Mobile Wallet Application Development: Tips & Tricks

I guess it’s safe to state a fact that physical wallets are relics from the past. And now the humanity has a unique opportunity to use the new generation digital technologies to make secure and totally cashless payments via handy mobile apps. Those virtual wallets can handle and store our most private data – like credentials, driver’s licenses, loyalty cards or coupons, along with provided ability to pay for our online purchases and services we order or tickets we buy.  

We are, indeed, depend on our smartphones on a daily basis, and the number of owners who use mobile devices of all kind... Wow, just think in terms of billions across the globe. And the tendency is that that number will only grow with each year. Not to mention, that even some major giants strongly support mobile payment services and integrate them into their business – I’m talking about Google and Visa, Starbucks and WalMart, etc.

How can you make money in this industry?

According to predictions, worldwide m-payment revenue will reach over $700 billion by the end of this year. And the likelihood statistic of internet users in the US who will use mobile payment methods in the future tells that 63% of respondents from 18 to 34 years old stated that they would like to use m-payments in the future.

Mobile wallet basics

Custom Mobile Wallet Application Development. Basics

Essentially, financial transactions via e-Wallet apps are really simple and effortless, that’s why people love it. Some of them still a little bit reluctant to embrace this technology, but we can assure you, that if your idea is to build a money wallet, you won’t regret it. Below are some benefits of digital wallets.

  • Easy-to-use – to make a payment, the user should simply enter a password or pin code and bring a smartphone near the payment kiosk for scanning. The transaction will be processed like a traditional credit card transaction.
  • Comfy – no paper receipts and no signatures for users, while offers, discounts or coupons can be passed in a digital way along with the payment.
  • Swiftness – in the digital world any financial operation takes around 3 seconds. While a real bank needs several hours to process money transfers (if not days sometimes). Also, there is no time spent in long lines for any user of any age.
  • Portability – any amount of virtual money regardless doesn’t have dimensions, you can always have with you as much as you need in your small mobile phone.
  • Capacity – digital space is endless, and the wallet can save all your sensitive data with no fuss.
  • High-level security – no matter what we think, mobile wallets are, in fact, protected by three layers of security techniques.

Intrigued? Let’s discover what else is there for business strategy that you need to prepare during the development process.

Tips & Tricks

“Google has launched Wallet in partnership with Citi Mastercard. With Google Wallet, you can tap, pay and save using your phone and near field communication (NFC).”

Whether you want to create an e-Wallet for only a specific store or the one for general usage, you need to know some useful tips and tricks about the development process. It’s a serious matter when you want such app for startup because it has to be completely secure and reliable. So, shall we make a quick investigation?


#1. Do your homework – study the Market

It’s an important part of any development process, regardless the industry. You must learn what you’re dealing with – all the possible threats and your enemies. Luckily, in this age of digitalization, you can find any needed information online.

Do a little digging, see what other famous mobile wallet apps you can study to avoid their mistakes and provide future users with more interesting and satisfying product. As we all know, keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

So, the four biggest names in the mobile wallet arena right now are PayPal, Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay, but a nice digest ‘Digital Wallets: Best Practices in Top Performing Apps’ will also get you familiarized with such m-payments tools as Google Wallet, Dwolla, Venmo, Square Cash, etc. And to get the best ideas of mobile wallets you can check out this review of 2017 most promising money wallet apps.

#2 Be smart while you target the potential customers – define the key purpose of the app.

You have to concentrate on one app’s task and create it in the way your target audience actually wants to use it. In order to do this, decide what problem you want to solve with your product, what services will you provide, and who would use the application. It’s better to divide customers into groups by age, habits, professions etc., so you could see more clearly what which category needs. For example, look for statistics like a share of consumers in the US who are interested in selected mobile payment services and activities, where you can see that 69% of respondents were interested in using their phone to prevent unauthorized financial transactions.

What features and services do customers prefer the most? And when and how those features are used by them? People do appreciate smart, convenient, and rewarding e-Wallets, so provide them a reason to become loyal to your secure mobile app. Start engaging them in the development process from the early stages by asking their opinion, doing polls and creating a nice seller-buyer relationship. Your marketing campaign has to be oriented on potential customers, personalized offers and relevant content, that will represent the product’s purpose.

Wallet type

#3 Choose the wallet type & mobile platform

While you decide how would you sell your application, don’t waste any time and get on with choosing the platform that your mobile product will support. Most commonly used, as you probably know, are iOS, Android, Windows and rarely – Blackberry. It’s up to you and your budget whether you want to start with only one of them or create a cross-platform product. Just keep in mind, that every one of them has its benefits and cons, while significantly influencing the final cost of the whole project. A piece of advice, if you aim for the European market, then it would be wise to go on with the Android because it’s more popular platform there. As for the US, there is no better option than Apple’s iOS, of course.

After that, time to proceed and make up your mind about whether you plan to offer one simple service (storing and using various coupons or vouchers) or develop an advanced custom e-Wallet with the payment options, collecting of bills etc. In general, there are three types of such applications:

  • Specific retailer app with the m-wallet options to store and cash out loyalty cards, coupons,  and other bonuses.
  • Actual mobile wallet made specifically for credit card holders of certain banks.
  • Fully supported medium online payment apps that allow to store and use different credit cards from various financial institutions.

And how about what kind of transactions do you plan to handle with your product? There are also three cases here:

  1. Online commerce payments;
  2. Mobile Peer-2-Peer money transfers;
  3. Point of sale (mPOS) payments at the storefront.

As you see, there is a need to clearly understand what type of mobile solution you seek for, before you engage the professional m-wallet apps development company. Otherwise, you could end up with a very overestimated price for the features you don’t necessary wanted.

