX

NIX is a mobile app development company with a wide range of successful mobile application projects. Our three-decade-long experience allows us to build high-quality apps across industries, including the fintech market. Let’s explore one of our recent cases:

Crypto Exchange Platform

The client is a creator of a cryptocurrency who wanted to develop a local crypto exchange platform. The biggest challenge lay in the novelty of crypto services which lacked security and transparency. The NIX team focused on ensuring rapid data processing, robust security, and high-quality system performance that can handle a large amount of requests. Another obstacle was a very tight schedule.

Our Solution

In order to release the product on time, we prioritized tasks, added more resources, and assigned our best talents to make the project happen. First, we changed the architecture from monolith to microservices. We also used WebSockets to monitor transactions in real time and allow the conversion between cryptocurrencies. Finally, we dedicated a big portion of the timeline to securing the system and eliminating vulnerabilities.


As a result, our client received a secure microservice-based blockchain platform with 2,000+ cryptocurrencies. Using the tool, users across the globe can trade their funds, regardless of their location and identity.

Blockchain Case Study


Finance app development is an especially complex process, unlike any other type of mobile development. Aside from technical complexity and elevated customer expectations, companies need to consider legal regulations and security concerns. Executing such a project flawlessly is an enormous challenge for someone with little to no experience.

If this speaks to you, consider reaching out to professionals. NIX is a team of technology experts ready to tackle a new challenge and make your ideas come to life. Get in touch with our specialists to get a consultation and bring your personal finance application to fruition.



What is a Personal Finance App?

A personal finance app is a software solution that allows users to track their expenses, set financial goals, and learn about money management. This type of app empowers users to take control over their spending and optimize their habits to save money and become more financially independent.


How Can You Make a Financial App?

When building a personal finance app, focus on legal regulations in your area to avoid potential penalties. Additionally, dedicate your time to safeguarding the solution to prevent fraud, money laundering, and data leaks. Aside from these specifics, personal finance app development includes market research, target audience identification, requirements gathering, coding, testing, and launch. Consider partnering with seasoned mobile app developers to build a financial app with maximized outcomes.


How Much Does It Cost to Develop a Financial App?

The costs of development are contingent on the amount of features, the complexity of technology, the location of the IT partner, time constraints, and other aspects. On average, a basic finance app costs from $25,000 to $80,000 to develop.

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