Natalie Monko Lead Project Manager

    Payment App Development: How to Build a Custom Solution for Your Business

    In the world of online shopping and remote transactions, payment app development gets more attention than ever. Such software helps companies to supply clients with easy options to send and receive funds, convert currencies, and purchase goods.

    With 12+ years of development experience in the finance industry, Surf knows the landscape of digital payments firsthand. In the article, we’ll explore the types of payment processing applications, their features, and the main steps of development.

    Types of payment applications to develop

    While payment apps have many use case scenarios, generally, there are four main categories of them.

    Digital wallets

    These mobile applications let users save details of credit cards, and make transactions in physical and digital stores. The most popular ones, equipped with NFC integration for contactless payments, are Google Pay and Apple Pay, while apps like Amazon Pay or Walmart Pay act as a gateway for payments at online stores.

    Money transfers

    Wise, CahsApp, and Venmo are some of the popular platforms. Such applications support receiving and sending money to other users and directly to bank accounts via the internet. Currency exchange is an important functionality for software that supports international transfers.

    Peer-to-peer lending

    These let users apply for a loan or get financing for a purchase by connecting them with those who lend money at favorable rates. Notable examples include Prosper and Funding Circle.

    Super apps

    The trend for uniting many features ‘under a roof’ of a single application hasn’t left payment software for payments unaffected. Many fintech companies adopt the strategy of catering to all user needs, from processing transfers to paying at shops. PayPal and Facebook Pay are examples of such mobile apps.

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    Features to add to your payment app

    When working on a software concept, carefully outline and assess all features for future development.

    • Secure authorization. Any software processing sensitive data should be sufficiently protected. While the authorization can be done via a password or Touch/Face ID, it is recommended to authorize transactions with a one-time code sent in SMS or email.
    • Electronic wallet creates a token of a credit card, subsisting details of it with surrogate data for remote and contactless payments, protecting the actual number, CVC code, and expiry date from exposure.
    • Money transfers. For user convenience, an application should support various options for processing transactions: by phone and card number, or account details.
    • History of operations. It is essential to allow users to browse and filter their transaction history and create printable documents. For example, when Surf worked on a corporate banking app, we developed extensive filter options for billing history, along with an option to generate documents in a few clicks.
    • Currency exchange enables users to send money cross-border and use the application abroad. A favorable exchange rate from a partnering bank can boost engagement and long-term loyalty of users.
    • Push notifications are useful when users expect an incoming transaction or want to be kept updated on a sent payment. Also, implementing notifications allows a company to promote new features and updates.

    Building payment app step by step

    Understanding the development process helps a company to plan budget and timing more accurately. 

    Pre-project research involves business analysts who research the market, competitors, and target audience, refining the application concept.

    UX/UI design is when the future app’s screens are designed according to the brand’s color schemes and style, and the app’s prototype is created.

    Development and testing stage is led by developers and is focused on programming the app, testing the code, and bug fixing.

    App release. The application becomes available in stores, while (in case it has been developed by outsourced developers) its support is handed to the in-house team.

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    How to estimate payment app cost

    App estimation includes the costs of developing every feature and expenses on business analysis, quality assurance, and project management. A fixed price estimation model provides a final price from the start with no additional expenses later but is not flexible, while the time and material model divides the process into stages, with the client paying only for what is actually done. 

    App cost breakdown

    Wrapping up

    With people taking even more daily activities into the digital realm, payment processing apps are in high demand. True, there is no shortage of modern-looking and feature-rich solutions but there are still market niches and audiences waiting for an app tailored to their necessities. If you are up to developing one, Suf would be glad to become your development partner.