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How much does it cost to make apps like Venmo?


Maryna Cherednychenko - June 3, 2020 - 0 comments

Venmo is popular, very popular. According to Forbes and Market Watch, it has 52 million users and 450 million in revenue. One may think: “What makes it so attractive? It’s just another peer-to-peer app.” Well, it makes sense, but only by halves. As you know, the devil is in the detail. If you want to reach clients, you should not just give people what they want but also guess their wishes upfront.

Do Venmo app owners follow this rule? Judging from the demand for their product, I think the answer is obvious. It is not surprising that many want to follow their steps and create a similar app. Are you one of them? Interested in how much it costs to make an app like Venmo? Well, you are in the right place. In this post, we will reveal all the tips and tricks. So, take a seat.

What is Venmo? A bit of history

The idea of a handy transaction tool was born in the early 2000s. At that time, two freshman students were helping their friend launch a yogurt shop. They realized that sales software was far from ideal. Attending a local jazz show, they wanted to buy one MP3 for two. However, one of them left a wallet. That’s how the “split a bill” concept started. Later, it was translated into the option of a popular P2P app.

In 2012, Venmo was bought by Braintree. They continued to develop the social aspect of the application. This strategy turned out to be a winning one, and the app has gained many users among millennials.

Soon, the Venmo fame reached PayPal. The latter wasn’t long in coming. In 2013, it bought Braintree. Such a move played into Venmo’s hands. Now, the app has gained the support of a world-known company, and users’ trust has grown at times.

At the end of 2019, Venmo payment volume reached $24 billion, which is twice as high as the previous year. See the chart of Venmo market growth below.

 

Venmo app market growth worldwide

Venmo market growth

How does Venmo work? Features list and time estimation

Inspired by this example, many entrepreneurs want to make apps like Venmo. But where to start? First, it is necessary to arrange a user flow, which is to prepare visual materials that illustrate the user’s entire path in the product. Usually, designers set it up with the help of blocks that show each next step of the user. Here is how it looks like in the Venmo app.

 

Venmo user flow

Transfer money

Well, this is obvious. You cannot make a peer-to-peer app without a money sending option. The Venmo users can credit funds to friends’ accounts as well as pay house bills and other regular services. Note that Venmo is a bank-free app. It means it has its own mechanism to handle digital payments. If you want to follow this model, you should make an e-wallet within an app. It will act as a money accumulator. Whenever the user makes a remittance, the money first goes to their e-wallet and then to the point of destination

Estimated time for implementation – 320 hours

Link bank account

You don’t necessarily need a bank account to receive money through Venmo. However, you can add one if you want to. This option extends the app capabilities. It allows the user to choose which way they want to manage their money. With an app like Venmo, it is possible to rely on the in-built wallet or transfer straight from the bank account.

Estimated time for implementation – 140 hours

Make purchases

Although Venmo’s original concept was a handy tool for digital remittance and joint payments, now the app supports payments in online stores. Note, it is only possible with selected merchants – the ones that have an agreement with Venmo. To enable Venmo payments, the app developers have implemented a special API. The sellers who meet current requirements can use it to prepare shops for accepting such payments.

Estimated time for implementation – 480 hours

Split bill

This option is a spice of the app like Venmo. It helps split payments between several participants. For example, share the restaurant bill, apartment rent, or make a mutual purchase. The mechanism is quite straightforward. First, the user makes a payment. Next, he or she selects friends with whom they want to share the bill. The user sends a request to friends with the amount to be refunded. A friend can confirm or refuse. Note that the user can ask to refund the full amount of the purchase.

Estimated time for implementation – 300 hours

Access contacts

Apps like Venmo should access the contact list to enable users’ interaction. Thanks to this option, users can send money to each other without knowing the recipient’s card number. All they have to do is select a person from the contacts. Venmo also accesses Facebook contacts if the user permits. It helps engage more friends and relatives in mutual money management.

Estimated time for implementation – 10 hours

Request money

With this option, you can request money from anybody in your contact list. There is no need to call or meet with a person who you want to get money from. Simply press “Request,” enter the needed amount, and send it to a selected person. If the opponent confirms the request, you will receive the required sum. For this option, it is necessary to implement in-app chat and push notifications. Thus, the users will be able to communicate during money transfer and track the transaction status.

Estimated time for implementation – 240 hours

View history

Analyzing financial behavior is one of the most important goals of peer-to-peer apps. Viewing transaction history contributes to reducing spendings. To make this information even more useful, you can visualize it with graphs or diagrams. So the user can evaluate expensive areas at a glance and optimize their finances.

