How Much Does It Cost to Build a BNPL App? Key Factors, Features and Process

Sudeep Srivastava April 11, 2024
BNPL app development

In today’s fast-paced digital economy, consumers are constantly seeking convenient and flexible payment options that align with their financial planning and purchasing behaviors. The evolution of financial technology has paved the way for innovative solutions like Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) apps, which have revolutionized the way people shop and manage their finances. By allowing consumers to defer their purchases, BNPL apps have not only enhanced the shopping experience but also opened up new avenues for financial management and planning.

The rising popularity of Buy Now, Pay Later services is underscored by the staggering growth of the market, which was estimated at $753.53 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach around $9.2 Trillion by 2032. This impressive expansion, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 29% from 2023 to 2032, highlights the increasing consumer demand for flexible payment solutions.

Popular BNPL apps like Tabby, Klarna, AfterPay, and Tamara cater to this demand by offering the ability to purchase goods and services immediately and pay for them over time, making purchases more accessible and financially manageable.

BNPL market size

As the industry grows, going for BNPL app development requires a keen understanding of secure payment integrations, seamless user experiences, and strict regulatory compliance. Additionally, choosing the right app development platform and planning for ongoing maintenance is critical for success. Effective user acquisition strategies further ensure the app’s popularity among users.

In this blog, you will gain comprehensive insights into the costs, key factors, and features essential for developing a BNPL app framed within the context of a rapidly growing market.

collaborate with us to leverage the BNPL growing market size

Understanding the Buy Now Pay Later App Development Cost

To give you a brief idea, the overall Buy Now Pay Later app development costs can range from $30,000-$250,000, or more. There are several factors that can impact the overall budget of this kind of FinTech app development such as the app complexity, the project delivery timelines, features to be integrated in the app, etc,. Understanding these key factors allows for a strategic approach to budgeting for BNPL app development, ensuring both cost efficiency and quality.

App TypeEstimated BNPL App Development CostTime Frame
Simple App$30,000 to $60,0003 to 6 months
Moderately Complex App$60,000 to $150,0006 to 9 months
Highly Complex App$150,000 to $250,0009+ months

Key Factors Influencing the Cost of Building a BNPL App

The investment needed for BNPL app development varies greatly, depending on a range of critical elements. Each factor plays a significant role in shaping the overall cost structure. Here are the key factors influencing the cost of building a BNPL app.

Factors Affecting the Cost to Develop a BNPL App

Platform Choice (iOS, Android, Web)

Choosing the right platform for a buy now, pay later solution significantly impacts the overall project budget. Whether you opt for iOS, Android, or a web application, each platform comes with its unique set of development challenges and costs. iOS and Android may require separate development teams, increasing the buy now pay later app development cost.

However, a web platform can offer a more universal solution but might not provide the same user experience as native apps. Balancing platform choice with target audience needs is crucial for aligning cost with the app’s success potential.

App Complexity and Customization Level

The initial phase of planning your app dictates the groundwork for buy now, pay later app development. The complexity and customization level are pivotal in determining the overall cost. Simple apps with basic functionality are more cost-effective but may not stand out in the competitive market.

As you add custom features and integrations, the development time and resources increase. This escalation directly impacts the budget, making it crucial to balance innovation with financial feasibility. A well-customized app can significantly enhance user experience, driving higher adoption rates and ultimately justifying the investment.

Payment Integration and Security

Integrating a payment system is a crucial step in developing a BNPL app. It ensures transactions are processed smoothly and securely. BNPL integration in the online store requires careful planning and execution to protect customer data and comply with financial regulations.

Advanced security measures, such as encryption and fraud detection algorithms, become necessary to safeguard user information. This integration not only adds to the development cost but also demands expertise in financial technology. Successfully implementing these features is key to gaining user trust and ensuring the app’s long-term viability.

