Imagine yourself going to the bathroom without a phone. You can’t, right? That’s how addicted we are to smartphones. A recent study has found that almost 65% of Americans use their phones on the toilet. One-third of the people asked even admitted to using a phone while driving, which is extremely dangerous.
They do have their good sides, though. With all the functions and features the average smartphone has today, we can fit almost anything we need in our pockets. For example, you can now pay your bills or do some online shopping with your phone. Gone are the days of carrying fat, chunky wallets and leaving them in another jacket – all you need today is a digital wallet.
Because smartphones have become such an integral part of our lives, building an app for a phone, and one that you can pay with, might be a great idea. Below, we will go over making an app for a digital wallet and the details you might need to know before you do this.
Android vs. iOS
Because Apple is more strict about apps that can find a place in the App Store, there aren’t many choices you can make as a coder or developer. Moreover, because Apple uses Swift programming language, there are estimates that an app can be created for iOS in less time, as Swift requires less coding.
On the other hand, making an app for Android requires coding in Java programming language, and estimates show that it takes 30–40% more time. However, Android gives you more freedom regarding how the app functions and looks.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to choose what platform you will build a digital wallet app for.
How they work
Payments and wallets work by using pre-existing technologies included on almost all recent smartphones. We’re talking about QR codes, Bluetooth and NFC.
Digital wallets and other mobile apps have gained much popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic. NFC’s usage has increased significantly during COVID and is estimated to grow even more in the next few years. Just because the COVID pandemic passed doesn’t mean we stopped using NFC.
All three of the technologies we’ve mentioned here are good to use for a digital wallet app. However, when it comes to security and speed, NFC is the clear winner and our recommendation. It can connect in a much shorter time, almost immediately, giving it a considerable advantage.
On top of that, NFC can only connect to one device simultaneously, reducing the risks of other users connecting to your wallet.
Types of digital wallets
There are a few types of wallets already, including open wallets, semi-open wallets, closed wallets, IoT (Internet of Things) wallets, etc.
Open wallets are made by banks or large companies in partnerships with banks. They allow users to buy products or services, withdraw from ATMs or banks, and transfer money. A good example is a wallet by PayPal.
Semi-open wallets are the most commonly used wallets and are estimated to dominate the market in the future. That’s why they’re the best choice, as they also allow users to make transactions with listed sellers, and merchants only need to sign an agreement with digital wallet creators. The limitation is that users can only withdraw cash directly.
Closed wallets are made by a company and are only used for that company. For example, Amazon Pay is only available for Amazon users and is only used to buy on Amazon. Finally, IoT wallets are used by smart devices such as smartwatches and other appliances, not just mobile phones.
What matters the most
Security is the most crucial aspect of your app. If your wallet isn’t secure, no one will want to use it. However, security isn’t the only thing you need to worry about. Some basic features that your wallet should include are the following:
- Quick payments – By using one of the technologies that we mentioned above;
- Easy registration – Signing up should be simple and easy to do;
- Push notifications – To let your users know when there are inflows and expenses;
- Bill payments – The wallet loses its purpose if users can’t pay their bills through the app;
- Transaction history – This is something your users might want insight into;
- Card support – The app should work with all credit and debit cards.
On top of these basic features that every digital wallet app should have, there are advanced features such as a rewards system, loyalty cards, and membership discounts, but these aren’t as important. The focus should be on basic features until these are included, and only then should developers include advanced ones.
As technology and mobile phones have been absorbed into our everyday lives, creating mobile apps, such as digital wallets, might be a good idea. They use pre-existing technologies such as Bluetooth, QR codes, and NFC.
When it comes to wallet types, there are open wallets, closed ones, IoT wallets, etc. If we’re talking about features, security is something that you should focus on the most, but there are other features that we mentioned as well.