Developing a mobile app for any industry is a serious endeavor, but the banking industry is on a whole new level. Web app development is to banking as runs are to baseball and once an app that covers all the necessary bases is created, you’ll score a home run.
Banking is on the forefront of many technologies such as cyber security, online payment integrations, authentication, UX/UI and many more, and when these are properly blended, the end result is a functional banking app.
But how do great banking apps actually get to that ‘Hall of Fame’ level? How can you, as a decision-maker within a bank, make sure that your app performs just the way you want it to?
When communicating your requirements to the developer of your future app there are certain things that you have to keep in mind. But what’s more important is that you have to keep these things in the developer’s mind. The method is not important: whether it’s user stories, technical documentation or a presentation of your app requirements, make sure that the following requirements are met and understood by the developer right from the start, as these are the pillars of app development for the banking industry.
You might think that making your app secure is just common sense. But depending on the dev team that you want to go with, it’s not always about the app’s code. If you don’t personally pick the developers, you need to be able to stress the importance of security. We’re talking about secure coding and secure coders.
The app may be ‘unbreakable’ once it’s released but you never know what coding practices were enforced by the team or its separate individuals. A breach within the team means a possible breach within the app. Yes, the scenario is improbable, but you have to be prepared for anything when millions are at stake.
Security is a multi-dimensional issue, and that’s why you also have to keep in mind your end users when working on a banking app. Let’s face it, people are really bad with online security, and some don’t even know basic things like what a truly secure password looks like.
You have to account for these things and not let your potential users control the security of the app. This means that you have to control the password that they create, possibly to the point of generating it for them. Consider multi-level authentication login options, tracking suspicious IP activity, and so on. Sure, this makes the app less usable in certain cases, like when a person has a habit of using public networks and the usual authentication might take longer. However, in the end, you’ll be sure that the human factor doesn’t play such an important role in your app’s defense.
If you already have a complete set of technical requirements for your banking app, then I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news: it’s likely that they are already outdated. There are thousands of security breaches happening around the world every year and unfortunately, hacking and intrusion methods are becoming more sophisticated. It’s only a matter of time until the hackers start employing AI in their operations.
The same goes for the underlying technology for an app and its possible functions. You absolutely have to account for obsolescence when discussing the requirements with the app’s developer. It’s either your job or theirs to ensure that the technologies used for the app are not just simply industry standards, but also go above and beyond in terms of being future-proof.
For example, it’s pretty obvious that traditional banking is reaching the end of its life cycle. With fintech companies taking over banking services, it’s imperative to be able to compete with them. A banking organization has to follow the market and the market is clearly going for convenience, accessibility, mobility and functionality. Does your banking app reflect that? If the answer is ‘no’, then it will be obsolete before it even debuts in your preferred app store.
Every app goes through a round of testing before going live, however, with a banking app you have to test it more rigorously than other apps. It has to support thousands of users simultaneously, integrate with numerous third parties, perfectly report user activities and be able to handle a large database. There’s a long check list of things that have to go smoothly within the app and that’s why your testing routines and KPIs have to be as extensive as the actual development process. Consider this a heads up for why you should include all of this testing in your development budget. Yes, it’s expensive, but it’s not redundant: you’re paying for the future stability of the product, as well as potentially avoiding lawsuits.
Words like security, future-proofing and testing can be intimidating, but the first step is ensuring that your testing requirements are clearly communicated to the development team. Write this down and obey it: do not accept the final product until all of your testing requirements have been met. Encourage your IT experts to rip it apart and find every potential problem. Finally, be sure that your banking app is secure, technically advanced and that your development team has done everything to fully test the app and its features before it goes live.
Once you’ve checked everything off the list, go ahead hit one out of the park with your new banking app!