[Also Read: How to create a payment gateway? Cost, benefits, use cases, challenges, opportunities]

Regulatory Compliance and Legal Considerations

Understanding the legal framework is crucial when creating a Buy Now, Pay Later platform. Ensuring compliances like Know Your Customer (KYC), Anti-Money Laundering (AML), Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for developing the BNPL app demands a thorough knowledge of financial laws and regulations in various regions. These rules safeguard consumer rights and promote financial integrity, shaping the app’s structure and functions. Legal requirements differ widely, impacting the development scope, timeline, and budget.

Integrating these considerations from the start of the development process is essential to prevent expensive adjustments later and to guarantee the app complies with all necessary legal standards for operation. This careful attention to legal details secures the app’s credibility and longevity in the competitive market.

Also read:- How to Start a FinTech Company: Step-By-Step Guide 

User Experience and Design

A seamless user experience and intuitive design are fundamental to the success of any Buy Now, Pay Later app. These elements require meticulous planning and skilled execution, directly influencing the buy now pay later app development cost. Investing in high-quality UI/UX design ensures the app is accessible, easy to navigate, and visually appealing, which can significantly enhance customer satisfaction and retention.

The design process involves user research, wireframing, prototyping, and user testing, each adding to the overall development time and budget. However, this investment is crucial for creating an app that stands out in a crowded market and meets the high expectations of today’s consumers.

Maintenance and Support

After launching a Buy Now, Pay Later app, ongoing maintenance and support are essential for its success. These services ensure the app remains functional, secure, and up-to-date with the latest technology trends. Regular updates, bug fixes, and security patches are part of the buy now pay later app development lifecycle, requiring a dedicated team for continuous monitoring and improvement.

This ongoing commitment adds to the overall cost but is critical for providing a reliable and efficient service to users. Effective maintenance and support not only extend the app’s lifespan but also enhance user satisfaction by ensuring a seamless and uninterrupted experience.

Location of the Hired App Development Company

When considering the costs of developing a BNPL app, it is important to take into account the geographic location of the app development firm. Opting for firms located in regions such as Asia or Europe can be a more cost-effective choice due to lower operational costs and hourly development rates. On the other hand, selecting firms in regions like the US or UK may result in higher hourly development rates.

Estimated Hourly Development Rates in Multiple Regions Across the Globe:

RegionHourly Rate of Development
Western Europe$80-$90
Eastern Europe$50-$55

Estimated Hourly Rate of Development as per Multiple Team Roles:

App Development TeamHourly Rates (Approx)
Project Manager$25 to $30
Tech Lead (Backend / Frontend)$28 to $30
Sr. Mobile App Developer$24 to $30
Sr. Web & Backend Developer$24 to $30
DevOps$25 to $30
Business Analyst$20 to $25
UX/UI$20 to $25
QA$20 to $25

Essential Features of a Buy Now Pay Later App

Developing a successful Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) app requires incorporating specific functionalities. These functionalities cater to user needs and ensure smooth financial transactions. Here are the features of a buy now pay later app that are non-negotiable for success.

Multiple Features of a Robust BNPL App

User Registration and Profile Management

For a Buy Now, Pay Later app, having a user-friendly registration and profile management system is crucial. This system serves as the foundation for personalized shopping experiences and secure transactions. Efficient profile management allows users to update their information, manage payment methods, and track their purchases and payments.

It’s an integral part of BNPL app development, ensuring that users can navigate the app effortlessly. Implementing these features with a focus on security and user convenience can significantly enhance the overall user experience, driving engagement and loyalty towards the app.

Product Browsing and Search with AR/VR

Integrating AR/VR technology into product browsing and search functionalities elevates the user experience in a Buy Now, Pay Later app. This innovative approach allows users to visualize products in their own space or on themselves before making a purchase decision. It’s a game-changer in buy now, pay later app development, offering a more interactive and immersive shopping experience.

Retailers can showcase their products in a unique way, enhancing customer engagement and satisfaction. Such advanced features, however, require careful planning and investment, but they can significantly differentiate an app in the competitive BNPL market.

