Signals Fintech

How to Launch Your FinTech App for Maximum User Engagement

Find out what to do before and after launching your app to make it popular on the App Store and Google Play. You’ll learn how to optimize your mobile app for the app platforms, what moves to avoid, how to approach paid ads, and more.

Also, learn how to develop your app faster to save precious time for the launch phase and plan it using app store optimization best practices.

But first comes an important question. Does your business even need a mobile app?

The short answer is: If you're B2C, do it. If you're B2B or B2B2C—don't. The long answer is that you need an app if a) your company works with end users, which are individuals, and b) you offer a white-label product.

If it’s a “yes,” then let’s discuss a development approach for high engagement and speedy development.

How to speed up app development for a faster launch

When the deadlines are pressing, the launch phase can shrink, miss the required preparations, and lead to your business wasting the effort. Crucial in avoiding this catastrophe is choosing the right development approach.

Depending on your business needs, the development approaches may differ. You can take time and build a native mobile app or go for faster cross-platform or WebView development.

Let’s see how the choice works on a concrete example. 

For instance, you have a fractional investment platform that runs on a white-label solution, like Securitize. The company's business model is selling a frame and adding all the functionality specifically for a customer per additional cost. That’s a popular option, and many fintechs use it to save time and resources on solution development.

However, many white-label providers do not offer dedicated mobile apps. Or, like Securitize with its Securitize Markets mobile app, offer it directly to their B2C customers. So, the challenge in our example case is determining the most suitable approach for enabling mobile app functionality while effectively leveraging the Securitize API. The solution should ensure a seamless user experience, maintain data security, and comply with industry standards and regulations. You can achieve that with one of the variants below (I explain which one might be the best option further in the article.)

Three ways to expedite your mobile app development

  1. Developing a native mobile app

One option is to build a native mobile app from scratch that integrates with the Securitize API. This approach enables complete control over the app's features, design, and user experience. It ensures optimal performance and responsiveness, making the most of device-specific capabilities. However, this option may require substantial development time, effort, and resources. 

  1. Cross-platform development

Another alternative is to opt for cross-platform development frameworks. This allows you to create a single app that can run on Android and iOS devices. This approach may expedite the development process and minimize maintenance efforts. But watch out here: you need to assess how well the Securitize API integrates with cross-platform tools.

  1. WebView development

WebView is Android's View class extension. This technology lets you display web pages as a part of your activity layout. WebView-based apps utilize WebView components to display web content within the app's native user interface and act as a container that renders web pages from a remote server or a specific URL. 

WebView apps are commonly used to bring web-based content and functionalities into the context of a mobile app, allowing users to access web services without leaving the application. Android and iOS-friendly, this app is a versatile and cross-platform solution. While this method might offer quicker implementation, it may not provide the same native user experience and performance as a dedicated app.

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Key considerations when choosing a development approach

When analyzing the available options, you should consider key factors. The approach should align with your organization's long-term goals, enhance user experience, and maximize the value of the Securitize integration for your customers. Here’s what to pay attention to:

User experience

The solution you choose must offer a smooth and intuitive user interface, ensuring that users can easily access and utilize the Securitize features via the mobile app.

Security

Data security is of utmost importance when dealing with financial and sensitive information. Make sure the approach you select adheres to robust security protocols and encryption standards to safeguard user data.

Scalability

The solution must be scalable to accommodate potential future enhancements and accommodate a growing user base.

Cost-effectiveness

You should assess the development costs, ongoing maintenance, and potential licensing fees associated with the chosen solution.

API compatibility

Ensuring seamless integration with the existing Securitize API is critical to maintaining data accuracy and consistency.

In the example case, we’re looking for a cost-effective solution for mobile app integration with the Securitize platform. The solution should minimize development expenses while providing a functional and accessible solution for our users. By opting for a WebView app, you can efficiently leverage existing web technologies, streamline development efforts, and deliver a seamless user experience and engagement without the need for extensive native app development. This means you can save time, money, and effort on the launch.

