How much does it cost to build an app like Tabby?

Sudeep Srivastava July 18, 2024
build an app like Tabby

Buy Now Pay Later has become one of the sureshot ways for ecommerce businesses to succeed, specially in the MENA region. Now looking to replace the Cash on Delivery phenomenon, several merchants are in search of solutions that would make it easy for their customers to do what the technology promises verbatim – buy now and pay later.

While in response a handful of solutions have emerged in the UAE and other parts of the MENA region, there is one that has been rising as the top choice for merchants – Tabby app. With statistics like 3 million customers, 800+ merchants, and a total funding of $185 million till date, the app has become an inspiration for new entrepreneurs looking to build a buy now pay later app.

On the cost front, it can take up anywhere between $35,000-$60,000 to build an app like Tabby with a mid-level UI and technology set. The cost of an application with multiple technology integrations and a high-end design system, on the other hand, can go up $150,000 or more. In this article, we will look into the many factors that lead to this cost to build buy now pay later app range.

Get exact cost estimate to build an app like Tabby

Factors affecting the cost of building an app like Tabby

Conceptually, the idea behind Tabby UAE app is to enable users to buy products, either through the app or from a partner eCommerce merchant and then pay for it in four equal installments. The different elements that go into it, however, makes Tabby buy now pay later one of the most in-demand applications of the UAE region.

Here are the different factors that affect the cost of developing an app like Tabby:

Factors affecting the cost of building an app like Tabby

Features of Tabby buy now pay later like app

What makes Tabby a prime choice for eCommerce users and merchants is the ease and security it offers. Right from an intuitive in-app experience backed by well-structured shopping categories to an API/SDK that works seamlessly across different platforms, the buy now pay later app has set the standards for payment mechanisms on a global scale. Here are some of the features that make it possible.

Sign-up/ sign-in

While it is the most basic feature of any application, the login and sign-up experience that Tabby provides is probably what sets the users up for an effortless app experience. The app gives customers an option of guest check in, where they don’t have to share their email or phone number unless they have experienced the application.

Once they have, they can sign-in simply through their email and phone number.


After pay apps like Tabby come with a Shop feature where you can create categories around the name of stores, products, and discounts. The app works like an ecommerce store where customers can view product information, costs, and offers.

On the UI front, the design that the pay later app has kept is fairly minimal with a grid-like view of the products and shops – divided into separate sections in the same screen. Want to know more about the benefits of minimalist design? Check out this guide to designing minimal apps.

Post purchase, the application gives customers a mode to track order and get real-time details of where it is in the delivery cycle.

Split payments

The number of installments while specific to Tabby app is the core of all the after pay apps. It allows customers to buy a product and then add their card details for Tabby to initiate the 4 split payments – once a month. All they have to do is pay the first installment amount when making the purchase.

Advanced payments

Tabby buy now pay later application offers customers to make advance payments against their scheduled split payment time. The feature gives freedom to the customers in terms of making payments when they have enough funds instead of waiting for a specific day.

[Also Read: Payment Gateway Integration: The Process]

Automatic deductions

Once the customers enter their card details, the shop-now-pay-later apps like Tabby automatically deducts the amount from the bank. However, before deducting the amount, the application sends a notification to the customers informing them of the upcoming payment.

TIP: When planning the mechanism for automatic deductions, keep returns and cancellations in mind. In case of Tabby, the moment a customer cancels the order, Tabby stops the installments after getting an update from the store.

Account management

The best afterpay apps like Tabby come with a dedicated account management system where the users can view their purchase history, payments made and the upcoming payments, alongwith their personal information details.

While all these features make the pay later app successful among customers, there are features that make the app a favorite among merchants as well. The app comes with an Android, iOS, and web API/SDK that can be integrated with ecommerce stores making it easy for merchants to offer an effortless checkout journey to their customers. Here are some of the top merchant-based features that Tabby offers –

Merchant analytics

Tabby gives all the ecommerce stores’ merchants a dashboard where they can view insights around AOV, number of orders, and revenue made through Tabby in a monthly/yearly view.

Merchant analytics

Payment links

The payment links enable merchants to share the payment page with their shoppers. Tabby app makes it extremely easy for the store owners, admin, supervisor, and sales manager to create and share payments links with their customers.

Disputes tab

Shop now pay later apps like Tabby come with a separate dashboard dedicated to disputes in the portal. It helps merchants categorize different disputes according to payment, store, order, etc. Against every dispute (customer issue), you will get two options – Challenge (which brings the order issue in progress) or Refund (which prompts Tabby to refund the amount to the customers.

Disputes tab

Now that we have looked into the features part of buy now pay later app development, let’s move to the process part of how to develop an app like Tabby. The stages that we apply individually come attached with a cost range for shop-now-pay-later apps.