Payment Scheduling and Management

Payment scheduling and management are core features of a buy now pay later app that ensure flexibility and convenience for users. These functionalities allow customers to select payment plans that suit their financial situation, enabling them to manage their cash flow better. By providing clear options for installment payments, due dates, and reminders, the app can minimize late payments and improve user satisfaction.

This not only builds trust between the service and its users but also encourages responsible spending. Effective implementation of these features is essential for maintaining the app’s reliability and fostering a positive user experience.

Integration with eCommerce Platforms

Seamless integrations of a buy now, pay later app with e-commerce platforms are crucial for providing a smooth shopping experience. These integrations allow users to access BNPL payment options directly within online stores, facilitating immediate purchases without leaving the merchant’s site. It streamlines the checkout process, significantly enhancing customer satisfaction and conversion rates for merchants.

Implementing such integrations requires technical expertise and strategic partnerships with e-commerce platforms, highlighting the importance of collaboration in the digital payment ecosystem. This feature not only broadens the app’s usability but also positions it as a valuable tool for both consumers and businesses.

AI-Driven Analytics for Business Optimization

Incorporating AI-driven analytics into BNPL app development is vital for optimizing business operations and enhancing decision-making. This technology enables the collection and analysis of vast amounts of data, providing insights into customer behavior, market trends, and app performance. With these insights, businesses can tailor their offerings, predict market changes, and improve user experiences.

AI analytics also helps in identifying potential fraud, reducing risks, and increasing the security of transactions. The integration of such advanced features requires a significant investment but offers substantial returns by driving efficiency, customer satisfaction, and, ultimately, profitability.

Push Notifications and Alerts

Push notifications and alerts are critical components in buy now, pay later software, enhancing user engagement and retention. These features notify users about upcoming payments, new offers, and payment confirmations, ensuring they stay informed and engaged with the app. Timely alerts can also help reduce late payments by reminding users of their due dates, thus improving the overall user experience.

Integrating push notifications requires careful planning to balance informativeness with user preferences to avoid notification fatigue. This functionality not only keeps users updated but also drives continuous interaction, making it a key element in maintaining the app’s relevance and user satisfaction.

Customer Support with Chatbots

Integrating customer support with chatbots is becoming increasingly important in buy now, pay later app development. These automated assistants offer round-the-clock support, answering queries and resolving issues instantly, enhancing the customer experience. By leveraging AI, chatbots can provide personalized assistance and payment reminders and even guide users through the app’s features.

This not only boosts customer satisfaction but also reduces the workload on human support teams. Incorporating chatbot technology is a smart investment, improving service efficiency and user engagement, which are critical for the success and scalability of a BNPL app.

Security Features (Biometric Access, Encryption)

Implementing advanced security features, such as biometric access and encryption, is crucial in the features of a buy now pay later app. These security measures protect user data and transactions, building trust and ensuring a safe payment environment. Biometric access adds a layer of personal security, while encryption safeguards data during transmission.

Such integrations for a buy now pay later solution require expertise but are essential for complying with financial regulations and preventing fraud. Investing in these security features is imperative for maintaining the integrity of the app and fostering a secure ecosystem for users and merchants alike.

Loyalty Programs and Rewards

Incorporating loyalty programs and rewards is a strategic move in the buy now pay later software development. These features encourage repeat purchases and enhance user engagement by rewarding customers for their loyalty. Through points, discounts, and special offers, users feel valued and are more likely to continue using the app. This not only improves customer satisfaction but also drives business growth.

Loyalty programs and rewards can be tailored to user preferences, making the shopping experience more personalized and enjoyable. Implementing such programs requires careful planning but significantly contributes to the app’s attractiveness and competitive edge in the market.

Admin Dashboard for Merchants

An admin dashboard for merchants is a critical feature of buy now, pay later software. This feature allows merchants to manage their sales, track payments, and view customer analytics easily. It empowers businesses with the tools needed for effective decision-making and financial management. The dashboard serves as a central hub for merchants to access real-time data, enhancing their ability to respond to market trends and customer needs promptly.

