Here’s What You Need to Know About Creating an Investing App

In a world where technology is changing, and pandemics are forcing businesses online, fintech is flourishing. We’ve all gotten used to having everything we need in the palm of our hands-on our smartphones.

Businessman using investing app

We need easy investing apps since stocks are in demand and cryptocurrency isn’t far behind. Buying and selling stocks, converting currencies, and building passive income are convenient services people want. Why not make it easy?

Nowadays, you can make a lot of money by developing investing apps: Money management features, commissions on trades, and even selling it to a big company (who knows, right?) are all ways you can make money from the app.

There are platforms in which you can create investing apps. For example, Surf can build stock trading apps and other fintech projects from scratch, in addition to bank apps and crypto exchange apps.

Examples of Top Investment Apps In 2021

You should know your competitors before you start any business. Here, we are talking about investing money through other apps. Here are some of the best.

Robinhood website screenshot

1. Robinhood

Users of the Robinhood include beginners and experts alike. You can also invest in crypto along with stocks, options, and ETFs. Using the convenient charts, you can trade in real-time. Market makers and marketplaces get rebates from Robinhood. You’ll also pay no commission on trading since there’s no fee for money management.

Robinhood pays your bills and pays you every month if you don’t invest. Would you recommend Robinhood? Absolutely. Or else 18 million people wouldn’t use it. If someone asked us, “What’s the best investment app?” we wouldn’t answer.

This company is inundated with lawsuits and debates, so there’s lots of room for improvement.

2. Acorns

Your spare change and money are invested by Acorns, which diversifies your portfolio. People who don’t want to learn the ropes of investing can use the app, which has an easy-to-use interface—the app charges from $1 to $5 a month, depending on the account type.

3. Betterment

You can invest with Betterment, a robo-advisor app. It rebalances portfolios as well as reinvests dividends thanks to AI algorithms. Investing in socially responsible companies helps combat global problems like climate change. You can also track your finances, create budgets, and optimize your tax strategy with Betterment. The app takes 0.25 percent of your investment every year.

4. Stockpile

Stockpile lets you buy even expensive instruments for a fraction of what they’re worth. It doesn’t do real-time trading or margin trading, and it’s geared toward long-term investors. Among Stockpile’s cool features are gift cards that can be redeemed for stocks – a great way for children to receive a gift.

Using day trading tools

How an Investing App Works

Let’s look at what our app needs to do for a potential user.

1. Login and profiling

Almost all investing apps will require users to register and open accounts (in person or online) and then set up a login and password. You should create an account right inside the app as banks and exchanges adopt a mobile-first approach. Integrating OCR (optical character recognition) systems and getting people to sign up can be done in less time.

An app just takes a picture of the paper, and the data is automatically gathered. Touch and Face ID should be integrated too:

When you open an investing app to check the stock market, you need to enter a pin to secure your data.

You should get personalized investing services and a tailored experience after you sign up for the app. We can do it by asking you a few questions:

Your financial goals, experience, risk tolerance, and how much money you want to spend.

Making investments

When you set up your profile and transfer money, you’ll want to make investments right away. It’ll look different for everyone. You can put it on a screen with cards with various investment strategies and risk and return projections, like Acorns or Stockpile, if your app is for long-term investors with limited experience.

Real-time charts are a must for active investors. Users should be able to trade quickly. Don’t forget to include stop-losses and trailing stops if you want to draw experienced traders.

Recommendations and notifications

Users can choose which instruments to prioritize and adjust the interface based on their profiles. Customers can hide crypto trading from the main screen, for example, if they’re not interested. Investing apps can have integrated robo-advisors for an even more elaborate approach. Based on the customer’s available funds and risk tolerance, an AI algorithm suggests ways they can make money.

Detailed analytics

No matter your level of experience, we’re all looking for what we’ve gained and lost. Your app should be easy to use and easy to read. Unless users understand how much they’re making, they’ll switch to another service. Compare different periods and instruments with charts and graphs.

Do not forget dark mode. Because they tend to trade on foreign markets at night, they can spend their free time thinking about their finances. Twim’s app was designed using bright orange fonts and a dark grey background. All this to make it less stressful. All these factors make it less stressful for the eyes at night and do not interfere with the production of melatonin, the ‘sleep hormone.

Customer-oriented support

Everyone can be an investor, even if they do not have finance gurus. If your app doesn’t provide quick support, customers will have questions. Get all the info you need with a FAQ section and live chat. A chatbot provides first-line support. In the case of an urgent request, your users should be able to talk to a real person.

Also, because many investors trade on foreign markets, there should be an easy-to-use section where users can download tax reports and other documents. Financial institutions might need it. As part of Surf’s work on a corporate banking app for Rosbank (part of Société Générale), the team built a repeat feature that lets users create documents from templates in just three clicks.

Trading app

2. Important features

The following features will make your investing app a success in 2022.

Portfolio categorization

Your customers will love it if you let them categorize their investments. Users may invest in a retirement category if their investments are low-risk and long-term. Categorizing money can make money management easier and let you keep track of performance separately for each part of the portfolio.

Financial education and robo-advisors

An investing app that teaches you something is more valuable than one that lets you only buy and sell stuff. Create a money blog that includes short videos and interactive articles, plus an AI-powered advisor.

Automated & regular investing

An option to invest some of your money consistently in ETFs and other diversified and relatively safe instruments might make sense for long-term and less experienced investors. A user can set up how much they want to invest regularly, how much they’d like to earn, and how much risk they’re comfortable with. The app picks the right assets for them automatically.

Regulatory Compliance

Red tape is a big part of building a fintech app. Your business needs a license from the local government if you want to operate legally. The SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission), FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority), SIPC, KYC (Know Your Customer), and AML (Anti Money Laundering) rules apply in the US. Countries and even states have different requirements. Or, you might want a lawyer, even if you’re not new to brokerages.

App development

Roadmap for Developing an Investing Apps

The development of any mobile app, including stock trading apps, can be divided into four steps. Everyone on the team has different responsibilities in each step. Let’s see what they are.

1. Discovery stage

At first, we look at the market and compare it to the competition, then we determine features and how users will interact with it. Most of this work is done by a project manager and a business analyst.

2. Design stage

The design team will build the app’s mock-ups and prototypes when you have a clear idea of what your app concept should be. Designers make the app more user-friendly after testing and getting feedback from focus groups.

3. Development stage

The developers are mostly in charge of this phase: they code the app and you end up with a prototype with limited functionality.

4. Test & improvement stage

As the app’s performance and features are tested and improved, developers and QA engineers can keep on improving it. The functions are rolled out gradually, depending on their priority level. An app gets released to stores after this stage is complete.

App Development Time & costs

Depending on the features, complexity, platforms supported, and other things, your investing app will cost what it costs. Generally, it takes about 3000 hours to build a native app for investors.

This will cost you $300,000 if you hire a team in the US at a $100-an-hour rate. If you need offshore developers, you need to find them in Western Europe or Asia, where strong programmers are $20 to $40 an hour. Having the same app developed in those regions will save you $100,000.


Pick a cross-platform framework so you can write one codebase for Android and iOS. Surf, for example, saved 40% on the client’s initial budget by using Flutter instead of native development when it came to developing apps.


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