The year is 2009. The world is slowly recovering from the shell shock of the recent financial crisis. Still, the global economy needs some time to heal. And at this very moment, startups from the budding fintech industry get a powerful boost of $1.1 billion from venture capital investors.
Fast forward to 2021, and the world is starting to emerge from a very different crisis. The personal finance industry is booming, bolstered by a smashing $44.1 billion funding the year before, and driven by global demand for mobile financial services. Everyone wants their share of the pie — there are over 5,700 fintech startups in the Americas alone!
With competition this fierce, your financial management software will need something extra to stand out. What would the fintech development team at Itransition suggest? Functional design and cutting-edge features that cater to the financial needs of any user. Read on as we take you through seven essentials of personal finance software that rises above the competition.
A satisfying first-time experience with a personal finance app can increase the adoption rate manifold. This fact is hard to ignore, providing a proof that you should never underestimate the importance of the first impression when designing your online or mobile product.
Don’t plunge your users into the unknown; instead, use interactive onboarding to help them get familiar with the interface. The first run can include a tour of the essential functionalities or pop-up tooltips for basic buttons and menus. It’s also a perfect occasion to personalize user experience with your software. At this step, allow users to define how much they want to save, choose spending categories to cut down on, and set up their financial goals. Show the value of your app right away to make people come back for more!
A clutter-free layout
Budgeting, investments, wallets, bills, stocks, money transfers, cryptocurrencies — your app can have all these features (and more). But don’t forget that each new service you implement increases the risk of visual clutter. And your role is to make personal finances easy.
There are plenty of ways to avoid a messy and overwhelming interface. Generous use of white space will keep the dashboards clean and free from distractions, a palette of customizable colors will help differentiate between spending categories, and complex financial data will look much friendlier as a chart. Another good idea is to draw inspiration from social media apps — their scroll and swipe layouts are intuitive and familiar to many users.
The design trend that we’ve already observed in e-learning and healthcare apps is now making its way into personal finances. Turning budget management into a game has several benefits: it increases engagement, gives users extra motivation to save and earn, and enhances user loyalty.
Depending on your target audience, you can add just one game element or go wild. Here are some suggestions:
- Points — they can be awarded for achieving financial goals and turned in for in-app visual improvements.
- Leaderboards — allow users to compete and compare their savings with friends.
- Badges — a token of achievement that will make every dollar saved feel even better.
Possibilities are endless. But remember that fun can never overshadow your app’s primary purpose: managing one’s finances.
A finance platform or mobile app can be an essential budgeting tool, but in the end, managing personal finances is up to the users. The more control your product offers, the more people will find it useful.
Personalization options can range from adding custom features to configuring standard settings. For instance, you can add the option to disable unused features, create and track custom spending categories, or set notifications about upcoming payments, low balance, and exceeded limits.
When it comes to looks, it is a good idea to offer your users a selection of styles and themes, a variety of virtual card designs, and custom logos for wallets. Visual appeal is not only about impressing and attracting potential users. The design also plays a functional role, guiding your users through the application, providing support with visual cues, and prompting users into action with distinctive CTAs.
There are certain areas where the user would rather let the software do the work. One example is mass categorization. Once the online platform or app connects to the user’s bank account, it automatically runs through all past transactions, labeling them accordingly. Based on that operation, it can identify spending patterns and possible savings, such as potentially obsolete subscription services. Similarly, a well-designed app can automatically classify banks and credit cards.
From the user’s perspective, several crucial areas of personal finance management can be enhanced through automation. These include credit monitoring, budget management, bill payments, and contributions, among others. Automation also does a great job at performing small but crucial tasks humans tend to forget about. Things like backing up data, syncing with external drives, and generating periodic financial reports can all be streamlined via automation.
Leveraging the power of AI lets you push automation even further. Based on the user’s past financial records, AI can predict future spending and transfer some of that money to the savings account.
Even better, an AI-powered chatbot can act as a personal financial coach, offering data-driven budgeting tips. By accessing personal spending preferences and processing large quantities of information, AI makes for a perfect advisor in making user-specific decisions, such as choosing the right insurance plan or investment product.
AI can also serve as an additional safety measure. The ability to learn patterns and recognize abnormal behavior allows it to detect fraud attempts and notify the user as those occur.
We quickly got used to having dozens of useful apps at our fingertips, and with the advent of the internet of things, we can expect this trend to develop further. While creating fintech software, you need to look beyond the usual desktop-mobile duo and account for other devices that are already widely used and will get even more popular in the years to come.
Smartwatches, wristbands, and even smart eyewear open up exciting new ways for fintech software to be used, especially when it comes to quick, contextual actions. They can, for instance, notify users when a promotion or loyalty discount is available and allow them to check account balance on the fly.
That said, don’t disregard traditional segments — web-based software is projected to constitute a major share of the personal finance market up until 2027.
A successful fintech software product combines many ingredients, from engaging and functional design to innovative features. Even though now is the perfect time to release your finance service, the competition is greater than ever. Hopefully, the seven competitive factors described above will help you create a truly user-winning solution.