What You Should Know About Loan App Development
In a world where more individuals use fintech firms instead of or in addition to traditional banks, the way we lend and borrow money and how we invest, save, and spend it is changing. Individuals lend and borrow money directly from one another via peer-to-peer (P2P) lending or crowdlending, which has expanded rapidly over the last five years and is expected to reach $390.5 billion by 2023.
Business P2P lending accounts for around 70% of the alternative lending sector, while consumer P2P lending accounts for the remaining 30%.
Individuals are connected through P2P lending applications, allowing lenders to invest and earn attractive returns while borrowers receive fast mobile loans without going through a lengthy application procedure.
Surf has vast expertise designing financial apps, having produced many banking apps and a crypto trading platform. If you want to establish a lending business, you should read this post because we’ll go over the most popular players on the market, the process of loan app development, what features to include, and other vital things to think about.
Top Lending Apps in 2021
Prosper is an example of loan app development. It was formed in California in 2005. Since then, the fintech business has helped over 900,000 customers get loans totaling more than $15 billion. Investors may contribute cash to their accounts, explore and pick specific loan listings for investment, and track portfolio performance through Prosper: Invest, the company’s mobile app. Borrowers now apply for loans using Prosper’s website.
Avant, a Chicago-based fintech firm, features a mobile app for borrowers that allows them to pay down their loan, see transaction history, and receive timely account alerts. There is currently no app for investors, and borrowers must apply for a loan through the company’s website first.
Funding Circle is yet another product of loan app development. It is a UK firm that specializes in small business loans of up to £500,000. Investors may see a summary of their loans using the company’s mobile app, which also allows users to add and withdraw cash and adjust lending parameters. Borrowers must utilize an online interface to apply for a loan.
MyConstant is a peer-to-peer mobile lending platform that allows people and companies to lend and borrow in USD or over 60 cryptocurrencies. The software allows users to select their preferred interest rates and terms before matching lenders and borrowers. To protect investors, all loan is secured by bitcoin collateral.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Using a Loan Application
It’s critical to understand why individuals prefer to borrow and lend money through new lending platforms and what sets them apart from traditional banks and other financial organizations to launch a successful P2P lending firm.
Higher returns with a lower interest rate: Customers that use direct lending do not have to pay a bank for its services, which often include office upkeep, large-scale personnel wages, and other expenditures. Because no costly intermediary eats a substantial portion of the money, borrowers obtain lower interest rates and lenders get better profits.
There will be less paperwork: Traditional banks demand borrowers fill out several forms and even visit one of their physical locations to qualify for a loan. Because visiting bank locations is inconvenient, especially in light of the COVID outbreak, P2P lending provides a better alternative: the entire application procedure is completed online via a website or an app with fewer papers.
Conditions are adaptable: The lender and the borrower have complete control over the loan amount, dates, and interest rates with P2P lending. Customers can specify their requirements on most lending platforms, matching the borrower with the best lender.
A thorough examination is required: Despite the ease of the application procedure, all borrowers must upload their passport, tax ID number, and proof of solvency papers. Machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms improve credit risk assessments of applicants.
Also Read: 5 Best Apps That Loan Money in 2022
Loans in small quantities: Due to the novelty of P2P lending platforms, few investors are ready to offer hundreds of thousands of dollars using such technology, and individual loans are often limited to $50,000. P2P lending, on the other hand, provides a lot more accessible option to apply for loans as small as $100, which may be a time-consuming procedure with a typical bank or a microfinance company with sky-high interest rates.
Collectors of debts: If a borrower fails to repay a loan on time, the debt may be turned over to unpleasant debt collectors. Customers of regular banks who consistently skip payments may face the same fate.
Main Features of the Loan App
Let’s look at the key aspects that should be included during loan app development. Keep in mind that the list of required features will vary depending on whether the app’s target audience is lenders, borrowers, or both.
User Profile and Onboarding
The easier it is to register and use your loan app, the more people will use it. A rapid registration procedure includes signing in using a phone number, email, Google, Facebook, and Apple accounts. Consider integrating with an OCR system so that new users may snap images of their papers, and the app would fill in the majority of the data automatically.
The more information you have about your users, the better – the information you collect may be utilized to customize offers and the app’s layout. Don’t ask for too many details right once to prevent making onboarding too tricky.
Options for Payment
During loan app development, keep in mind your lending platform must allow both lenders and borrowers to deposit and withdraw cash. Use software connections like Braintree, Stripe, and PayPal to securely link customers’ payment cards, as well as the opportunity to add cash via Apple Pay or GPay, so they can start using the app even if they don’t have their card data on hand.
Application for a Loan
This is the main interface for customers who wish to use the app to borrow money. The application form should be straightforward without sacrificing versatility. Consider including pop-up explanations for each form so that a user can understand what each loan term (interest rate, payment time, missed payment penalties, and so on) entails. Finally, create a confirmation screen that displays all of the loan terms.
