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Mobile Wallet App Development: From Definition To Tech Stack Selection

Maryna Cherednychenko - January 22, 2021 - 0 comments

We are now at that stage of technological development when a cashless society does not seem fictional. According to Digipay, the number of non-cash transactions is snowballing every year. And this trend is observed around the world. Cashless payments are more convenient, faster, and safer. They result from technical progress and are a viable competition to the ancient cash settlements.

Today, the most popular tool that enables cashless transactions is the e-wallet. According to Statista, it accounts for more than half of all transactions in the e-commerce sector. This article will consider developing an e-wallet for a mobile device. We will look at what a mobile wallet is and how it works. Besides, we will see how much it might cost to create it.

What Is Mobile Wallet?

A mobile wallet is a mobile app that repeats all the regular wallet features in electronic form. A mobile wallet allows you to refuse from a physical wallet entirely. It stores electronic money, which is the equivalent of paper money, keeps credit/debit cards, gift cards, membership in clubs and organizations; in a word, everything you keep in a regular wallet, only in a virtual format.

Although the mobile wallet exists virtually, its range of use is not limited to online stores or P2P transfers. You can easily use it in an offline store if it has a POS equipped with contactless technology, such as NFC or Bluetooth.

An electronic wallet has more opportunities compared to the physical one. Except for storing, sending, and receiving money, you can earn on input/output schemes, as well as on advertising and partnering with other companies.

What Are Mobile Wallet Types?

There are three types of mobile wallets. They differ by purpose, functionality, and feature set. Let’s look at each type in more detail to help you decide which one is best for your business.

Closed wallet

A closed wallet is a wallet issued by a particular company exclusively for its clients. With the help of such a wallet, users can easily shop and return goods, as well as receive bonuses for further purchases. Since closed wallets are tailored for a specific vendor, buyers cannot use them elsewhere. Also, they cannot transfer money to others and cash out at ATMs. An example of such a wallet is Walmart Pay. It allows a seamless shopping experience by scanning QR codes and paying directly from the Walmart app.

You may want to develop a closed mobile wallet app if you are:

  • Large commercial organization
  • E-commerce service provider
  • Big online store
  • Franchise

Semi-closed wallet

A semi-closed wallet is very similar to a closed wallet, with the only difference users can pay with it in several stores rather than in a single place. To let clients use it, a company should partner with the wallet owner. After that, it will be able to add a corresponded payment method to their website or mobile app. 

Just like with the closed wallet, the users are not allowed to redeem or withdraw money. They can use funds stored on the prepaid wallet accounts to pay wholly or partially for purchases on specific sites. Citrus Pay is an example of a semi-closed app. It works for PVR, Inox, and Sun Direct services.

You may want to develop a semi-closed wallet if you are:

  • Payment service provider
  • Large e-commerce merchant
  • Big fintech organization

Open wallet

Open e-wallet is available to a wide range of users. Anyone who wants to use such a wallet can download the app from Google Play or App Store, create an account, and enjoy the beauties of electronic pays. Unlike the previous two types, an open e-wallet is not linked to specific stores or merchants. It can be used whenever such a payment method is accepted. 

Another perk for users is the ability to withdraw money and make cashless transfers to friends, relatives, or other people. The most known representative of the open wallet app is PayPal. It is a preferred method for online payment and money storage due to its high usability and security.

Note, you are only allowed to develop an open e-wallet app if you are

  • banking organization
  • bank partner
Three types of mobile wallet

Three types of mobile wallet

What Industries Benefit From Using E-Wallet?

A variety of businesses use mobile wallets locally and internationally. Fields of application cover online shopping, mobile top-ups, paying bills, and ordering services. E-wallets allow you to send money quickly, no matter where the recipient is located. So, many industries are increasingly choosing them. Below, I list a few vocation areas where mobile wallets are much in demand.

eCommerce. If you are a large merchant, you can invest in creating your own closed or semi-closed wallet. If you run a small and mid-sized company, you can connect an existing wallet (or a few of them) and successfully collect money from customers worldwide.

Fintech. This category includes banks and other financial institutions that provide financial services using Internet technologies. Built-in wallets allow users to make P2P transfers, top-up mobile phones, pay bills – all from the comfort of their home.

Transportation. No matter if you are engaged in freight or passenger traffic, an e-wallet will help you accept payment in a fast and simple manner. Taxi and delivery services benefit from this method as it’s equally safe and handy for the company and client.

Restaurants. Whether you work online or offline, your clients will appreciate the opportunity to pay contactless. You can also add the split bill feature, which allows several people to share the restaurant bill. This option is much-in-demand in payment apps now.

Traveling. Buying tickets, booking hotels, paying for tours – all these things are done online. E-wallets make this process even more comfortable because they allow clients to transfer money through the app at any time and place.

