Are you looking to develop your very own secure payment app? In 2019 the global e-commerce market was valued at 9.09 trillion USD. There’s no better time to make a name for yourself in this space than now.
Keep reading to see what steps you need to consider when making an app like Paypal.
What You’ll Learn In This Post
- The technology behind Paypal
- Some popular features of Paypal
- How to develop a peer-to-peer payment app
What Is PayPal?
Paypal is the pioneer of online money transfers, founded in 1998 by Ken Howery, Luke Nosek, Max Levchin, Peter Thiel, and Elon Musk. It’s an online platform, accessible on desktop or mobile, that enables financial transactions between users and businesses. Once a user’s account is verified with identification, they can transfer funds, pay invoices, and order cards.
Popular Features of PayPal
Paypal has continued to improve its service over the years, helping keep it relevant and useful. While many competitors have tried to take Paypal’s top spot, Paypal has implemented several features that make it one of the best apps for financial transactions and customer satisfaction.
Send and Receive Money
Paypal allowed for simple online money transfers long before banks began developing their own apps. If you wanted to send money to someone’s account, all you would need is their name, username, phone number, or email; this remains true todayPaypal’s easy and secure method of transfers is one of the prime reasons it’s remained as popular as it has.
Paypal offers a Pay in 3 service, whereby customers can get a 0% interest loan on orders of £30 – £2000. This scheme is used by many companies and is known as Buy-Now-Pay-Later, allowing users to split payments over three months. Offering users credit when they’re in a tough spot without adding interest shows how flexible and supportive Paypal is toward its customers.
Paypal’s wallet feature is essentially your main account. Users can seamlessly transfer funds to and from their bank account once they register their details. This allows users to access Paypal’s unique features without the hassle of buying a gift card or top-up code.
It is always best to discuss the legalities of your app with a legal professional when dealing with people’s finances. Here are some of the key points you’ll need to discuss and address.
Paypal implements a buyer protection service. If you have any issues with a product you purchased via Paypal, you still need to initiate the complaints and resolution process with the seller yourself. However, if you continue to have issues with the seller, PayPal will cover you for a full refund if eligible.
We see terms and conditions on a daily basis, and there’s a reason for that: providing terms and conditions for your app allows you to set out the rules, liability, and intended usage to users. They are legally binding contracts between the user and provider that help cover you in the event of legal action.
GDPR regulations were brought in by the EU in 2016, focusing on the protection of personal information. These regulations apply to organizations based in the EU and businesses that collect the personal information of EU citizens. This means that if you plan to allow European users to use your payment app, you’ll need to follow GDPR guidelines. The US does have laws regarding data protection for healthcare and federal agencies, but the most relevant to payment apps would be the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA)
Related Page: A Complete Guide to GDPR Implementation (with Checklist)
6 Steps to Make an App Like PayPal
When you build a money transfer app like PayPal, you’ll want to first make a clear and concise plan. Through the following steps, you’ll gain an understanding of what considerations should be made when developing a secure payment app.
1. Determine Niché
You’ll want your app to stand out, to excel above the rest in one area. You could focus on security, seamless international transactions, or effective exchange rates. Having a unique selling point will make your payment app more marketable when competing for users against other money transfer applications.
Determining your niché early on will allow you to anticipate what features you will need to create during development. Additionally, you can look at which audiences might be more inclined to download your app and prioritize features they could benefit from.
2. Outline Security Protocols
Given that you’ll be handling users’ money, you’ll want to ensure you’re not susceptible to hacks and scams. Most organizations nowadays detail how they will contact you, so users know what methods of communication they can trust. Furthermore, having the proper channels to report suspicious and fraudulent activity ensures there is every opportunity to prevent financial crime.
End-to-end encryption (E2EE) is another important tool when it comes to securing transactions and personal information. E2EE is where data is encrypted before being sent. Encrypted messages can only be decoded by the intended party and are inaccessible to unintended entities. E2EE is a common practice for social media and a necessity for the financial and healthcare industries.
Two Factor Authentication (2FA) is also commonly used for any websites or apps that store credit and debit card information. 2FA is where you register an email or mobile number to your account that you will be required to use to log in. Organizations will commonly send you a code via SMS to log in, preventing anyone that’s not you from accessing your account.
3. Wireframe and Design App
Picturing how the app will look in your head is easy, but if you need to relay the design to employees, agencies, or partners, designing a wireframe is an excellent solution. Wireframes are a fantastic way to present the layout of your app and give developers a visual framework to recreate.