Our analysts assisted the bank in adapting and shortening application forms. At the same time, designers designed the UI parts of the app in a user-friendly manner when Surf built Zenit Banking App. Consequently, Zenit customers may now apply for a loan swiftly and efficiently online, without having to schedule an appointment or fill out much paper paperwork.
Screen for Lending Money
This will be the primary screen for lenders, where they may select the amount of money and terms on which they are ready to invest. Designing an interactive calculator that allows consumers to clearly see their prospective profits is a good idea.
This dashboard provides borrowers with all relevant information about their existing loans, including the total amount owed, the size of the Equated Monthly Installments (EMIs) due, as well as GST and platform processing costs. A meter that fills up when the customer repays their loan might offer a clear image of how much money is still owed.
Management of Investments
Lenders’ dashboards should include information about their investments, such as the present status of loan repayments and portfolio performance – the easier it is for lenders to grasp how much money they made using the app, the more likely they are to employ your services in the future.
When creating both borrowers’ and lenders’ dashboards, don’t forget to include a part where users may view and download documents related to their loans and payments. Document management may be time-consuming for busy users; thus, a user-friendly interface is essential for a lending app.
When Surf created a corporate banking app for Rosbank (part of the Société Générale group), we included a document management area. Users may filter all of their digital papers on this tab by date, status, quantity, and other factors. Users may produce invoices from existing templates in only three clicks using the ‘repeat’ capability.
Both lenders and borrowers can benefit from push alerts. Use them to send you notifications about successful loan applications, to remind you about future or missed payments, and to let you know when a debt is paid off. Include choices to tailor notifications to user preferences, as everyone has different preferences for the frequency of alerts.
According to figures from all industries, banks are the target of roughly 25% of all malware assaults. The success of a lending app, like any other sort of fintech firm, is dependent on its security.
Man-in-the-middle assaults, clickjacking, and attacks on the company’s servers are only a few examples of possible cyberattacks against applications. The quality of your code, the use of encryption, and the security of your integrations all play a part in keeping your app safe from outsiders. Some of the most critical security measures to incorporate in a lending app are listed below.
End-to-end encryption and SSL: End-to-end (e2e) encryption limits third-party involvement by adding cryptographic keys at both communications end, whereas Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) uses asymmetric and symmetric encryption methods to safeguard transferred data.
Authentication Using Two Factors
After a user inputs their login and password, the usage of a second authentication factor is a gold standard among apps that access financial and other sensitive data. The following are examples of two-factor authentication mechanisms that are regularly used:
- Email: The user receives a secret code or a link in their email, which they must input to access the loan application.
- SMS: A secret code is sent to the user’s phone through SMS.
- Soft token: a separate smartphone app that creates one-time tokens, such as Google Authenticator.
Surf strives to make two-factor authentication secure and straightforward for consumers while designing banking apps. We created two logics for two-factor authentication when working on the Zenit Mobile Bank app: if the SMS code is entered automatically, the app requires a user to tap the confirmation button; if the user enters the received code manually, the confirmation button is hidden, and the app continues to work as usual.
Public Key Infrastructure (PKI)
A digital signature technique based on a pair of digital keys, private and public, is known as public-key infrastructure. The private key is used for sign-in and is only known by the owner, but the public key is known by everyone and is used to verify signatures. It is one of the most well-known and well-proven cryptographic techniques.
It’s critical to evaluate the app code for potential flaws and vulnerabilities during the loan app development process and implement other security features. In fintech development, our organization strongly supports independent third-party audits to check the app’s code security.
Surf actively uses automated testing in our projects to reduce time to market and save money for our clients. Our team automated 75% of sanity tests performed by testers rather than programmers when developing an app for a big European bank, reducing the overall number of testing hours by more than half.
Government authorities keep a close eye on the fintech business, so if you design a mobile lending app, be prepared to comply with a slew of requirements that differ by nation.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulates lending platforms’ investment side, while the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) oversee lending platforms’ borrowing side. Because the SEC prevents P2P lending platforms from crediting the borrower’s money directly to the lender, American platforms must ask a bank to give the borrower a loan from the firm. Here are some of the essential requirements that a P2P platform must follow to function in the United States.
The Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing, and Transfer of Funds Regulations 2017 (MLR 2017) are a collection of laws requiring firms to do enough risk-based due diligence on their clients to guarantee that financial services are not used to launder money.
The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act compels financial institutions to tell clients about their information-sharing activities and safeguard personal information.
The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is a law that protects California consumers’ personal information. It gives them the right to examine all of a corporation’s data on them.
