Do you remember the last time you ate at a luxury restaurant? There is no doubt that the waiters were certainly helpful. Probably, way too helpful, so you might have felt a little bit irritated. Because you didn’t need that much attention — you simply wanted to enjoy the meal.
Same thing happens when you’re building an investment app. You have to know whether people really need your help, and if they do, how you can deliver it in the best way to make a visible difference. And in fact, there’s a huge market waiting for your robust digital solution: Business of Apps reports that there are already 137.1 million of investment apps users who bring an annual revenue of $22.8 billion.
Okay, people need your help to make adequate investments and manage their wealth with better efficiency. How would you do that? You need a personalized approach to each client. In a world full of disruptive technologies, economic instability, and changing landscape of the financial sector users want to feel comfortable and confident that their investing aspirations are heard by the service providers. In this article, the JatApp team will describe to you how to achieve a maximal customer-centeredness in order to build an investment app that outperforms your rivals.
People are people — Why human financial advisors are not enough
There is a wide range of stock investment apps that use a do-it-yourself (DIY) approach or involve human financial advisors, but what’s wrong with them? Robinhood, a famous DIY wealth management app, earns $1.35 billion of revenue, which is why there is nothing wrong with such kind of investment apps because they have their target audience and values to offer. You can launch a similar product, but such a solution won’t stay ahead of the pack of similar apps, and you’ll end up looking for ways to redefine your product in several years to come.
Robinhood user interface
We have a bunch of reasons to think so. First of all, you won’t deny that a deliberate avoidance of technologies like robo-advisors or artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms is disadvantageous rather than beneficial. Actually, 91% of businesses have or expect to devote funds to building AI capabilities in 2022.
Second, your product is likely to work with users who belong to Y and Z Generations. Millennials, and zoomers in particular, have an entirely different perception of new business models, personal wealth, and the ways they would like to invest their money. That is why a conventional white-collar approach to investing and wealth management will make them confused, if not disappointed.
A Gen Y/Z reaction to their parents’ financial advisor
The generation gap between financial advisors and users seriously weakens customer relationships with an investment app. These generations are looking for unique experiences, so a pile of figures and numbers don’t work for them when it comes to wealth management apps. Both millennials and zoomers simply want to see what’s behind their asset portfolio, while words like “asset portfolio” already tire them out.
In addition to the discomfort of encountering a boomer who tells about some things a millennial/zoomer have probably heard from The Wolf from The Wall Street, generations Y and Z users need to make serious financial decisions under circumstances of economic uncertainty.
The main problem is that the major wealth transfer is happening today, as more than $50 trillion will move from one adult population to another by 2060. Millennials and zoomers already have access to big money, but they don’t have any experience of managing them well enough because Nickelodeon channel didn’t broadcast news about the financial crisis back in 2008. As a result, 90% of young people change their financial advisors when they inherit the wealth of their parents.
We don’t remember whether it was an episode about financial literacy in the CatDog, please, write us, if it was
There is no doubt that millennials and zoomers face new challenges in wealth management and investing. For that reason, relying solely on human financial advisors or even just a user interface offering DIY wealth management is somewhat an old hat that only those who already had one would wear. So, if you intend to build a stock investment app that stands out from the competition, the above-mentioned approach isn’t your way to go.
Love, death, and robots — Why you shouldn’t rely solely on robo-advisors
The reasons for not relying on human financial advisors for your stock investment app are strong enough, but they don’t necessarily mean that taking a robo-advisor/AI-only approach is a viable alternative. Again, building an investment app powered with a robo-advisor or some smart algorithm can result in an effective solution that is undoubtedly profitable. For instance, Vanguard’s net assets are worth $143.39 billion for now.
People obviously will fall in love with such a product. But only those who know well how stock trading (and money in general) works.
As we have already discussed, your potential users have a lot of concerns about their wealth and how they can invest in stocks truly valuable for them. Leaving your users face-to-face with a robo-advisor may mean a death to customer-centeredness of your product, as there is no living soul who can explain various investment-related nuances or at least confirm once again that their portfolio is doing great despite the market instability.
And what about robots as a tech solution for investment and wealth management? Robo-advisors and AI aren’t a silver bullet, regardless of the constant hype you hear about them. Smart technologies can help your customers select a stock they should purchase, but they’ll never be 100% sure about what a user needs to do with that stock within a long-term prospect.
Consequently, we don’t recommend you expecting some ultimate investing algorithm to come. Because it never will. You won’t argue that there is nothing more pathetic than trying to meddle with the theory of chaos that is at the heart of how stock markets work.
Instead, you should accept the reality: investment robo-advisors are powerful solutions for wealth management, but they can hardly be the wave of the future without a human touch. Love and death are concepts that concern humans for centuries, while money is somewhere between these two things. And robots alone won’t make a serious impact here so far.
Robots can be helpful guys, but it looks like your product needs alive people as well
Our hybrid theory — Make both humans and robots work together
We’ve learned that development of an investment app with a human financial advisor or artificial intelligence alone is a good prospect, but not sufficient to guarantee you a customer-focused approach, which is the key competitive strength for wealth management solutions today.
It’s evident that customers have a low tolerance to legacy communication and ill-equipped delivery channels. If your customer can watch almost any TV show on-demand, they expect immediate and full response to their financial concerns as well.
So, a human and a robo-advisor should get married. We’re joking, of course (a robot will never accept such an offer).You just need to make both humans and robo-advisors work in tandem.
Again, how will you do that? There are two major aspects you need to take into account before you start the development process of your investment app.
Detailed customer segmentation
You have to clearly know who you’re going to serve with your investment app. The ways you determine your segment can vary significantly, so let’s take a look at several examples.
