The way people save money, invest and spend is a commonality among many individuals – regardless of the generation they are in. However, millennials are on top when it comes to saving money, with Generation Z coming in close behind. It has led to an influx of financial technology all around the globe.
The ability to make online transactions without the hassle of physically visiting a bank or money deposit location has made app development very profitable. According to research, the number of active users of personal finance apps climbed by over 150% from 2020 to 2021.
An application like Mint can be an excellent choice for businesses looking to target potential clients with high-income potential.
Mint is ranked number one among personal finance apps on both Apple’s App Store and Google Play; it has been downloaded over 10 million times with an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars. Mint’s services are mostly free, but they receive plenty of revenue through a mix of customer referral programs, advertising, and the sale of customer data.
If you’re looking to create the next big personal finance application, then you’ve arrived at the right place. This comprehensive guide will help you understand what it takes to develop a finance app like Mint from scratch. We cover winning strategies, features, pricing structure, tech stack, and more for building a successful app like Mint.
So let’s get started!
Budget App Market Trends, Major Players & Statistics
Building a personal finance app is difficult without knowing your users and why they want such software. But it is even more challenging if your budgeting app is not equipped to survive the tough competition. Therefore, before developing an app like Mint, let us meet some of the major competitors of your product in the finance market:
Mint: The mint finance app lets you connect your bank accounts, credit cards, and other accounts to track your income and expenses. The ultimate budget planner app provides spending-based budget targets, including the daily budget overview. These objectives can be modified and increased in the future.
You need a budget (YNAB): YNAB is a personal finance and spending tracker app with educational elements which can save up to $600 in your first two months and over $6000 in your first year.
Mvelopes: Mvelopes is another alternative to the Mint finance app that uses digital envelopes to help you control and manage your finances.
EveryDollar: EveryDollar provides users with a visual inspection of their income and expenses to analyze and manage their finances quickly. You can also add budget-appropriate categories and see where you go over or under budget.
PocketGuard: Using PocketGuard, you can link all your bank accounts in one place and later keep track of your income and expenses. This Mint alternative will tell you how much money you have available for spending and notify you if you go over budget.
Simplifi by Quicken: The app provides a customized spending plan with real-time updates on how much more users spend during the months and syncs their bank accounts to show their financial success.
A Short Breakdown of Mint
Mint is a personal budgeting app that can be used with your bank account to ensure that your money is in the right spot and going wherever it’s supposed to go. Mint tracks spending, monitors bank accounts for fraudulent activity, shows aggregate expenditure by category, provides budgeting tools, and more to help your money go further. It automatically categorizes your transactions, enables you to set budgets, and sends alerts when spending too much in certain areas.
Mint also offers a free credit score monitoring through its partnership with TransUnion, which is convenient and ensures users get their score updated monthly at no additional cost. It also lets you see how much interest you’re paying on credit cards or loans and calculate how long it will take you to pay off using alternative payment plans.
A short breakdown of Mint
Mint is a company that smartly took its budget management solution to market. It is a tool that can manage your various financial aspects such as investments, taxes, retirement, and other related things. However, here are some pros and cons of Mint that you should consider.
- An overview of all user finances
- Amazing UI/UX
- Optimal Security
- Financial ideas and advice that you can put into action
- Maintaining credit score
- Live updates on any financial activity
- It does not support various currencies
- It does not support users outside the US and Canada
- There is no distinction between a user’s income and budget
Essential Features of Personal Finance Apps
To help you develop an easy-to-use personal finance app that puts you in control of your finances, here are some critical features you should consider while developing an app like Mint:
1. Integration with payment services
People often keep multiple bank accounts and credit cards. And therefore, it’s hard to find what you need when carrying around so much clutter. Linking these accounts to a budgeting app helps them manage their money in one location and gives them a thorough picture of their finances.
2. Data Visualization
An effective budget app needs a clear and accurate user interface. Stunning data visualization can be the key to helping users better grasp information and make more informed financial decisions. It can be achieved by using attractive charts, infographics, and dashboards to help users better grasp information and manage finances.
3.AI-Powered Financial Assistance
Make sure you equip your budgeting app like Mint with artificial intelligence so that it’s able to stand out from other money and spend monitoring tools.