Implementing a comprehensive and user-friendly admin dashboard is essential for fostering strong relationships between the platform and its merchant users, contributing to the overall success and efficiency of the BNPL service.

Integrating these essential features ensures the app meets user expectations and remains competitive. This strategic approach fosters user engagement and promotes long-term growth. One can contact a buy now pay later app development company to include the above-mentioned features in their BNPL app.

[Also Read: FinTech Business Models – A Complete Guide]

How to Reduce BNPL App Development Costs?

Reducing the development costs of a Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) app is crucial for businesses looking to enter this competitive market without overspending. Let us look at some of the cost optimization strategies for BNPL apps in detail below.

Leveraging Open Source Technologies

Leveraging open-source technologies is a cost-effective solution for reducing expenses related to software licensing and proprietary solutions. By utilizing open-source frameworks and tools, businesses can tap into a robust community support system, minimizing the need for extensive custom development.

Adoption of Agile Development Practices

To address the complexities of creating robust software, agile development offers a flexible approach. It involves breaking down projects into smaller, iterative cycles, allowing for continuous feedback and adjustments. This “test-and-learn” method helps catch issues early, preventing costly rework and ensuring a smoother, more efficient development journey.

Outsourcing to Cost-effective Regions

Another way to optimize BNPL app development costs is outsourcing development to regions with skilled tech talent and lower living costs. These regions often offer the same quality of development at a significantly lower price point compared to high-cost areas. By carefully selecting outsourcing partners, businesses can achieve significant cost savings without compromising on quality, allowing them to invest more in other crucial areas.

BNPL App Monetization Strategies

Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) apps have emerged as a cornerstone of consumer finance, offering innovative pathways for revenue generation. Here are the multiple app revenue streams used by these apps.

Multiple Features of a Robust BNPL App

1. Merchant Fees: Just like credit cards, BNPL apps charge retailers a small fee for each transaction, usually a percentage of the sale. This fee covers the cost of processing payments and offering BNPL services.

2. Late Payment Fees: BNPL apps charge late fees to encourage timely payments, which can be a significant source of income for them. The late fees policies vary as per the provider.

3. Interest Charges: While some BNPL plans are interest-free, others might charge interest after a certain period.

4. Account Management Fees: For premium features like extended repayment plans or larger purchase limits, some BNPL apps charge users a monthly or annual subscription fee.

5. Cross-Selling Financial Products: Partnering with banks or credit card companies allows BNPL platforms to offer users loans or credit cards, earning them revenue through referral fees or profit-sharing.

6. Payment Processing Fees: Similar to other payment processors, BNPL platforms might charge fees for handling transactions, either to merchants or consumers, depending on the specific model.

7. Affiliate Commissions: By driving traffic and sales to partner merchants, BNPL apps can earn commissions through affiliate marketing arrangements.

8. Data Monetization: The vast amount of data collected on consumer behavior and spending habits is valuable to businesses across the globe. BNPL companies can use this data for targeted advertising, market research, or selling insights to other businesses, generating additional income.

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Process of Building a BNPL App

Building a Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) app involves a structured approach from concept to launch. Each phase is critical to ensure the app meets both market needs and regulatory requirements. Here are the steps in the BNPL development process.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Develop a BNPL App

Market Research and Competitive Analysis

Conducting thorough market research and competitive analysis is pivotal at the onset of buy now, pay later app development. This step identifies consumer needs, market trends, and potential competitors. It provides crucial insights that shape the app’s features, positioning, and unique selling proposition, ensuring it meets market demands effectively.

Define the Business Model and Value Proposition

Defining the business model and value proposition is crucial in the steps to develop a BNPL app. It involves outlining revenue generation strategies and unique user benefits. This differentiates the app from competitors, ensuring its market viability and appeal.

Design the User Interface and Experience

Designing the user interface and experience is a key phase in custom BNPL app development. It focuses on creating an intuitive and engaging interface that enhances user satisfaction. This process involves meticulous planning, user testing, and iteration to ensure the app is both visually appealing and easy to navigate.

