Complete Guide For Developing A Mobile Wallet App

Developing a Mobile Wallet App
December 28, 2018 | 8 min read

Mobile wallet app makes it convenient and easy to pay bills or transact by just using mobile devices. Mobile wallet apps are quickly gaining approval momentum according to a survey conducted in the USA for three consecutive years. In 2015 we found out that 39% of the respondents made payments through mobile phones. In the year 2016, 32% of the respondents used mobile wallets to make online payments, while 78% of consumers were conversant with them.

Lastly, in the year 2017, there was a 63% increase in digital payments for e-commerce stores where buyers highly preferred mobile wallet apps. According to Juniper Research, the number of the digital wallet is expected even to rise further. Currently, as per a report by Statista, the mobile wallet revenue has increased from 450 to 780 billion US Dollars, the growth expected to reach 1 trillion dollars in the coming years.

How to develop a mobile wallet app?

1. Decide which type of mobile app you want to develop

There are four categories of mobile wallets to determine the type of app you want to develop

  • Mobile Wallets that depend on a communication provider: This type of mobile wallet allows end-users typically to transact using the communication providers.
  • Mobile Wallets that approve payments by use of SMS: Usually, SMS from a bank account, credit, or debit card approves a transaction.
  • Mobile Wallets apps that use web payment: Payment received is usually done through the use of the mobile app.
  • Mobile Wallets using Near Field Communication (NFC): This type of mobile wallet allows the mobile devices to process payment using a special chip using the NFC.

2. Choose technology

Deciding on the appropriate technology determines the success of the mobile app. The decision process usually determines these two factors: the targeted number of users and the specific app use.

  • QR codes- The QR Code is a digital wallet payment method that enables the users to make payment by pointing the cellphone camera through an app containing the QR code to complete a transaction.
  • Wearable devices- Payment usually is through the wearable mobile smart-phone wristwatch. Big phone companies’ manufactures are currently implementing this technology. However, making payments using the wearable device is now possible after the teaming up of the master card and TD Bank Group to create a wearable smart-phone wristwatch.
  • NFC- Near Field Communication is a type of money transfer that is contactless using a smart-phone that is NFC enabled to a transmitter device that is POS attached.
  • Payment apps- The mobile wallet app acts as a payment app channel that is effective and highly efficient. The payment apps provide support to all types of payment by partnering with local merchants. They include popular payment apps like PayPal, Apple Pay, and android pay that work even in offline mode.
  • Bluetooth and iBeacon technology- iBeacon technology is a useful method of data transfer that requires no internet connection. Bluetooth technology and a beacon device are useful in communication with an external BLE transmitter that acquires the user’s details in the mobile wallet to enable a transaction.
  • Direct Career Billing- Direct career billing technology allows communication providers to act as a transaction provider. The technology lets users transact or make a purchase using their mobile phones without the use of a debit or credit card. Small scale businesses use direct career billing.

 3. Basic framework of mobile wallet app

  • Possibility of transacting with individuals without mobile wallet apps – In case you want to transact with an individual who has no mobile wallet app, all you have to do is enter their particulars like bank account number, name, bank name, and branch, etc. into the mobile wallet app to carry out the transaction.
  • Split bills option – This mobile wallet app feature allows users to split bills by simply adding the other user’s profile against the total bill amount. The app then alerts the concerned party on the slit amount typically. This feature is essential for enabling cost-sharing when need be.
  • Users can create their profile – The mobile wallet app should offer users a platform where they can create their profile. Details such as full name, address, mobile number, bank details, etc. linked to an individual user’s account when it comes to security matters and also to ease the app access.
  • No minimum or maximum transaction restrictions – An efficient mobile wallet app is one that a developer has created to allow users to transact with any minimum or maximum amount without any limits whatsoever.
  • Possible usage with no bank details – Another feature that makes the mobile wallet convenient is the ability to transact freely with no bank account. However, in such a scenario, users can use the app for transactions only but can’t transfer money to their bank account unless they register or the individual they intend to send money to has a registered account.
  • Sync more than one bank account details – This feature allows users to sync the mobile wallet app with more than one account to efficiently transact. Initially, developers only allowed specific well established and know banks only to use the multiple sync feature hence inconveniencing some of the users with banks that weren’t in the syncing category.
  • Issue of Receipts – A proper mobile wallet app ensures users get a receipt upon request after a transaction for accountability purposes. The receipt contains the type, amount, date, time, sender, and receiver details of a transaction type.

