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Financial transaction with a smartphone using a fintech appFinancial transaction with a smartphone using a fintech app

Talking money: Top 5 fintech app features to drive engagement

Mario Bello
Mario Bello
November 18, 2022
Mario Bello
November 18, 2022

The changing times continue to drive and accelerate technology like never before. As more consumers lean towards accessibility and convenience, industries like fintech scramble to find ways to ensure their products stand out.

Online platforms have become consumers’ preferred transaction method, as indicated by the 216.8 million people expected to use digital banking services by 2025 and the $112.5 billion market size of 2021. 

Dealing with such numbers can be intimidating. While it can seem like there are plenty of users for everyone, only the best fintech apps are able to maintain and grow market share.

Understanding pain points and offering good deals can help you capture a portion of the market, but it’s essential to go beyond what your customers expect. Industry players are becoming more aggressive. Now, it’s more than just about survival—it’s about thriving. 

How do you drive engagement and build a successful fintech app? You need to invest in the most promising features. And we’re here to talk about exactly what you need. 

The big picture: What users need

Users favor modern, flexible, and scalable mobile applications, especially for their banking needs. Rather than an immersive experience, they want an easily digestible interface that helps them finish their tasks and go about their day. 

Today’s mobile applications come from humble beginnings. Remote banking became the first compelling feature in the 2000s, which later evolved into allowing users to open accounts. Activation took just minutes. 

Today, contactless payments and transactions take center stage. Users can pay through QR codes, access bank statements through facial recognition, and more. However, banking customers continue to demand easier and faster access to financial assets. They want to see more than just their transaction histories. They want to know about mortgage loans, credit card applications, and insurance. 

With a carefully articulated fintech app, you can deliver information and provide services in mere seconds. Proving your ability to do so means enjoying the industry’s relatively high retention rate of 58% over a 90-day period. But if you fail to do so, your users will switch to competitors just as quickly.

The demand doesn’t stop there. Banks and other financial institutions continue to look for better offers, as getting ahead of the curve can be challenging. More than 66% of bank executives worldwide believe fintech will help rethink wallets and mobile payments, making the financial sector even more accessible to its customers. 

While incorporating technology and innovation is essential, the Financial Brand begs to differ. The study reports that while leveraging technology can help, it’s crucial to strike a balance between innovation and quality service

For these reasons, we’ve identified the best fintech app features that take both innovation and service quality into account:

1 - Branded community 

Money used to be a taboo topic. People didn’t want to talk about how much they earned, lost, and saved. But today, talking about money online has become the norm, all thanks to a fintech app feature not many fully understand just yet—social features and community.

A community can exist within and outside the app, encompassing many features. All types of things—from small details like reaction emojis to more complex ones like donation drives—can help boost engagement.

Social features like community building also bank on social interactions and connections. When building or recalibrating your fintech app, you want to seamlessly blend finance and social interaction. For many, this means creating a solid following on social media, where you can freely interact with your target audiences.

Social media sharing and integration essentially offer a direct connection between you and your audiences. Branded communities—paired with traditional social channels—can work together to:

  • Provide financial advice to create a brand expert image
  • Get direct access to user feedback on pain points and achievements
  • Build a community where people feel like they belong through Facebook groups and other platforms
  • Tap into new markets, such as payment service provider partnerships for eCommerce 
  • Seek out influencers for better reach and scale

At the end of the day, people seek out connection. And as we have more conversations about money, the communities of financial apps become the natural place to congregate.

2 - Gamification

Given the sea of competition, loyalty can be difficult to come by. But figuring out customer engagement is key to brand loyalty. While there are different ways to drive engagement, nothing motivates like rewards. Having a rewards program that gives users a sense of achievement can accelerate the loyalty life cycle. 

By incorporating games into your fintech app, you create an effective way for your audiences to receive cashback, discounts, and other deals. All these can motivate your customers to keep returning, boosting retention and acquisition.

Games can also help strengthen your other ventures, such as building partnerships with eCommerce platforms. Amazon, eBay, and Etsy continue to take the world by storm. By offering shopping deals packaged as games through your app, you open new doors and access previously untapped markets. 

3 - Biometric technology

Accessibility in technology is taking on the spotlight. Smartphones now come with fingerprint scanning and face authentication, removing the need for passcodes and the problem of forgetting them.

Because of accessibility demands, biometric technology should be at the forefront of fintech apps. Consumers now rely on face recognition, fingerprint scanning, and even voice recognition for shopping, bills payment, and other financial transactions. 

But remember that biometric technology isn’t just for accessibility. It’s also about strengthening security and data protection. 

That said, here are the best biometric features you may want to explore:

  • Fingerprint: Fingerprints are virtually unique, making them difficult to forge. Users only need to press their fingers onto their mobile devices when prompted, and your fintech app can download this data for storage.
  • Facial recognition: Facial recognition biometrics first began with unlocking iPhones but is now used in fintech to boost security. By scanning the user’s face, your app recognizes them as the sole owner of the device and the financial account. 

Because privacy is a big deal in the financial sector, providing app users with biometric protection features can reflect well on your brand.

4 - Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) isn’t going anywhere. It’s transformed the digital realm in more ways than one, but businesses worldwide rely on it for better customer service. This has helped countless companies stand out from competitors.

The fintech industry uses AI to create better user app experiences. Most fintech apps now use complex algorithms designed to identify customer spending patterns and how much they can save in a month. 