Therefore, using AI algorithms while developing an app like Mint can help you evaluate the collected data and turn it into actionable insights, assisting users in aligning their expenditures with their savings objectives. It can compute how much a user may save safely, and the app will automatically deposit this amount.
Furthermore, AI algorithms can help users analyze their fiscal habits and categorize transactions automatically to better inform them on how to optimize their costs. AI makes budgeting apps personalized by assisting with discounts for already owned subscriptions and informing about upcoming bills to avoid overspending, savings opportunities, etc.
Gamification features in a budgeting app like Mint improve user engagement and encourage users to interact with the app more frequently. You may include aspects such as a point system defined goals, prizes, and milestones to keep users engaged and help them reach their savings goals more effectively.
When developing a finance app similar to Mint, where the app has direct access to all the user’s financial accounts, it is crucial to ensure high-level security to protect sensitive information. One must use modern technology to secure the app infrastructure from data breaches and bot attacks. As someone who wants to design a new app, it’s recommended that you study GDPR regulations and ISO 270001, which are essential measures for keeping users safe online. Your app should be built with a cloud infrastructure that offers high-end encryption.
6. Manage Your Bills
As we all have various bills that need to be paid now and then, it is pretty likely to skip a deadline sometimes. An unmissable advantage is a finance app like Mint that reminds you to pay your bills and payments before you miss them.
Implementing a notification feature to your budgeting app enables your user to stay on top of their finances, get notified about upcoming bills, deadlines, and milestones, and inform them about anything that could be helpful to them.
8. User Login
To begin with a Mint finance app, the user has to register and sign up to the app with their details. After signing up, users can synchronize their accounts and keep track of their expenses. It is essential to implement a two-factor authentication or unique code generation system during the registration process to protect the crucial details of the user.
Users of a budgeting app will want to have all their money readily available on the same digital platform to view information and data about their financial standing. They no doubt will want to be able to add new accounts and save time tracking bills, income, and expenditures. It is why your app should synchronize all the user accounts, debit and credit cards, etc., for relevant information.
It enables consumers to examine the information and data from all accounts in one digital environment and better manage their budgets.
10. Budgeting and Expense Categorization
To ensure the best possible user experience, you should provide various budgeting options to your users. It can be done by categorizing the user’s spending and transactions. You should give consumers a choice to budget their expenditure for a week, a month, or several months.
11. Customer Support and Consultation
It can be pretty challenging to work with a finance app like Mint. Users may encounter technical issues at some point. It is a wise option to provide your user with 24/7 support, consultation, and effective customer service for utilizing the app to its fullest.
12. Investment Tracking
This feature lets your users track their spending and decide where to invest their money. An investment tracker may assist users in staying on top of market benchmarks and monitoring their asset allocation, including brokerage accounts, real estate assets, mutual funds, IRA investments, etc.
How to Develop a Personal Finance App Like Mint: A Step-by-Step Guide
Now that you are familiar with all the features that need to be included in your personal finance app like Mint, it’s time to build a successful application even better. Here are some points to take note of while building your budgeting app:
1. Preliminary Analysis
Before you begin developing anything for your product, you must know who is using the product! Knowing who the users help you to develop the right features and functionality to match their needs. The preliminary market study will give information about the users, the competition, and their preferences. This information helps you to identify trends while analyzing the strengths of your competitors as well as revealing what your targeted audience is actually looking for.
To get to know your target audience and their behaviors, there are specific questions you can ask. You may want to take the time to ask about why they buy things the way that they do or where they spend most of their time.
2. Discovery Phase
Building great products requires a solid foundation and therefore, the discovery phase is the most crucial step while developing your product. So before you start coding and designing, you must first identify the underlying consumer demands and how your product’s functionality will address them.
Conducting this level of research helps you assess the capabilities or workflows of your target audience, gather requirements and define project complexity, and test the market’s appetite for your proposed product and risk criteria to ensure the project is viable. The discovery phase consists of the following three stages:
- Choosing a technical stack for your product development
- Identifying the required features for your product
3. Identify the Problem
You have had a fantastic idea for developing an app like Mint. So, now what? Now it is time to identify the problem that your new app will seek to resolve. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What is it about the current solutions that prevent consumers from reaching their aim?