Estimated time for implementation – 40 hours

Secure authorization

To protect clients’ data use multifactor authorization. You can mix static passwords with biometric identity confirmation. The most common ways are fingerprint login, face recognition, iris scanning.

Estimated time for implementation – 120 hours

Data encryption

While encryption is not a pure option that the users can “see and touch,” it is crucial for app security. Developers should take care of safe data transfer. They need to choose a cryptography technique that will best fit the nature and amount of transmitted data.

Estimated time for implementation – 160 hours

Account setting

No app can run without this option. Here you need to make a simple and intuitive interface for editing personal data: name, date of birth, phone number, email, and so on. For easy navigation, provide users with helpful hints and split account settings into logical sections.

Estimated time for implementation – 40 hours

Social feed

This is what makes Venmo unique. It brings a new experience to the usual process of money transfer. Users can spice up their typical operations with emojis and comments. Such little things are especially popular among millennials and Generation Z, who were born with a gadget in their hands and cannot imagine life without social networks.

Estimated time for implementation32 hours

 

What is Venmo and how does it work?

Features of the app similar to Venmo

Is Venmo safe?

The safety matter is crucial for fintech apps. Venmo is no exception. The specifics of the application is that it is designed for close friends. As such, the users are strictly advised to send money only to those people who they trust. Yet, recommendations do not always work. Due to this, some typical Venmo scams take place. 

One of the most common scams is purchasing goods via Venmo. Here’s how it works. The buyer offers to pay for an item with the help of Venmo. The seller agrees and ships the product. Venmo blocks the payment because it contradicts the Venmo business model. Money goes back to the buyer, and the seller is left without goods and money.

You do not have to stick to this concept when developing an app like Venmo. Everything depends on your preferences and needs. Analyze your target audience and think of unique options you may offer. The fresh idea is equally important to well-designed features and a beautiful interface. At Softensy, we help find the right path by conducting business analysis and market research. This type of work is included in the cost of project development.

So, how much does it cost to make an app like Venmo?

A P2P app like Venmo is a complex project. It requires high professionalism and deep knowledge. Financial operations are connected with sensitive data that users care about. So, it is essential to establish a glitchless workflow and robust security. All this takes a lot of time and effort.

In the previous section, we have named the main functions of the app, like Venmo. However, the total estimation goes beyond this list. If you want to launch a similar project, consider adding the following spendings:

  • Business analysis – 240 hours
  • UI/UX design – 200 hours
  • Testing – 460 hours

Having summed up the time for features development and the time for non-development works, we get 2786 hours. To make an app similar to Venmo, you need a team of 10 people. In Ukraine, the average developer’s salary is $35 per hour. Thus, the approximate cost of the app development is 2782 * 10 * 35 = $973700

 

App features and non-development works

Estimated time, hours
Transfer money

320

Link bank account

140

Make purchases

480

Split bill

300

Access contacts

10

Request money

240

View history

40

Secure authorization

120

Data encryption

160

Account setting

40

Social feed

32

Business analysis

240

UI/UX design

200

Testing

460

Total (hours/money)

2782 / 973700

How does Venmo make money?

The above sum may seem like a mint of money. Well, this is hard to argue with. However, high quality always pays off. If you look at the Venmo monetization model, you will see a sure way to generate revenue. Here are some approaches to consider:

Transaction fee from credit cards. Debit card payments are completely free. Yet, if you transfer funds from a credit card, Venmo charges a fixed commission of 3%. Many fintech apps use this old-fashioned way to raise money. It is a proven method to generate income, so, no doubt, you should include it in your app.

Commission for accelerated payments. Usually, Venmo processes payments to bank accounts within 2-3 days. However, the user may expedite the transaction by paying an extra fee. Paid service significantly reduces the time of transfer.

Merchant fee. You can make purchases with Venmo at selected online stores. Such stores enter into a partnership agreement with the Venmo app. The latter, in turn, charges a commission on each transaction. Currently, it is about 3%.

 

How does venmo make money? 3 ways of monetization

Venmo app monetization

Do you want to develop a P2P app like Venmo?

If you want to launch a peer-to-peer app similar to Venmo but don’t know where to start, contact us for consultation. Based on your inputs, our managers will advise on the best possible way to set up the project. You will receive a cost estimate for free. Next, you can order a detailed estimate with a complete project description, including app features, tech stack, team personnel, and the overall cost. If you choose to work with us, we will sign a contract and translate your idea into a working solution

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