How to develop with WebView

You can develop WebView apps using web technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. React Native, Flutter, and Xamarin allow developers to create WebView apps that can seamlessly integrate web-based functionalities while maintaining native-like performance and appearance.

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Pros of WebView Apps

  • WebView apps significantly reduce development costs compared to building separate native apps for each platform. 
  • It allows for faster development and cross-platform compatibility: a single codebase can be used to create WebView apps that function on Android and iOS devices, saving development time and effort.
  • Content and features delivered through the WebView app can be updated without requiring users to download new versions of the app.

Cons of WebView Apps

  • They may lack specific native capabilities and features available in dedicated native apps.
  • While WebView apps can offer decent performance, they may not match the smoothness and responsiveness of fully native apps, especially for graphics-intensive tasks.
  • Users' experience may be impacted by connectivity issues or if the Securitize platform's web service encounters downtime.
  • WebView apps must be carefully designed and secured to prevent potential security vulnerabilities associated with web content.

Now, I’ll wrap up the development nuances and move on to the app launch. But two vital things first. 

As for the development framework, WebView goes well with Flutter. It’s a popular cross-platform mobile development framework that lets your developers build high-performance, natively compiled iOS, Android, and web applications from a single codebase. To create a WebView app with Flutter, utilize the webview_flutter package, which provides a WebView widget that can be seamlessly integrated into the app in our example case.

As for testing, we at INSART would use environments for mobile apps like TestFlight (for iOS) and Google Play Console (for Android). TestFlight is Apple's official platform for beta testing iOS apps. It allows developers to invite users to test pre-release versions of their apps before they are submitted to the App Store. Google Play Console provides a similar testing environment for Android apps. 

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What to know before you launch your FinTech app

Now, let’s talk seriously about what should happen just before and after you launch your app. You’ll learn how to optimize your mobile app for the App Store and Google Play, what moves to avoid, how to approach paid ads, and more.

Five mistakes businesses make when launching apps

  1. Not adhering to Google Play's and App Store's security policies.

Starting with 2021, both companies tightened their security requirements. As a result, moderators started to scrutinize apps before letting them onto either platform. Now, to match the standard, companies need to develop four documents for their users: Privacy Policy, EULA, Terms & Conditions, and User Agreement. You'd be surprised to know how many companies ignore this requirement and, consequently, fail the moderation stage or get their app removed later. That's why you need at least one person who acts as your legal department and has the expertise required to produce the documents mentioned above.

Also, note that the App Store prohibits sending data to servers. So make sure your app has no host requests coming out; otherwise, your app might get banned. For major violations like this one, the ban might be permanent, without a chance of restoring your app to the App Store. There are actual cases when the team implements integration with a server, overlooks an insecure protocol, releases, and two days later, all their development efforts are reduced to zero.

  1. Wasting your first two weeks on the platforms

The App Store and Google Play have two weeks to watch your app and how users interact with it. If they like it, your app gets a boost to thrive on organic traffic and in-platform recommendations. If you do everything right (I explain how to achieve that below), your app can be set for significant growth. But those who don't know these two weeks are crucial and don’t put in much effort into App Store Optimization (ASO) are poised for failure. So double-check everything and invest in ASO (I’ll explain how to do that later in the article.)

  1. Ignoring in-app events on the App Store

This feature has been out there for several months and has become quite popular. However, many app providers still ignore it and, as a result, lose user engagement.

In-app events are game competitions, challenges, or updates presentations, which can be live-streamed experiences, and more. Users can discover your in-app events on your product page, on the App Store on iOS and iPadOS. 

  1. Letting your ASA credit go to waste

Apple Search Ads offers promo credit to let you try out its advertisement capabilities for free. Apple Search Ads for free. The bonus $100 credit appears at the top of the Billing page when you first set up your Apple Search Ads account.

It’s wise to use this money for some well-thought-out and low-volume testing as part of your key first two weeks on the platform. Again, serious planning of this time and your app store optimization strategy can yield more than satisfying results. But before spending your own dollars on Apple Search Ads, check the ratio of your subscription price and customer acquisition cost. If the subscription cost outweighs what you spend on ads, it makes little sense to use them. In this case, boost your organic traffic till the ad cost seems reasonable.

