Technology has made dramatic changes to the way that people work and the way that businesses operate. In the Finance industry specifically, it has had an impact in every part of the business process, making it possible for people to make investment decisions and purchases faster, to receive better information about the businesses that they are investing in, to track their spending, and to manage their finances more effectively.

In this article, we'll take a look at the different types of apps and software solutions available to the Finance industry, the features these apps should have, and some projections for the future of this burgeoning market.

The State of Tech and Apps in the Finance Industry

The finance industry is a crucial segment of the world economy, and it plays a major role in the development of the general economy. Over the last decade, this industry has been growing rapidly, and by 2030, it is expected to contribute $10.2 trillion to the global economy, or roughly 14.4% of the global GDP.

The finance industry is made up of companies that provide investment, insurance, and other financial services to businesses and consumers. This industry has long been characterized by high barriers to entry, but technology has improved access to these services, making it easier for consumers to manage their money.

This sector is populated by people who are incredibly detail-oriented, and who are used to working with spreadsheets and Excel to model their finances and, in some cases, to track the financial health of their company. As a result, technology can help in the following ways:

Automating forecasting - Technology can be used to automate the process of financial forecasting, which allows individuals and businesses alike to make more informed decisions about their investments. Traditional forecasting can be incredibly labor-intensive process, but with the help of AI and ML, this process can be easily automated.

Augmentation of risk - Finance companies rely on applications and software to help them manage their risk. A risk management application can help finance companies ensure that they are making the best decisions for their business. This type of application is also useful in tracking and managing personal risk.

Providing visual data - For businesses in the finance industry, data is critical; it is the fuel that keeps the business running. It is also the fuel that enables businesses in the finance industry to make informed decisions about their operations. Organizations in the finance industry can use software and applications to collect and analyze data, and then find new ways to display that data into useful insights for ease of analysis.

Making informed decisions - Finance decisions can be difficult to make, so having as much information as possible helps businesses and consumers make more informed decisions when it comes to investments. AI and ML technology is especially useful in helping others make more money as a result of informed decisions.

With these benefits in mind, let's take a look at the state of apps being developed for the finance industry today.

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The Market for Finance Apps Today

The market for financial applications is growing. There are more kinds of financial apps than ever before, each of which tries to solve a unique problem for a specific type of user. Financial apps are being built to monitor usage, to track savings, to connect with banks and credit unions, and to make it easier to spend money.

Although the certain aspects of the finance industry, like stocks and trading, used to have a pretty steep barrier to entry, technology has made these processes more accessible to individuals. It's drastically changed the way that people communicate, and this in combination with accessibility to mobile phones have made it possible for people to connect with others from virtually anywhere in the world. At the click of a button, individuals can easily transfer money, pay bills, and check bank accounts online, and this has opened up a whole world of possibilities for applications.

As a result of the pandemic, finance applications have received an incredible boost of adoption. With finance applications, users in lockdown have been able to manage their funds remotely, use externally compiled data to make decisions about their finances, and discover new ways to create revenue streams.

How much of an impact did the pandemic have on this market, exactly? According to a report compiled by Liftoff, finance app installs increased by a whopping 15% in 2020, compared to 2019. Overall, users downloaded 4.6 billion finance apps globally and spent 16.3 billion hours in-app, up 45% from the previous year.

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Types of Finance Apps Being Built Today

As we can see from the data in the previous section, there's a substantial market for finance apps and for organizations in finance to shift their in-person tactics towards something more digital. Products in this space can vary greatly, but we've included some of the most popular app types that you'll find being built today, below.

Payment Gateway App

A payment gateway app is a software application that allows you to accept card payments for your business, and it works by creating a virtual lane between your computer and your bank account. When a customer makes a payment, the card details are sent to you directly from the customer's bank. The payment gateway does not store any card details in its system. The most popular payment gateway apps are Stripe and Shopify Payments.

Examples of payment gateway apps include Stripe, Google Pay, and PayPal.

Budgeting App

A budgeting app helps you keep track of your monthly financial expenditures. It might use an intuitive interface to track your expenses, visualize your financial progress over time, and alert you to any negative trends. The best budgeting apps are incredibly customizable, allowing you to tailor them to your specific financial needs.