4. User retention guideline for mobile wallet app

For mobile wallet apps to retain customers and also increase the customer base, a mobile wallet app must improvise to be above the competitors. The following methods must apply.

  • Redeem Points- A suitable mobile wallet is on that rewards its users with discounts or free vouchers in instances where a certain transaction threshold or milestone is reached.
  • Exclusive Offers- By offering target sections, mainly in the retail industries that give offers specifically to users that purchase using mobile wallet apps, it is an excellent initiative that can attract and retain mobile app users.
  • Cashback Offers- Cashback offers a good initiative for attracting customers and also retaining them when using the mobile wallet apps hence maximizing profits in turn. The cashback offers are also provided by tech giants like Amazon and Google pay.

Industries leveraging mobile wallet app

Below mentioned are the type of industries that can benefit from the use of a mobile wallet app:

  • Healthcare – Healthcare users now find it easier to make payments electronically or to use digital wallets unlike before. Digital payments are convenient and more secure when it comes to bulk payments as the patient is exempt from walking with hard cash, be it in chemist or hospitals where the electronic payment is accepted.
  • Retail – Users can now pay their bills using the QR code in shops that accept mobile wallets. The process is usually smooth and straightforward as the buyer displays a QR code typically when paying bills and the shop owner immediately gets a transaction confirmation message from their end while using the mobile wallet app for the transaction process to be complete.
  • Telecommunication – Communication is an essential process, especially involving conveying a message over a long distance through the use of mobile devices. However, that is interrupted if you run out of airtime, and you’re nowhere near an airtime top-up shop. The mobile wallet app helps users to top up credit/airtime at their time of need.

The mobile wallet app usage platform

  • Mobile P2P money transfers – The mobile digital wallet is useful to transact and link bank accounts of different users, making it a reliable tool. Also, the mobile wallet app is in use by some of the popular apps, such as GooglePay, that allow mobile transactions with ease.
  • E-commerce payments – Shopping On the internet has been made easier as users need to have a registered line, and they are good to go. Also, E-commerce shopping is accountable as there is usually a transaction receipt after purchase.
  • Point of Sale (POS) payments – These are digital wallet Point of sale payments that occur in a retail shop at the cashier. The users usually pay using advanced mobile technology, e.g., Bluetooth and I beacon, QR codes, etc.

Is the mobile wallet a secure payment method?

Mobile wallet app security is a significant factor as 55% of respondents during a survey stated that their biggest fear was a security breach while transacting using the digital payment platform.

The security factor has led to developers taking drastic measures to nip the issue in the bud since the mobile wallet apps contain sensitive bank information of users. The security measures enforced are the use of biometric protection and end-to-end encryption during transactions. Developers know that mobile wallet apps in the future and are here in the long run, as more emphasis is on the technological enhancement of the apps.

Mobile wallet app development cost

The mobile app development cost depends on two factors: the completion timeframe and the number of developers available for the project. The development of a basic mobile wallet app range in-between $25,000 to $ 50,000 while advancing digital wallets apps like Paytm and Google pay will cost around $ 100,000 to $150,000.

Mobile wallet software development cost

The cost of the mobile wallet software ranges typically around $ 30,000 to $ 50,000 depending on the complexity, features, and the development platform in particular. The pricing model and the development firm will also play a significant role in determining the app cost.


The mobile wallet app has improvised the way we carry out our day-to-day transactions. Transactions ranging from secure money switch using e payments, to electronic invoice and receipt, to payments are more efficient and effective using the mobile wallet app platform. Digital wallets are here to stay and continue gaining popularity as more enterprises are adapting to this method of payment. As more and more giant companies like PayPal, GooglePay, and Paytm are opting for this method of payment, so are the economy and financial institutions capitalizing on revenues and enhancing profits.

About the Author

Scalex is a digital engineering company that partners with startups and SMBs to provide end-to-end product development services by leveraging the power of digital technologies such as Mobile, Cloud, and Analytics.

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