Develop the Core Features and Integrations

Developing core features and integrations crucially impacts buy now pay later app development cost. This step includes implementing essential functionalities, integrating with payment gateways, and connecting to e-commerce platforms. It ensures seamless transactions and a smooth user experience, forming the backbone of the app’s operational efficiency.

Test for Quality Assurance and Security

Testing for quality assurance and security is an essential phase in the app development process. It involves rigorous evaluations to ensure the app’s functionality, performance, and security meet high standards. This step identifies and resolves any issues before launch, guaranteeing a reliable and secure user experience.

Deployment and Continuous Improvement

The deployment stage marks a critical milestone in the steps to develop a BNPL app, but the journey doesn’t end there. Post-launch, continuous improvement based on user feedback and market trends is essential. This ensures the app remains relevant, competitive, and responsive to customer needs and technological advancements.

Following these steps meticulously ensures the successful launch and operation of a BNPL app. This BNPL development process is designed to create a robust, user-friendly, and secure platform.

Power Seamless BNPL Experiences with Appinventiv

At Appinventiv, we understand the nuances of creating engaging financial solutions that meet market demands. Our expertise as a buy now pay later app development company allows us to craft solutions tailored to the unique needs of businesses. As a dedicated FinTech development firm, we specialize in custom BNPL app development, ensuring your application stands out in the competitive landscape.

Our team focuses on delivering seamless, user-friendly experiences that drive customer satisfaction and loyalty. Implementing BNPL for your business not only enhances your service offering but also opens up new revenue streams. With Appinventiv, you can leverage the latest technologies and industry insights to develop a buy now pay later software that aligns with your strategic goals.

Our commitment extends to empowering your business with cutting-edge solutions that drive significant growth and enhance customer engagement. We leverage our extensive experience and the successes of our notable FinTech projects, including Mudra, EdFundo, and Bajaj Finserv, to guide our development process. These projects stand as a testament to our ability to navigate the complexities of financial app development and deliver solutions that meet high standards of quality and innovation.

Get in touch with our experts to create a BNPL experience that truly stands out, driving your business forward in today’s competitive market.


Q. What is the average cost of developing a BNPL app?

A. The buy now pay later app development cost varies significantly based on several factors. At Appinventiv, we’ve seen projects range from $30,000 to over $250,000. This variation depends on factors such as the app’s complexity, required features, chosen platforms, and the level of customization. Determining the exact cost requires a detailed analysis of these variables to ensure the development meets specific business needs and goals.

Q. How long does it take to develop a BNPL app from scratch?

A. Developing a Buy Now, Pay Later app from scratch can take 4 to 9+ months. This timeline to develop an app can extend depending on the app’s complexity, feature set, and integrations required. The process includes stages of planning, design, development, testing, and deployment, each critical to the app’s success.

Q. What are the key factors that influence the cost of BNPL app development?

A. Key factors influencing BNPL app development cost include platform choice, app complexity, and customization. Payment integration, security features, regulatory compliance, and user experience also play significant roles. Additionally, marketing and user acquisition strategies can impact the overall budget, making these elements crucial in determining the final cost.

Q. What are the benefits of BNPL app development for businesses?

A. Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) apps are revolutionizing the retail and e-commerce sectors. In addition to this, the BNPL use cases can also be seen across other sectors like Travel, Healthcare, Education, and Automotive. For businesses looking to dive into the market, these apps boost consumer purchasing power and attract a larger customer base through interest-free payment plans. This, in turn, leads to increased sales and higher average order values.

Additionally, these apps reduce cart abandonment rates by offering instant financing options at checkout. By providing a positive shopping experience, businesses can foster customer loyalty and secure long-term growth. In a competitive market, BNPL services not only cater to customers’ financial preferences but also drive sustainable growth for businesses.

Sudeep Srivastava
Co-Founder and Director
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