#4. Hardcore technical terms

Here is the thing, any developer should know that there are various free toolkits available on the GitHub, like handy Android Software Development Kit (SDK). And if one want to develop a mobile wallet app for Android he/she has to get skilled with the Java programming language and be familiar with SQLite database storage to read and write structured data. Then, for those who plan to create a mobile wallet app for iOS, there is Swift and Objective-C languages, Apple’s SDKs, and secure SSL/TLS transport protocols. Not to mention, a term ‘backend connection’.

But, to become cherished and respected by the target audience, you ought to design a simple while reliable product based on the following technologies of the worldwide choice.


Near field communication protocol is responsible for secure wireless transactions between NFC-enabled smartphones and transmitters onto POS devices. The user has his/her credentials stored digitally in the m-wallet app or in the web cloud with the help of Host-based Card Emulation (HCE) practice, which is the best option for Android devices. As for the case of iOS apps, starting from iPhone 6, Apple’s devices have an inbuilt HCE supporting NFC-chips. However, these chips can be used only for Apple Pay technology. So, an iPhone m-wallet app more likely will require EMVCo payment standards implementation and tokenization.

Back to the point, when the transaction happens, customer’s credentials are automatically taken from the device and transmitted via NFC to the receiving payment terminal in the presence of the Internet connection.

iBeacons and Bluetooth

And the iBeacon technology helps to transfer data without the instant Internet connection. It based on that the Bluetooth 4.0 gadgets intercommunicate with the external BLE-transmitters called the Beacon. That iBeacon-enabled POS can instantly read the client’s details, so they don’t need to scan their cards and coupons while checking out. All this info then is automatically displayed in the clerk’s POS terminal.

QR codes

QR codes

QR technology is often named as an alternative to NFC. For example, the Starbucks’ e-Wallet app lets users link their payment options, transform them into a secure QR code that is stored in the cloud and then simply scan the code while making a payment.

“The popular mobile payment and e-commerce platform Paytm has announced that it is now 200 million wallets strong. The company is the biggest success story of demonetisation announced in November 2016. For weeks after that, the company's app ruled both Apple's App Store and Google's Play Store.”

#5. User Interface & User experience

UI and UX are the key parts of the app’s success because the first thing we see while interacting with mobile wallets is its marvelous design that pleases our eyes. So, basically, UI must represent the main purpose of the app. Everything should be on point here – text, colors, fonts, symbols, buttons, scroll- and toolbars. Your top priority is engagement, readability, catchiness, and memorable icon & name. Also, the hierarchy of app’s screens should be suitable and logical. Every swipe, touch, and click should be valuable and spare you user extra time by organizing the payment process in simple actions within the application.

Keep your app user-friendly and helpful rather than making it too complicated to understand and use, it won’t be positively reflected in the numbers of your revenue. To achieve highest results in the user interface and user experience development, we recommend to find out more about sketching and prototyping techniques in one of our blog posts

#6. Features & Functions

Let’s make it clear, your e-Wallet must be feature-rich, secure and ready for a long-time competition on the Marketplace. So, you have to implement some basic features and functions, that would help to ensure that future.


  • User’s Profile with registration and authentication
  • State-of-the-art security and data encryption
  • Password / PIN code protection
  • Server backend with an offline backup and data restore option
  • Push notifications
  • Real-time budget tracker
  • Filters for transactions by types, time of making, locations
  • Digital receipts
  • Calendar & Clock


  • Personalized in-store deals via iBeacon
  • In-app analytics tools
  • Financial calculator & Statistics for expenses
  • Reward & Loyalty programs
  • Compatibility with the major mobile operating systems
  • Multi-accounts possibility (along with storage for credentials, coupons, discounts etc.)
  • Seamless payment process & Linkable payment options
  • Integration with user’s loyalty and marketing platforms
  • Multi-device synchronization


And to test and see how all of these features work, it’d wise to build an MVP of the application and let the beta-testers prob its functionality and UI/UX design. Their feedback will help you find out about product’s vulnerabilities, security breaches and necessary improvements for the final version of the application that you’ll launch on the chosen Marketplace.  

#7 Security & High-Level Protection mechanisms

As was mentioned above, a mobile product has to protect the personal information of its users, therefore, standard data encryption isn’t enough. Any valuable credit info shouldn’t be stored in the app itself, for this purpose, there are third-party services – REST APIs. And while many average users are afraid to use the electronic payment systems because of the security concerns, m-wallets, in fact, have three layers of modern protection mechanisms implemented in them.

To ensure a highest transactions security they use tokenization and encryption technology, along with complex in-app authorization process. And even in the case of the phone loss or theft,  your financial accounts will be protected by PIN codes and passwords. Not to mention, that most popular POS systems, that based on the NFC technology, also are EMV compliant by default.

Mobile Wallet App Development Cost

Well, here is what we can say, only professional mobile wallet app developers can build for you a reliable and trustworthy product that would reach the top of the Marketplace and pursue users to leave other application in your benefit. It adds additional expense to the project’s budget, but it more than worth it when it comes to e-Wallets. Let us tell you, which factors will influence the final price of the app:

  • Features and the core functionality of the product;
  • Would it be made from scratch or by adapting an existing solution;
  • API;
  • Security system;
  • Admin panel with powerful analytic tools;
  • Complexity of the UX/UI Design;
  • Approach to app development – native or hybrid, choice of the mobile platform;
  • Specialists you hire, their location and hourly rates;
  • MVP & Prototyping
  • Promotion campaign
  • Post-production technical maintenance.

But the exact cost you can get only when developers will check out your app’s requirements and estimate the whole project details. For a more thorough guide about m-wallet apps and security implementation in them, go visit GSMA Mobile Wallet White Paper, or contact us anytime and shoot your questions. We’re always here and available for your service!

Sincerely, TecSynt Team  

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