AI solves communication gaps for those in the bank industry, as customers and employees can connect on a single platform. This leads to better banking services and boosted efficiency. As a result, employee professionals can pursue more profitable ventures: assisting with loan offers, leading insurance prospects, and taking charge of other more complex tasks.

Machine Learning (ML) & Chatbot

Under AI are machine learning (ML) and chatbots, which primarily power customer service. These technologies help institutions streamline and automate processes. 

Chatbots dominate social media, especially given how incredibly profitable live chat can be. 79% of businesses report that live chat has positively affected their sales, revenue, and customer loyalty, in tandem with ML. 

But why use AI? Live chat requires actual people behind the screens, but they should be directed to more complex customer queries. If your customer asks about easily retrievable information, such as the nearest bank location, it would be cost-efficient to have a chatbot give them the answers they need.

5 - Digital budgeting

Modern consumers are now comfortable managing finances through various digital platforms. Many prefer to communicate with to their financial institutions digitally and manage their budget, income, expenses, and other investments within just a few clicks. 

Consumers also come with different income levels, lifestyles, and budgets. One’s experience may not be the same as the other, which is why personalization is everything in the fintech world.

According to Consumer Trends in Digital and Mobile Banking report by MX, 70% of customers expect their providers to provide them with personalized notifications. 63% also expressed the need for proactive services in financial management. 

Simply put, ensuring that your users find personalized digital budgeting services in your mobile app is vital. A meaningful, personalized experience can mean things like: 

  • Helping them save every week towards a goal, such as purchasing a car
  • Reducing spending on luxury and entertainment
  • Completing automatic payments for utilities, rent, and credit card bills 
  • Performing deep “dives” or insights into their spending habits 

Financial management remains a pain point for many users worldwide. By making your customers know that you care about helping them build wealth and adopt better habits, they’ll see you as a valuable part of their lives. And by successfully doing that, you encourage both engagement and loyalty. 

Top fintech apps to benchmark

Success imitates success. As you develop your fintech app, it’s only essential to look at each top fintech app today. Discover what makes them great:

1 - Mint

Mint began in 2007, marked by winning a $50,000 prize fromTechCrunch40. Created by Aaron Patzer, the free and personal money management platform believes in the importance of careful budget handling for startups. 

But before writing the code, Patzer actually asked around for feedback. He built the app according to user insights and opinions, and two years later, it attracted over 1.7 million users. Intuit later acquired it for $170 million.

What drove Mint’s success?

Mint isn’t the only app available in the consumer finance market. Personalization gave it an edge, as it was founded on feedback that led to intuitive tools. From fuss-free account creation to organized service categorization, customizable features made the platform easy for users to integrate into their daily lives. 

2 - Coinbase

Coinbase claims to be the most popular consumer-facing crypto platform in the United States. Founded by Brian Armstrong in 2012, approximately 108 million users trust it as their platform to buy, sell, and store cryptocurrencies. 

It used to hold crypto assets exclusively, but the boom of Bitcoin brought on other competitors. In 2021, however, the Coinbase mobile app dominated app stores once more. 

What drove Coinbase’s success?

Coinbase became successful because it offered a safe platform for all crypto-asset transactions. As a niche market, crypto investors turned to Coinbase because of its stellar security measures, especially since the platform has never been hacked. 

Another standout point is that Coinbase is heavily regulated, and management is committed to ensuring they remain in line with state laws. This sets it apart from competitors, given the volatility of the crypto industry. 

Coinbase’s success also relied heavily on personalization. The platform allows users not just to purchase and sell crypto but empower them through its ultimate vision of creating a new “open financial system.”

Coinbase operates on a three-pronged strategy:

  • Position and promote crypto as a viable investment
  • Create a new financial system
  • Provide users with an intuitive platform for asset management

This formula helped them find success and secure their position in the market.

3 - MoneyLion

MoneyLion strives to change how Americans bank. Founded by Chee Mun Foong in 2013, it now serves over 100 million customers across the United States. But what sets them apart? They cater primarily to people often overlooked by traditional banks. Many of these consumers have suboptimal credit scores or financial histories that make it difficult for them to obtain banking services.

With their belief that nobody should be left behind, MoneyLion made banking accessible to users behind high networks and private banking. In 2022, they attracted more users, reporting a 123% increase. 

Their app offers accessible banking, credit building, investing, financial management, and even buy now pay later schemes, among other things. 

What drove MoneyLion’s success?

As mentioned, MoneyLion was built for people who needed help with their finances the most. They centered around consumers “left behind” in the financial game without sacrificing intuitive and quality service. 

Their mobile app offers everything you need to enjoy a good banking experience. This includes the chance to loan, save, and invest. It rewards its users with points and other deals, allowing them to nurture their finances without worrying about meeting high standards. 

The combination of quality service and a specific target audience helped MoneyLion ensure customer satisfaction and scale products that remain valuable and high-yielding for customers. 

Investing in fintech app features that care for customers

Ensuring that the financial industry thrives in the digital world means always remaining open to changes. Transformation has become an inevitable part of survival. And keeping ahead of fintech trends allows you to stay top of mind and ahead of your competitors.

Financial institutions are pressured to innovate, engage, and scale. But in truth, the recipe to success lies in understanding what your customers need. 

The top fintech apps with industry-leading features care for customers, so they invest in personalization and experiences. Kasikorn Bank, for instance, continues to move towards success by focusing on user experiences. 

Building branded communities, gamification, biometrics, AI, and digital budgeting—all these address major pain points customers expect you to solve. 

As you build your app, never forget that the best financial services serve, care, and nurture.

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