Although the app’s user-friendly UI and comprehensive FAQ section should minimize the number of support tickets to a bare minimum, consumers will always demand human assistance. A built-in chat with the company’s staff is the easiest method to do it in a loan app, where clients can ask questions and share images if necessary. Consider using a chatbot as first-line assistance to save money on support. It can assist customers with the most frequent questions concerning app operation and features.
Data analysis driven by machine learning and AI is one of the areas where fintech startups flourish and surpass traditional banks. Consider integrating technologies that assess consumer creditworthiness based on several parameters to deliver the best interest rates proportional to probable hazards.
Plaid and CreditKudos, for example, provide APIs (application programming interfaces) that do client identification checks based on bank account details supplied. At the same time, Juvo analyses mobile network data to establish financial identities for persons with no official credit history.
Consider including a rating and incentive system in your lending app. Borrowers and lenders gain rankings in their profiles by meeting their financial responsibilities on time. This will assist other customers in selecting trustworthy partners, and higher ratings may come with extra benefits such as priority service or cheaper processing fees
Before You Start Working on Your Project
There are various factors to consider before launching a peer-to-peer lending business.
Finance and legal experts should be hired: As previously said, local governments in every nation keep a close eye on fintech, and new laws (as well as adjustments to existing ones) develop regularly. Failure to comply with any one regulation might result in hefty fines or possibly the business’s demise. Set up a small team of professionals who are well-versed in the local legal environment in money lending to avoid this.
Make a loan contract: Create terms and conditions for your clients, investors, and borrowers, with the legal team’s support described above. The paper must include all possible outcomes and hazards and adhere to local state legislation.
Join forces with a bank: You’ll need to work with a bank to keep your clients’ money safe. Find one that can supply the services you want and negotiate partnership conditions with the aid of your legal team. Because obtaining all of the requisite licenses for P2P lending may be time-consuming and expensive, you can launch a lending firm as a platform provider — a website and an app — with users who are legally your bank partner’s clients.
Loan App Development Costs
Many factors determine the cost of developing P2P lending software. We’ll go through a few of the essential cost-influencing aspects in this portion of the essay. Check out our dedicated post for additional information on what goes into the cost of mobile app development.
Complexity: First and foremost, the costs will change dramatically depending on whether you create an app for investors alone, borrowers only, or both. Then there’s the expense of each app feature, such as push notifications, integration with third-party software (payment API), or device hardware (camera or microphone).
Off-the-shelf SDKs (software development kits) and other ready-made solutions may significantly reduce loan app development costs; there is no need to reinvent the wheel in most circumstances.
Cross-platform or native: Native applications, written in the platform’s native language (Kotlin for Android and Swift for iOS), provide the highest performance, stability, and resource utilization. Still, they come at a cost: you’ll need two teams of developers to construct two separate products.
Using a cross-platform framework like Flutter, developers can create apps for iOS and Android with slight modifications to the code. Cross-platform solutions are ideal if you have a limited budget or need to deploy an app quickly.
Soon after the Flutter technology was released in 2017, Surf began developing apps. Our Flutter-based banking app for Rosbank was the first in Russia. The decision to build apps for Flutter was influenced not just by a desire to reduce development costs but also by the fact that code written in the Dart language, which is used in Flutter, is compiled into non-human readable code complicating the reverse rendering process.
In comparison to native solutions, this makes the app even more secure. According to Tagline Awards, the top Russian honor for interactive projects, the Rosbank app built by Surf has selected the best app in the Banking, Finance, and Insurance category in 2020.
The location of the loan app development team: The salary of your project’s developers is determined by where they live. Hiring a loan app development team in the United States, where hourly rates start at $90/hr, for example, doubles the cost of producing the same software as compared to outsourcing the development to professionals in Eastern Europe, such as Russia or Ukraine, where hourly prices average $35-40. Suppose your company is headquartered in North America or Western Europe.
In that case, outsourcing may be a better option than recruiting a local team because the entire development process may be overseen remotely. Our dedicated article goes over the benefits and drawbacks of outsourcing fintech development.
Building a P2P lending firm is no simple task: even in the most forward-thinking nations, there are still numerous “grey” areas in regulation. Major Banks will not readily lose their credit and investment solutions, clients, to competing fintech companies. On the other hand, a successful lending company has the potential to become a highly profitable business with hundreds of thousands of consumers.
The increasing popularity of Bitcoin creates new prospects for crypto lending applications, while AI algorithms and machine learning provide precise matching of lenders and borrowers based on rates and credit ratings and effective fraud prevention.
The “mobile-first” approach is becoming the standard among fintech startups as more people appreciate the convenience of fintech solutions and prefer to manage their money from the comfort of their homes rather than visiting bank offices. The safest method to construct a loan app that is reliable, secure, and pleasant to use is to hire an experienced loan app development team with previous fintech projects in their portfolio. We’ve been designing mobile applications for almost a decade at Surf, and we’ve worked on several fintech projects, including banking apps and a cryptocurrency trading platform.