When creating a user interface (UI), you’ll need to consider what impact this has on the user experience (UX). For example, you don’t want a UI cluttered with functions that are indistinguishable from one another. If you can group features, like managing a direct debit, together under another page, you’re likely to create a smoother UI and, ultimately, a better UX.
Related Page: What Are Wireframes in UI/UX Design, and Why Are They Important?
4. Develop Your PayPal-Like App
One of the most time-consuming steps in creating your app is the development stage. If you’re a skilled developer with the knowledge at your disposal to build a money transfer app, then you can begin development. However, for those without adequate experience, there are a few things to consider when outsourcing a development company.
You’ll need to ensure the agency is capable and experienced with the type of app you’re looking to create. You should also search their portfolio for previous apps of a similar nature. Having a talented developer with a proven history of app development in your area will be the best way to ensure the quality of your app.
Additionally, you should look at what post-release support they offer and if they can help provide ongoing bug fixes. You can check the condition of their previously developed app to corroborate the standard of their support.
Related Page: How to Outsource App Development Properly in 2022
5. Test App Security
No matter how secure you believe your app to be, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Getting your security tested by simulating an actual security threat ensures that you’re aware of any misconfigurations before its release. If you’re creating an app that deals with finances, there are multiple ways to prevent future security malfunctions.
Black-box testing is where an entity, without knowledge of your security systems, attempts an attack on your app. This tests end-to-end encryption and is excellent for finding vulnerabilities in your firewall or integration between security systems.
In Gray Box testing, the tester has limited information about your security systems. This test is more in-depth and may launch a more critical or consistent attack after learning more about your system like an insider (e.g., An employee or developer) could.
White box testing gives the tester full access to the inner workings of your application. It’s more likely to detect security misconfigurations and flawed coding, but may not necessarily flag issues that could be exploited by an external entity.
6. Deliver and Refine App
Once you’ve thoroughly ruled out any security threats and have a functioning app, you can release it to the public. If you don’t have prior knowledge of an app release, you can ask your developer for help.
After its release, you’ll need to continue to monitor your app, its reviews, and bug reports. You should then work with your developer to swiftly resolve any issues that arise. Between the necessary bug fixes and optional user suggestions, your app should evolve, becoming more accessible and desirable to audiences.
How to Market Your App
As the world becomes more digitally dependent, so too do marketing opportunities. Whether you’re looking to advertise to everyone or a select demographic, there are many avenues you can take for either.
App Store Optimization
Marketing on the app store itself is a great way to engage people from one click away. Designing your app’s page will play an important part as you use keywords or tags to link your product with others of a similar nature. Adding your unique selling point in the description may be a great way to ensure those looking for a particular feature see your app before any others.
Related Page: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Services
PPC Ad Campaign
Google and other search engines offer what’s known as Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising. This is where you design an advert and pay google each time a user clicks on it to investigate more. Much like ASO, PPC is a brilliant opportunity to get your name out there as people search or browse for similar products.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing comes in two forms, organic and paid. Organic is where you create a page for free and create posts, often with hashtags, to draw in consumers looking for similar products. Paid is where you directly advertise on the social media site using PPC ads.
Many businesses will outsource social media marketing. Just as with development, handing over marketing to an expert agency might be more beneficial for your app long term. You’ll still want to research the agency’s portfolio to ensure that they’re capable of marketing your app effectively.
How to Monetize Your App
Ultimately, as ongoing development and marketing costs pile up, it will be worth finding an effective way to monetize your app. There are many methods of monetization you can use that are already well-established in other apps of a similar purpose.
International Transaction Fees
Mainstream banks often charge a fee for transfers abroad; this covers costs such as payment processing, foreign exchange, and bank deductions. You may incur similar costs yourself, so you’ll want to consider how much you charge your users to negate this, plus a little extra to make a profit.
If a business is going to regularly use your service more than an individual would, it might be worth considering adding a transfer fee to business transactions. You could separate business and personal accounts with different memberships or add a higher fee for commercial transactions.
You might want to consider letting users take credit and pay you back over time with interest. Not only will you make your app more desirable to some consumers, but you can build a steady cash flow of return on investment (ROI).
Idea Maker’s Experience In Mobile App Development
If you’re looking for an experienced app developer to guide you through your journey of making a secure payment app, Idea Maker is the right agency for you. With a portfolio of secure websites and high-functioning mobile apps, Idea Maker has a team ready to deliver your secure financial software needs. Schedule a call with us today to see how we can support your app development.