- Is there any new technology in the market to match your idea?
- Can you solve the issues that other finance applications have overlooked?
4. Conduct Research on Competitors
Next up, look at similar apps within the same space and identify how you can differentiate yours from the rest of your competitors. If the problem you aim to solve has been well-researched and is collaborative, find out if other people in similar industries have addressed it before so you can review their approach and possibly collaborate with them too!
5. Security Measures and Compliance with Legal Requirements
Security is the top priority of any product, especially when it belongs to the fintech industry. Risking the security and authentication of users’ private information can danger your brand’s reputation. Therefore, reliable security and protective measures are needed while developing an app like Mint. Here are some best practices for ensuring your app’s high degree of security:
- Enable two-factor authentication via face recognition, fingerprint, one-time-use password, etc.
- Enable the session mode to offer short-duration sessions and the cut-off for inactive sessions
- Conduct regular testing to catch all security flaws and vulnerabilities
- Data tokenization uses a random sequence of symbols to substitute sensitive data.
- Data encryption encodes sensitive data into code, which prevents fraud.
6. Focus on User Experience
Finance apps like Mint contain complex features, so you must treat their UI/UX design carefully. Users typically have financial management issues. Because they want these issues to be solved as quickly and simply as possible, it’s vital that your app has an innovative and convenient design. Here are some tips to help you handle this efficiently:
- Try to understand your audience and design something which can solve their issues rather than developing something they don’t know how to use
- Try to strike a balance by including all critical functionality on the dashboard without overloading the app.
- Follow the “three taps” golden rule suggesting that the user should be able to solve this problem in three taps or less.
- Try to replace the long block of text with visuals such as enticing images or animations to avoid to-read information.
7. Application Development
Depending on the outcomes obtained from the above steps, now it’s time to start developing your app like Mint. This step should include the deployment of all the features required for building the personal finance app and should meet the relevant user expectations.
In order to verify the functionality of your Mint clone, it’s important to test whether or not the app works in a local environment before taking your product to the market. The automated and manual testing combination would validate whether the application behaves as expected and produces the desired results.
9. App Marketing
Creating an app is not enough if your target audience is unaware of it. So now it’s time to market your finance app by choosing the right marketing strategies and channels.
Tech Stack for Building Budgeting Apps like Mint
Now that we have seen the functionality and the end-to-end process of developing an app like Mint, it’s time to look at the tools and technologies that will determine the overall architecture of your finance app.
The below table shows the tech stack recommended by our specialist for personal finance app development:
How Much Does it Cost to Build a Personal Finance App like Mint?
The overall cost to build an app like Mint depends on various factors. These factors include the project’s complexity, team size, selected technologies, and the platform you choose to develop your app. Apart from all these, the most important factor to impact the cost of your app is the geographical region of your product development partner.
We’ve broken everything down to the tiniest detail so you can evaluate what is required to build a finance app like Mint. Let’s dive deep into the no. of development hours required.
Now that you are familiar with the total time required for each development module, you can multiply it by the total hourly rates of the developer you hire, and there’s your final cost to build a personal finance app.
Depending on the no. of hours and development rates, building an app like Mint in North America will cost roughly around $900K+, whereas you can develop the same app for about $500K in Europe or the UK.
Contrastingly, developing the same app in Asia (India) will prove to be more economical. As per our expert’s estimates, you can develop a finance app for about $45/hour on average with a product development partner in India. Ultimately, the final cost of an app if developed in India will be ~ $300K.
Please note that the above estimations are approximated and the final cost may vary by +-15% for Android and iOS.
India is the ideal outsourcing destination for hiring developers due to its youthful and energetic workforce, experienced tech talent, and cost-effective developer rates.
Revenue Streams For An App Like Mint
Mint is free to use. However, it has a very clever monetization model to generate profit. Let’s take a deeper look.
Mint app offers users a plethora of financial suggestions such as personal loans, investment benefits, and exclusive savings options. Although the company receives some gain, only those who accept one of these special offers will actually get something out of it.
