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    Banking App Development: Is Flutter a Good Solution for Finance Apps?

    Banking app development is a complex process that includes teams addressing challenges such as stable system performance, scalability, and data privacy. However, leading fintech organizations generally ship new functionality and updates on a monthly or even weekly basis, while making fully-fledged software solutions in 3–5 months. That’s why, to remain competitive, financial institutions of any size need to improve the time to market. 

    To build a banking app, which is compliant with quality standards, it is crucial to choose a technology stack properly. By using software technologies that meet project requirements, engineers can automate the development process while ensuring a seamless user experience (UX) and enforcing data security.

    Allowing companies to significantly reduce expenses and feature release cycles, cross-platform tools are being widely used to create applications in the banking and finance industry. With the emergence of advanced technologies, such as Flutter, it became possible to create solutions characterized by high performance and a native-like UX. Many successful organizations—for instance, Société Générale—have already developed financial applications using Flutter.

    If you’re looking to build a banking app, you should consider employing this cross-platform technology in your project. In this article, software experts at Surf have described Flutter benefits and success stories of utilizing this framework in fintech software development.

    Fintech apps created by Surf

    What is Flutter?

    Representing an open-source UI software development kit (SDK), Flutter enables software engineers to make cross-platform applications for mobile, web, and embedded devices. Using Flutter, programmers can write a single codebase for various operating systems that involve iOS, Android, Linux, and Windows. Released by Google in 2017, Flutter is also supported by the fast-growing developer community.

    Flutter provides a variety of components out of the box:

    • A customizable React-style framework;
    • Numerous iOS-style widgets that follow the Material Design guidelines;
    • The mobile-first 2D rendering engine for mobile and web apps;
    • Dart DevTools that serve for software product testing and debugging;
    • Application programming interfaces (APIs) to conduct unit and integration testing;
    • APIs for connecting to systems and third-party SDKs;
    • Command-line tools to develop, test, and compile apps;
    • A headless test runner to run tests on Mac, Windows, and Linux.

    At the moment, Flutter is being widely employed in banking apps development. Many financial companies have already used this cross-platform framework in their projects.

    Examples of startups and initiatives are PracticeBank (a banking application for kids), Fillit (a digital wallet), IBANshare (an app to securely store multiple IBANs in one place), and Travel Union (a mobile banking solution for families who travel).

    Why Flutter for your challenger banking app development?

    1. Reduced finance app development time and costs

    With the goal to gain a competitive edge and attract customers, banking institutions aim to cut time to market while preserving the solution quality. By using Flutter, software experts write a single codebase for different operating systems, this way avoiding the necessity to hire several teams to create native applications. In addition, quality assurance engineers can test software faster for bugs and potential issues.

    Coming up with a fully-fledged SDK, Flutter contributes to improved product delivery speed. Furthermore, a cross-platform framework contains a Hot Reload feature that allows programmers to observe the front-end and back-end changes in real time while developing applications. Thanks to this, companies save time for banking app development and compilation. It is worth noting that this functionality is not provided by native technologies.

    In mobile banking app development, the creation of the user interface with Flutter is also easier rather than when utilizing many other technologies. Flutter contains a wide range of Material Design widgets that can be customized by software experts.

    2. Application security

    Flutter banking apps are generally more secure than native solutions built with other cross-platform frameworks like Xamarin, Ionic, and React Native. Flutter code is written using the Dart programming language and compiled into native, computer-executable code. 

    What’s more, a native library that has a comprehensive structure and changing data formats is created during compilation. As a result, the process of reverse engineering is more complex, making it difficult for hackers to understand how the software works for further reproduction. 

    3. Reliable performance

    Performance has a direct impact on customer engagement and retention rates. When content load time is slow and the product performs poorly during heavy loads, consumers are unlikely to use a banking application again later. 

    Technically, Flutter offers 60 frames per second (FPS) performance. In some cases, software developers can enable even the 120 FPS performance, which is equal to the metrics of native solutions. Thanks to this, Flutter is a great choice to build a banking app intended to serve a large audience and provide fast response times.

