A beginner’s guide to developing a successful fintech app
You’ve got a winning idea for a fintech app, and now you want to turn it into a reality. But without significant financial backing or technical knowledge, it’s difficult to know where to start.
One of the main challenges is meeting the needs of your target audience, without letting your own biases and predispositions interfere. Many aspiring entrepreneurs do not place enough emphasis on this in the early stages, putting their idea at risk despite its merit. But with the right approach, many of the common pitfalls and obstacles to success can be avoided.
Here’s a beginner’s guide to developing a winning fintech application:
- Understand what fintech is
This may sound basic, but you’d be surprised at the number of developers that fail to take a step back and think about the foundations of a good app. Before development gets underway, it’s important to fully understand and appreciate what fintech is. Fintech is the act of using technology to simplify or improve the convenience of existing financial services. This is a useful lens to approach app development, and a reminder that the user must always be put at the centre of the context.
The aim of a good fintech application is to allow the user to achieve their goals easier, whether that be through less clicks or reduced screen time. Using this as a guiding principle can avoid design issues later down the line and keep your product useful to the end user throughout its development.
- Directly engage with your target audience
Another crucial element of development is to research and fully understand the needs of your target audience. Personal bias is a common pitfall here, as it is human nature to assume that other people want an app to work just like you do. This mindset is to be avoided at all costs, as only by researching and spending time with your target audience can you appreciate their specific needs.
The needs of your audience are likely to be diverse and conflicting, so it is important to implement change with caution. Throughout development, your product should remain clear and recognisable for its entire target audience, while facilitating specialised services for more sophisticated users. This is a fine balance to strike as it can lead to overcomplication when done incorrectly.
- Build a prototype
Once you have an idea of how your app should work, build a prototype and start hosting focus groups with the aim of receiving constructive criticism. Your prototype does not need to be sophisticated, starting even from a broad sketch of what your application is trying to achieve and how it will look. The goal here is to gain feedback on your concept and whether it is desirable for end users.
Focus groups are also extremely valuable later down the development line, when you have a functioning app. Not only do these sessions help identify bugs that require attention, but they can also provide valuable insights into the usability of your app. If the group finds any difficulty in navigating your application, it’s important to find a solution. This might require a significant change to your existing prototype, so be prepared to go through a number of iterations and remain patient.
- Aesthetic excellence
Now that you have a functioning app that meets your clients most basic needs, it is important to develop a plan for its aesthetics. Consumer expectations are constantly rising, and the most successful applications now go above and beyond functionality to deliver a clean and pleasant user experience.
People not only expect their apps to work smoothly, they also require engaging interfaces, original images and great animations. This is particularly true given the competitive nature of the market, meaning design is now what often separates a popular app from one that doesn’t achieve its potential. The key here is to not underestimate the importance of securing an engaging design on top of a well-functioning and sleek framework.
- Confidence over experience
Whatever’s lacked in technical knowledge or experience can be made up in confidence and resilience. Aspiring developers must be willing to learn a lot, be open to thinking alternatively, and be dedicated to finding a solution to any problem. This mentality is paramount, as development can be achieved by anyone so long as they are willing to persist through trial and error.
The mobile app market is expected to grow £140 billion by 2020, but imagine what this figure would be if we all had the confidence to pursue our big ideas? It’s important to know that without technical knowledge, development can be difficult, but definitely achievable if you understand and prioritise the needs of your target audience. With this in mind, you can be one step closer to creating your first fintech application.
By Dmitry Ogievich, head of development at fintech company Capital.com