Entertainment. Clients can buy cinema, theater, concert tickets, order party organizations, or join a master class. Whatever services you provide, an e-wallet will simplify the monetary operations and provide your customers with a perfect shopping experience.


Mobile wallet usage in different industries

Mobile wallet usage in different industries

What Are Features of the Mobile Wallet App?

Before we list all the mobile wallet features, let’s clarify three app interfaces and three user roles. These functional parts are designed to provide effective interaction of those who accept money with those who send it, as well as those who coordinate the app work. See below for details.

User Side of Mobile Wallet

Users who pay for goods or services through a mobile wallet will interact with this interface. It is crucial to make it highly intuitive, with minimum registration steps and a clear money transfer scheme. The basic set of features looks like this:

Sign-up/login. Allow users to sign with the existing social media account, e-mail, or create an account from scratch.

Add a bank account. Let users link an existing bank account to a mobile wallet.

Deposit account. Provide a seamless way to top-up e-wallet accounts.

P2P transfer. Implement an easy way to send money by entering a phone number or account details.

Bills payment. It is very convenient to pay for utility bills from a mobile wallet, so do not forget to add this option.

Split bill. Help users to pay the bill together using this function.

Bonuses. Provide bonuses for storing a certain amount of money or inviting friends to use the app.

Payment history. Let users check the transaction history so they can analyze their financial behavior.


Mobile wallet features of user interface

User interface of mobile wallet

Merchant Side of Mobile Wallet

Merchants who add a mobile wallet as a payment method to their online store will use this interface. Make sure there are no pitfalls in terms of fees, conversions, and withdrawals. Sellers must clearly understand how much they will receive and in what time frame. The features to offer are as follows:

Dashboard. It will help the sellers to get a 360-degree view of sales and money flow.

Profile. It will store the seller’s information, such as organization name and address, bank details, etc.

Add products. The sellers can add and edit products using this feature.

Create a QR code. The sellers can generate QR codes to accept consumers’ payments.

Manage customers. Merchants can add, edit, delete customers as well as view their purchase history.

Send money to a bank account. This feature will help users to quickly withdraw money from an electronic wallet to a bank account.

Loyalty program. It covers various bonuses and discounts that a merchant can grant to loyal clients through the app.


Mobile wallet features of user interface

Merchant interface of mobile wallet

Admin Side of Mobile Wallet

This interface is for admins who analyze business performance. The key function here is convenient analytics, which allows you to identify gaps in business activity and take proper measures. Features mostly repeat those of the merchant side. This is how they look.

Dashboard. It is a handy tool to manage customers, sales, and earnings.

Users. Admins can create users in the system, including merchants, and assign roles to them.

Earnings. Users can see income for a certain period and analyze its sources.

Analytics. Visual reports provide a full picture of business performance.

Promotions. This feature allows adding and managing offers in a mobile wallet app.

Security. Admins are the first to know about any glitches in the app and contact the tech team to fix the issue.


Admin side features of mobile wallet app

Admin interface of mobile wallet

What Technologies Are Used To Develop Mobile Wallet?

Depending on the app’s nature and complexity, developers use different technologies to create a mobile wallet. At Softensy, we select a tech stack for each project individually and discuss it with the client beforehand. On previous projects, we worked with the following technologies:

  • Vonage to set up SMS or voice verification
  • PayPal, Stripe, Braintree to enable payments via payment gateway
  • Kotlin, Swift to create mobile front-end
  • Java to write the app backend
  • PostgreSQL, Redis, MongoDB to arrange app database
  • AWS to make the app run in the cloud
  • Google FCM to enable push notifications
  • DataStax, Amazon S3 to store and manage data
  • Amazon Kinesis, Apache Kafka to run real-time analytics
  • Bytescout BarCode Reader to scan barcodes

What Does the Price of Mobile Wallet App Consist Of?

The app price depends on the wallet type, the features set, and mobile platforms. A simple app with a minimal set of features would cost you not less than $25K, while a more complex mobile wallet like Google Pay or Apple Pay starts at $100K. Note, it is a price for a single platform. So, if you want to develop both for iOS and Android, multiply the sum by two.

If you want to reduce the cost of development and at the same time get a high-quality product, consider developers from Eastern Europe. Many companies choose this region for its skilled coders and reasonable prices.

Ready To Develop Mobile Wallet App?

If you want to develop a mobile wallet, now is the time. These apps are at the peak of popularity and are widely used worldwide to pay in online and offline stores, transfer money, top-up accounts, and so on. At Softensy, we have long worked with fintech apps. Our partners are banks, construction firms, large and small retailers, and other companies. If you need a team of professionals, get in touch. We will be happy to help.

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