    Create your performant and secure banking application, saving up to 40% with Flutter
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    4. Data security 

    As long as finance software solutions generally keep large amounts of sensitive data (for instance, customer personal data, financial data) and process transactions, it is essential to ensure information security and compliance with regulations like GDPR and PCI DSS.

    To provide users with safe access to applications and data they store, Flutter enables software experts to set up biometric authentication via Face ID or Touch ID. The use of these features in Flutter does not differ from native software. 

    In addition, Dart developers released library implementations of all popular data encryption algorithms, which allows for enforcing data security. Therefore, Flutter cross-platform technology can be employed to increase data protection when building a banking app.

    5. Facilitated app maintenance

    Developing a banking application requires time and effort but when the product is launched, it is important to further maintain it for satisfying customer needs. By delivering new features and updates according to end-user feedback, a financial organization will manage to boost the audience’s engagement and extend its influence on the market. 

    Since programmers write a single codebase for multiple platforms when building a banking app, its maintenance is significantly simplified. As a result, maintenance costs are also reduced. 

    Now, let’s consider some success stories of banking apps development using Flutter, including the first mobile solution in Europe created with this cross-platform technology.

    The 1st banking app in Europe developed with Flutter

    Founded in 1993, it is a universal bank and subsidiary of the international financial group Société Générale. When the bank turned to Surf, it had a mobile application for corporate clients. However, the product was developed on top of the legacy technology stack. As a result, it was almost impossible to introduce the necessary updates and extend the functionality. Additionally, there were performance issues that disrupted the customer experience. 

    In this regard, the Client wanted to build a banking app while adding new features. Since there were tight deadlines for project launch, the company decided to employ cross-platform technologies. Flutter was chosen as a cross-platform framework that allows engineers to deliver performant, user-friendly solutions while saving time and costs.

    Soon, the Surf team created a banking application that enables corporate clients to pay bills and taxes, as well as make online payments. Available on iOS and Android, the solution provides an intuitive user interface and smooth navigation. Thanks to Flutter, the bank managed to significantly reduce time to market and banking app development cost. 

    Banking app development for the Client of Société Générale group

    The product became the first banking app in Europe written with Flutter and the second one across the globe. Tagline Awards named the product as Best App in the finance and insurance category. To learn more about this project, check out the case study.

    If you are wondering how to create a banking application, read our step-by-step guide

    Curious to learn why banks and large fintech companies trust Surf?
    Read our case studies

    Nubank builds new features using Flutter for a finance app development

    Established in 2013, Nubank is a neobank that offers digital credit cards, personal loans, life insurance, and investment products. Headquartered in Brazil, the organization has offices in Germany, Argentina, and Mexico. Providing more than 48 million people with safe access to banking services, the company was witnessing fast growth. 

    In this context, Nubank was not able to ship new solutions and upgrades in a rapid way. Additionally, it became difficult to synchronize the work of the iOS and Android teams. As a consequence, new functionality would be launched for one platform prior to the other. This way, Nubank needed to reduce the feature release cycle while preserving quality. For this purpose, the neobank decided to use a cross-platform framework. 

    After thorough research of existing cross-platform technologies (Kotlin, Flutter, React Native), software experts chose Flutter for the possibility to make applications that deliver a native-like user experience. Engineers at Nubank enjoyed a wide range of tools for software testing, comprehensive documentation, and a more stable API. So, their development team was developing a mobile banking app faster and easier than ever.

    Employing Flutter, Nubank managed to cut the feature release time by up to three times. The organization also enhanced performance and ensured UI consistency across operating systems. At the moment, Flutter is the primary technology for mobile banking app development in the company.

    Final thoughts: is banking app development with Flutter a smart solution?

    Being a feature-rich SDK largely endorsed by the community, Flutter is a great technology for banking app development while achieving performance and fault tolerance. With Flutter, it is possible to create the UI and provide a consistent user experience across various operating systems. Using Flutter, software experts can enforce the security of sensitive data and increase protection from reverse engineering. It is especially important in the financial industry and finance app development in particular.

    If you want to build your own banking app, you are welcome to contact our team and briefly describe an idea of your project. Fill in the form below and we will soon get back to you to help address all issues. To ensure data confidentiality, we are ready to sign a non-disclosure agreement.