We have made a bold fat emphasis on the generation gap that actually shapes a need for customer-centeredness of wealth management solutions, which is why paying attention to pain points and aspirations of millennials/zoomers is a profitable direction for your business. For example, a startup Ikigai orients at clients in their thirties and late twenties to help them achieve their goals with wealth they just earned or inherited.
Ikigai is a fintech product that includes the whole financial ecosystem
Also, users have multiple credit cards with different features, rewards, repayment interests, and durations. An expense management software called Fyle offers real-time expense management on cards users already have. This eliminates the hassle of switching cards to gain real-time control over expenses and credit card reconciliations, even though they are distributed amongst several bank cards.
At the same time, a company called Scout offers a “themed” investment platform for Generation Z customers who want to make a conscious choice about what kind of asset portfolio they would like to hold. The matter is that their choices of stocks to buy are mainly driven by their interests and intentions to make a social change rather than just making money.
The startup supports young investors with portfolio management across different areas from supporting local basketball teams to investing in small independent game development studios or apparel designers.
Investment “themes” in Scout
Beyond a doubt, there is a room for cryptocurrency and web3 projects investment. The debate about the crypto future seems to never end, while relatable startups like Stash managed to pass $125 million of annual revenue.
In the same vein, you can direct your stock investment app towards alternative investment: your customers will buy stocks of various precious and luxurious items like fine fortified wines, vintage furniture, and so on. Public.com, Robinhood’s main rival, already acquired 3 million users, which is a result that speaks for itself loudly enough.
Investment in valuable items at Public.com app
Perhaps, you may not want to devote your fintech business to something extraordinary or overwhelmingly luxurious. In fact, nodding towards the middle-income class is as profitable as targeting affluent populations. PINA, an Indonesian investment platform startup, has gathered $3 million of investment in seed funding.
PINA user interface
However, the list of examples doesn’t end here. We just wanted to show you that segmenting your target audience is the primary step. It doesn’t matter who you’re targeting, as precision and devotion to this group is all that should concern you.
Building relevant communication and delivery channels
As soon as you’ve selected your customer segment, it’s essential to apply communication and delivery channels that are best aligned with your customers needs and expectations. Here we mean a mix of robo-advisor and human assistance, but you should decide when and how humans and artificial intelligence take part in serving your customers.
Let’s say you’re going to develop an investment platform like Scout to help youngsters invest in businesses they like. For instance, one of your customers is going to invest in small studios for NFT artists.
At this point, your team of financial advisors come to help the customer to select the most promising companies. Then, a robo-advisor comes into play and automatically allocates the customer’s capital across diversified assets within a portfolio.
Such portfolio diversification should be automatic and regular to make customer sure that their portfolio stays afloat under any circumstances. Simultaneously, human financial advisors keep reviewing the portfolio each day to make sure that nothing extraordinary happens, but when it does, they contact the customer to explain what they should do to manage profitability of their investments.
That’s the basic example of how technology and humans can help customers manage their wealth from different angles. You have to think about the main pain points of your customers and specifics of assets they’re likely to invest in to come up with your own mix of robo-advisor and human assistance.
That’s all great, but what’s next?
We have talked a lot about getting prepared for launching an investment platform development project, but now the practical part comes. We are going to discuss features, resources, tech stack, and business models. Bear with us, the most delicious part is coming!
The list of features for your wealth management application isn’t limited with those we’re going to describe, but your product won’t do any good without them:
- Budget planning
- Income and expenses tracking
- Savings/Asset portfolio/Net worth dashboard and analytics
- Onboarding, training, and human-assisted financial education
- Integration with neobank or incumbent bank for money withdrawal
- Automatic portfolio diversification
- User-friendly access to 24/7 customer support
- Stock prices forecast and financial ratios calculator
The technology stack is actually simple, yet involves a number of different building blocks:
|Backend development||Ruby-on-Rails or Node.js|
|Database||MongoDB and MySQL|
|Frontend development||Angular.js or React.js|
|Mobile development||Objective-C for native iOS app, Kotlin for native Android app, and Flutter for cross-platform mobile app development|
|Continuous integration/development||Amazon Web Services (AWS S3) and Cloudflare|
Considering the tech stack, your development team should involve a project manager, user interface/user experience (UI/UX) designer, backend developer, frontend developer, quality assurance engineer, and DevOps specialist.
The budget of your investment application depends on how complex it will be, but you have to be ready to spend between $70,000 and $120,000. As for the timeline, plan that your next year will be very exciting, especially if you follow the recommendations we left above.
- Subscription. Your customers pay a monthly/annual fee for using your investment app and all that jazz. We’ve all been there and done that.
- Interest from earnings. When your customers successfully trade their assets, the app charges them a fee. Sure, you can charge for any transaction made with your app, but given the circumstances that your target audience is very sensitive to wealth management practices, extra expenses may shun away users who are unconfident in their financial literacy. The exception can be made only in case when you’re absolutely sure that your product offers a unique value that nobody can underestimate.
- Margin interest. You simply lend your customers money to buy more stock, and they have to return the amount with interest paid. This business model implies risks for your users if they may make a wrong investment, but since your financial advisors and AI are on guard of the customers’ wealth, enabling your users to earn more can be a go-to solution.
Delegate the tech part to JatApp
We hope you now know what to say to annoying waiters at luxury restaurants, and, what we’re having our fingers crossed for, learned how to create your own investment platform. Building an investment application today requires customer-centeredness in the first place, which means that combining smart technologies and human advisory is a way that guarantees you gaining a competitive advantage.
JatApp can help you with a technical part, as our company develops fintech solutions among which such products as payment gateway, ActivPayroll, and bill splitting app. We are proud to say that 99% of our clients leave positive feedback about products we built for them.
Start developing your investment app by contacting us. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.