  1. Missing event tracking

In-app events allow you to assess your app users’ quality, whatever source they come from and based on their actions when they use your app. Also, you can use in-app events to run CPA-based marketing campaigns.

Event tracking allows you to monitor and analyze user behavior within your app. It provides valuable data on user journeys, enabling you to identify pain points or areas where users might face difficulties, troubleshoot bugs, and offer tailored promotions. Also, event tracking helps you evaluate the performance of specific features or functions and optimize conversion rate.

Below are several tools to ensure proper event tracking in your app.

  • Firebase. This one is a web and mobile app development platform by Google. This tool has built-in events that can be tracked.
  • Mixpanel provides deep event analytics and puts together all the events in one dashboard.
  • AppsFlyer has its own in-app event generator and event-tracking system.
  • Google Analytics. There, you can see your events with parameters using the Realtime and DebugView reports. The admin panel lets you create tracking codes to insert in different app parts.

How to maximize engagement with App Store Optimization

The variety of apps, even FinTech-specific, is insane. App Store Optimization (ASO) exists to let your potential app users find a shortcut to your app inside Google Play or Apple App Store search engines.

When done right, ASO increases app downloads, boosts your brand exposure, grows the number of positive reviews, helps your app rank higher, and elevates audience engagement. 

ASO tactics below will help you get things right.

Polish title and description

These are super important. It’s the metadata that can bring you more downloads.

If you check the app titles on app platforms, you’ll see that, in most cases, they have a search query sewn into them. For instance, “Piggy Goals: Money Saving on the App Store.” This way, businesses elbow their way into the search engine top, piping traffic to their app page. The same works for the description: the right search queries and keywords work wonders.

Aim for a memorable title that is under 25 characters. This way, the audience can see it entirely on the app browse screen and remember it once someone recommends your app to them.

Use keywords

Research the keywords your audience is searching for and couple them with the ones your top competitors use. These will help you direct the potential users to your app.

Note that you need at least two or three weeks to figure out if your keywords work. What’s more, it’s a bad idea to change them more often than once in three months but less than once in six months. So, aim for once in 4-5 months.

Leverage A/B testing

It helps to prepare several variants of texts and screenshots for your app page, and then A/B test them. During the testing, each page variant, containing one variant of text and visuals, will be shown to different groups of users based on regionality or other parameters you set. In Google Play, you can test the smallest parts, like your icons, and explore which one results in better user retention.

It’s one of the easiest but most effective ways to see which creatives better help your app perform top-line. 

Be careful with videos

I might have as well included this one in the part with the top mistakes.

Videos for the App Store and Google Play are really challenging to master. One wrong move—and they can damage your app engagement rate badly. From our experience, app pages with videos are often off-putting for users since many remember times when videos signaled aggressive selling and fake apps.

Another thing is if you shoot a professional video and post it on YouTube with links to your app in the description. As of the time of writing this article, YouTube might give a better boost to your app than Google. 

Use backlinks smartly

Aim for quality, not for quantity, when dropping backlinks around. Create a website for the app, optimize it for search engines, and add there a link to your app on app platforms. The same works for YouTube.

Final words for a successful launch 

We've covered key development decisions, focusing on WebView development for a faster app launch.

  • Testing, a crucial phase, involves platforms like TestFlight and Google Play Console to ensure your app is ready. Moving to pre and post-launch, we've outlined pitfalls, strategies for engagement, and the power of App Store Optimization (ASO).
  • From titles to videos, ASO mastery is essential for app discoverability.

The app store optimization part provides general recommendations, which you’ll surely need to tailor to your business context. Your app and its value are unique, requiring a custom approach, be it development or marketing. If you’re yet to develop your mobile app or looking to make some enhancements, feel free to ask your question to our solution development experts. They are always happy to share their extensive expertise and help one more FinTech company succeed in the market.

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