Mint recently added a subscription option to its app as one of the modes of income. By subscribing to Mint Live Services, a user can consult a certified financial planner, public accountant, or certified agent. Note that the subscription is available for $24.99 for US users only.
Other ways of monetizing a personal budgeting app like Mint are
Paid apps: You don’t necessarily have to make your app free to use; you may just sell it. Users will access all of your app’s features by purchasing it.
In-app purchases: You may opt to sell certain sophisticated functionalities inside your finance app.
In-app ads: With access to a user’s transaction history, advertising becomes a viable alternative. You can tailor the ads to the user’s interests. However, some people may find in-app advertisements to be irritating.
Subscription: Users may access the full functionality of your app by subscribing and paying a monthly fee.
Note that you can also develop a unique approach to monetization by combining one or more methods mentioned above.
Mint has become a very successful financial manager, and we can learn much from it when developing our own app! The average consumer loves Mint because of its intuitive layout, easy navigation, and valuable features that enable them to make informed decisions regarding separating what they need from what’s just nice to have.
By 2030, the fintech sector is anticipated to be worth $500 billion; therefore, it is the perfect time to break into this industry. As with any business venture, developing a quality financial tracking app requires both technical expertise and a thorough understanding of the market you’re getting into.
Partnering with an experienced and reliable product development partner is crucial to ensure that your app can stand out from the crowd and occupy a prominent position in the app store. This is where we can help you!
Developing a new product is no joke – it can be a long & tedious process. However, your journey can be easier if you have the right tools & the right development partner at your disposal.
At Maruti Techlabs, we function as your end-to-end product development partner helping you to go through the entire product development process with the least amount of hiccups. Right from UI/UX, development, product maturity, and maintenance, along with AI capabilities- we are a one-stop-shop for product development.
We start each project with a project discovery workshop that will unveil the challenges and opportunities for you to build upon. We’ll also help you determine what worked, what didn’t work, and why, before moving on to the next phase of your product development journey.
We’re constantly working on adding more to our “Build An App Like” series.
Feel free to check out some of our other helpful App-like guides:
Our approach to product development is flexible and agile to adapt to changing needs while maintaining an efficient workflow throughout all phases of development. Our process enables us to seamlessly integrate with clients so that we can create the products that matter most to their success.
Get in touch with our head of product development to get your great idea into the market quicker than ever.
1. What is Mint, and how does it work?
Mint is a personal finance budgeting app that tracks spending and monitors bank accounts for fraudulent activity, shows aggregate expenditure by category, provides budgeting tools, and more to help your money go further. Mint operates by tracking a user’s income, purchases, and savings by syncing your bank accounts, credit cards, and retirement accounts and later automatically updating and classifying your costs.
2. How much does it cost to develop a personal finance app?
There is no one right answer to this question. The app development cost for a budgeting app like Mint will vary wildly depending on its intricacy, feature set, development service rates, and app complexity. The more complex the app, the costlier it will be. It may cost up to $900K+ in North America, ~ $500K in the UK or Europe and somewhere around ~ $300K in Asia, specifically India.
3. Is Mint a safe app?
Yes, Mint’s parent company, Intuit, uses advanced security and technology to protect its clients’ personal and financial information. Security methods include software and hardware encryption, as well as multi-factor authentication.
4. Is Mint good for personal finance?
Mint is an outstanding personal finance application that has received several Editors’ Choice awards. It allows you to connect to your online banking accounts, check your credit score, and calculate your net worth, among other things. Even better, Mint is free!
5. Is finance app development a budget-friendly app idea?
Short answer – yes.
Yes, it is a budget-friendly app idea, as the initial investment on app development is very low. But one has to hire experienced developers and designers for designing the app.
6. Why choose Maruti Techlabs as your development partner?
Good question. Here is what’s in it for you when you consider Maruti Techlabs as your development partner:
- Engineers backed by a delivery team and experienced PMs
- The agile product development process to maintain flexible workflow
- Recurring cost of training and benefits – $0
- Start as quickly in a week
- Discovery workshop to identify the potential problems before beginning
- Risk of Failure? Next to none. We have an NPS of 4.9/5