App design

App design

The biggest advantage of the Tabby app lies in its simplistic design structure. The application is clearly divided into four screens – Shop, Payments, Cashback, and Profile – each with a separate user journey demonstrated through minimalistic line icons, clear product photos, and an intuitive user journey map.

When you build an app like Tabby, keep a note of minimalism in the application by avoiding overcrowding of content and visual elements. Next, think of the user journey for every feature and then plan out the structure to take the customers there.

App development

When you invest in the development of a pay later app, you will have two options – either keep it specific to your store or create an API/SDK around it and make it easy to integrate with other ecommerce stores. At Appinventiv, we advise taking a milestone-wise approach if you own an ecommerce store, meaning, launch the feature in your store first and then make an SDK/API of it.

Depending on which business model you go with, the development efforts will go into creating the frontend and backend of the application, building all the features we mentioned above (or more), and integrating high-end technology like VR for trying products or AI for predictive analytics. Lastly, depending on the model you choose you will either have to make one version of the pay later app or two.


Since after pay apps are still a new concept in the financial space, the regulatory compliances are still developing on a global scale. If we talk about Tabby specifically, the app is compliant with the Saudi Central Bank’s Regulatory Sandbox Environment in the KSA and is also PCI DSS certified. If you are launching your app outside of the UAE region, you will need to check with the regulatory bodies like the FTC before launching your product for mass usage.

Appinventiv can help you build a BNPL app

Another closely related to compliances matter that you will have to address is keeping the credit bureau updated. On a global level, when customers buy something on credit or take a loan, their credit score changes on the basis of whether they are returning the credit or not. To keep this mechanism in check, you will also need to update the compliance bureau on a weekly basis whether a customer has made the EMI payment or not.

Development team

The last factor that brings a stark difference in the cost to develop an app like Tabby is the team working on it. This happens in two ways – the team size and the region they operate out of. Usually, at Appinventiv when we build a buy-now-pay-later app, we bring together experts from research, platform-specific developers, backend, design, and QA.

On the other hand, the region where the team belongs also plays a pivotal role in the cost to build a buy-now-pay-later app. A financial app development company like Appinventiv which is housed in India charges anywhere between $80-100 per hour, while a company in the US will take up $100-120 per hour.

All these factors added with the features mentioned above determine the cost to build an app like Tabby. It can take up anywhere between $35,000-$60,000 with mid-level UI and technology set, while an application with multiple technology integrations and high-end design system can go up to $150,000 or more.

How does Tabby make money?

While we have looked at the technical aspect of  buy now pay later mobile app development in Saudi Arabia, it’s critical to look into the ways you can earn money as well.

Monetization models for Tabby like app

  • Earn commission on every purchase made by customers through your app
  • Charge customers for unpaid installments
  • Earn money from merchants for showcasing their products as features in your application.

There can be many other ways to earn money from the buy now pay later business. Discuss them with our business consultant team.

Now throughout the article, we have been looking at a dissected view of what is Tabby payment, but how will you succeed if you follow their trail?

How to succeed in the BNPL market?

There can be a number of ways to succeed in the market that is slowly getting competitive. Let us look into some of them that answer how Tabby makes money.

Partner with banks

All the best buy now pay later apps are compliant with their region’s regulatory requirements. However, only a few of them partner with banks to offer their service. On a mass level, the credit economy keeps banking at the center of its operation, thus partnering with banks to club your model can be a quick way to get a loyal mass adoption.

Extend to other industries

Primarily, the buy now pay later model has been limited to ecommerce. But if you develop an app like Tabby and launch it in industries like elearning, insurance, and even enterprise software systems, the result will be highly beneficial from a business revenue point of view.

Credit checks

A majority of the apps in the buy now pay later business have no strict credit checks in place. By embedding technologies like predictive analytics and blockchain smart contracts, you will be able to ensure that only the people who have the credit paying capability use the application along with ensuring that the installments get paid.

Get more differentiating ideas for your BNPL app

How can Appinventiv help with creating your version of your Tabby like best buy now pay later apps?

At Appinventiv, we have built a number of Fintech products. While some of them have been on traditional models like wallets and cross-border payments, some of the solutions we build are highly innovative in nature – BNPL apps are one of them.

Our team of financial developers carry an extensive experience in building secure, intelligent applications that make the process of making payments in installments easier. What makes us a trusted name when it comes to building an out of the box solution is our expertise in stepping into users’ shoes while keeping an eye out for the regulatory limitations. If you too are looking for a partner that will keep both worlds on priority, we are the people. Get in touch.

Sudeep Srivastava
Co-Founder and Director
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