Examples of budgeting apps include Expensify, Mint, and YNAB.

Investment App for Buying and Selling Stocks

An investment app for buying and selling stocks is an app that provides access to the stock trading market for individual investors. These apps are usually designed to be used on mobile devices. They make it easy to buy and sell stocks online, to follow the performance of your portfolio, and to keep up with market news.

Examples of budgeting apps include Robinhood, Acorns, and Stash.

Retirement Account Management App

An app for managing retirement accounts automatically calculates a user's projected retirement balance based on a set of input variables. It then recommends a series of actions that the user can take to increase the amount of money that they will have available for retirement.

A retirement management app might include a series of questions for a user about their projected retirement date, their current income, their current savings, and their expected investments. These questions would be used to calculate a retirement balance. The app would then make recommendations about which assets the user should sell, which assets the user should purchase, and which assets the user should hold on to.

Examples of retirement account management apps include Vanguard (online), Envestnet (online and mobile), and Betterment (online and mobile).

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Financial Forecasting App

A financial forecasting app is a tool used by businesses and investors to predict the future value of their money. It is essentially a structured set of assumptions used to estimate future revenue and expenses. They help users estimate revenue, expenses, and profits. Users can also track the financial metrics that are important to them, such as total number of customers or total revenue.

Examples of financial forecasting apps include PocketSmith, Float, and Jirav.

Loan Lending App

A loan lending app is an application that helps customers to apply for and manage loans. It allows customers to apply for loans, track the progress of their loans, and review their loan details. They are typically used by people who need help financing college, home improvement, or car purchases. These loan apps are typically accessed by the public through a mobile app, and after a user applies for and receives a loan, the app helps the user manage the loan and repay it over time.

This app type also generally provides users with the option to get an advance on their paycheck.

Examples of loan lending apps include Earnin, Dave, and Brigit.

Bookkeeping Software

Bookkeeping software is a computer program designed to manage the financial transactions of a company or a government organization. The most common bookkeeping systems are designed to track the spending and income of a business. The software also tracks the company's debt and assets, and it creates reports based on this information.

Examples of bookkeeping software include Quickbooks, FreshBooks, and Xero.

Online Banking App

An online banking app is a web application that allows users to manage their accounts and make money transfers through their smartphones. A banking app typically includes features such as account balances, balance history, account alerts, portfolio history, and a transaction log.

Examples of online banking apps include Chase, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo.  

Tax Management App

A tax management app is a piece of software that helps people manage their taxes. This type of app can use a variety of forms to capture data, and it should also be able to generate reports. The reports can help the user see where the money went in the previous year and help them figure out what their tax liability is going to be in the next year.

Examples of online banking apps include TurboTax, Chetu, and H&R Block.  

Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Lending and Investing Software

Peer-to-peer lending and investing software, commonly called P2P software, is software that enables individuals to easily invest in or lend to other individuals or small businesses. In P2P software, an individual can browse investment opportunities and the software will automate the investment process. These projects have been around for a while, but they have recently become more popular because they appeal to a younger generation of investors who are disinterested in traditional finance.

Examples of peer-to-peer apps include LendingClub, Prosper, and Payoff.

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Features That Finance Apps Should Have

Although there are a lot of features that your app or software solution can have, these are the ones that you should absolutely include:

Budgeting - Most finance apps include budgeting tools for tracking personal spending and expenses. These tools should make it easy for you to set goals and track your progress toward them. Some finance apps also integrate with other applications to give you more insight into your finances. For example, you might be able to import data from personal finance software like Quicken or Mint.

Expense tracking - Expense tracking tools allow you to keep track of your spending and make it easier to identify where your money goes. You might be able to integrate your credit card information with a finance app to make tracking your expenses even easier. Some finance apps also integrate with expense management software like Concur.

Security - To protect your personal data from unwanted monitoring, many companies offer secure mobile apps. These apps allow you to lock them with a passcode or biometric information, and they might even require you to use a secure network to access them.

Communication tools - Finance apps often include communication tools so you can easily share your expenses with your accountant or a spouse. These tools might be able to automatically send information to a cloud-based service so you don't have to manually log every expense.

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If you'd like to learn more about how we can help you with your project, get in touch with us today for a detailed estimate!