How much does it cost to build a split payments app like Tamara?

Sudeep Srivastava June 20, 2024
cost to build a split payments app like Tamara

In the Middle East, the rise of FinTech solutions is revolutionizing how people manage their finances. The rise of eCommerce and the penetration of mobile phones and the internet have contributed to the meteoric rise of the sector, especially in the Middle East.

One app that has taken the Middle Eastern market by storm is Tamara. A FinTech app that offers split payment services and a buy now pay later (BNPL) option to its users. With the growing popularity of Tamara, one particularly intriguing thought for budding entrepreneurs and investors in the region is the cost of building a split payments app like Tamara.

Tamara has successfully captured consumers’ attention in the Middle East, offering a seamless blend of Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) options and easy bill-splitting among peers. However, the journey from an idea to a fully functional application involves several crucial steps, each with its own associated costs.

Estimating the Tamara app development cost (approximately between $30,000 to $300,000) is an essential part of the planning phase, as it helps investors and entrepreneurs align their expectations and resources. This blog aims to break down the various components contributing to the overall expense, providing a comprehensive guide for anyone interested in similar ventures.

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Business Opportunity in Building an App like Tamara

The Middle East is a rapidly growing FinTech product and service market with a young and tech-savvy population. One of the most exciting areas of FinTech in the region is buy now, pay later (BNPL), which allows consumers to split the cost of their purchases into smaller, more manageable installments.

Tamara is one of the leading BNPL providers in the Middle East, offering its services in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait. The company has over 3 million active users and has processed millions of dollars worth of transactions to date.

There are a number of factors that are driving the growth of BNPL in the region, including:

The rising popularity of eCommerce: eCommerce is growing rapidly in the Middle East, with sales expected to reach $3 billion by 2025. BNPL makes it easier for consumers to shop online by allowing them to spread the cost of their purchases over time.

The growing popularity of mobile payments: Mobile payment apps are becoming increasingly popular in the Middle East, with over 357 million mobile Internet users expected in the region by 2025. BNPL apps are typically mobile-first, making them easy and convenient for consumers to use.

The success of Tamara demonstrates the clear business opportunity in building a split payments app in the Middle East.

Factors Influencing the Cost of Building an App Like Tamara

In the Middle East’s dynamic FinTech market, grasping the cost of building an app like Tamara is essential for entrepreneurs and investors alike. Here are the key aspects to consider.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Building an App Like Tamara

Complexity of Payment Features

Offering a range of payment options adds layers of complexity to the app’s architecture. For instance, if a user wants to simultaneously defer a payment and split another bill with a friend, the app must be capable of supporting this multifunctionality.

Implementing these intricate features can significantly affect the cost to build a split payments app like Tamara. It’s crucial to decide early on what features are essential for your target market in the Middle East to manage development costs effectively.

Security Protocols and Compliance

Ensuring top-tier security is non-negotiable. Given that users will be sharing sensitive financial data, encryption and compliance with financial regulations are a must. For example, consider a user who is concerned about identity theft; strong security measures are needed to alleviate these worries. Adequate investment in secure protocols contributes to the overall Tamara app development cost and must be planned for from the start.

Geographic Location of Development Team

The location of your development team can also impact your budget. For example, development teams in the United States or Western Europe generally charge more compared to those in Asia or Eastern Europe. This variation in labor costs influences the cost of building an app like Tamara and is an important consideration for Middle Eastern entrepreneurs.

Integration with Retail Partners

Users who enjoy shopping from a variety of online stores will require a versatile app. Creating an app that is compatible with different retail partners via APIs will hike up the cost to build a split payments app like Tamara. These integrations allow for a smoother user experience but come with their own set of costs that need to be accounted for in your budget.

Backend Infrastructure and Server Costs

Stable backend infrastructure is pivotal for a seamless user experience. For example, imagine a user who frequently experiences app crashes or slow load times; they’re likely to abandon the app and look for alternatives. This makes robust servers and backend systems crucial. Investing in high-quality infrastructure will increase the costs of developing an app like Tamara, but it’s a necessary investment for long-term stability and scalability.

Ongoing Maintenance and Support Costs

Once the app is up and running, it’s not the end of the story. Users expect regular updates, bug fixes, and new features. Suppose a user finds that a certain function isn’t working as expected. Prompt customer support and regular maintenance are key to retaining such users. Ongoing costs for these services can sometimes be as much as the initial development costs, so factor this into the budget when you aim to create an app like Tamara.

Marketing and User Acquisition

In a competitive market, merely having a great app isn’t enough. Users need to know it exists. This involves marketing strategies such as search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, and social media campaigns. The cost of these strategies varies widely but can quickly add up. Effective marketing is essential to attract a large user base for your split payments app like Tamara, especially in a market as diverse and competitive as the Middle East.

Third-party API Integrations

To facilitate a wide range of services, such as payment gateways or customer relationship management, third-party API integrations are often required. For example, a user might want to link their existing financial accounts to your app for a seamless payment experience. These integrations are essential but come at an additional cost. Hence, incorporating third-party APIs is a factor that contributes to the expenses of making an app like Tamara.

By paying close attention to these factors, you can get a clearer picture of what it takes financially to enter the competitive world of FinTech apps, particularly in the Middle East. To give you a more concrete idea, the Tamara app development cost can range from approximately $30,000 to $300,000.

This wide range is indicative of the various elements that contribute to the overall development cost, from backend infrastructure to third-party API integrations. Having a detailed understanding of these cost factors can better prepare you for the financial commitment required.

Must-Have Features for an App Like Tamara

Features for an App Like Tamara

Gaining a full understanding of the cost to build a split payments app like Tamara requires a deep dive into various influential factors. From the complexity of payment features to the geographic location of your development team, each component plays a critical role in the overall expenditure.

Payment Splitting

One of the core functionalities that contributes to the Tamara app development cost is the payment splitting feature. This feature allows users to divide their shopping total into smaller, manageable payments. Suppose a user wants to purchase a high-end smartphone but doesn’t want to drain the bank account in one go. This is where payment splitting comes into play, providing the convenience of breaking down the total cost.

Payment Tracking and Notifications

Another indispensable component contributing to the cost to build a split payments app like Tamara is the payment tracking and notifications feature. This keeps the users informed about their upcoming payments and any successful transactions. It adds to user engagement and minimizes late payments, acting as a virtual payment assistant.

Security Protocols for Data Encryption

When you develop an app like Tamara, high-level security protocols for data encryption are non-negotiable. Users will be sharing sensitive financial information, and ensuring its safety is paramount. Therefore, integrating robust security measures is a vital part of the overall cost of building an app like Tamara.

Multiple Payment Options

Offering various payment options such as credit/debit cards, digital wallets, and direct bank transfers not only enhances user experience but also adds to the Tamara app features list. When planning to create an app like Tamara, keep in mind that the more payment options you offer, the more complex and costly the development becomes.

Retail Partner Integration

An essential feature that significantly affects your budget when you aim to make an app like Tamara is retail partner integration. This functionality allows users to shop from a wide range of stores seamlessly through the app.

Imagine someone shopping at a popular fashion outlet; the integration would enable immediate access to split payment options right at the checkout. This elevates the user experience and is a defining trait of any split payments app like Tamara.

User-Friendly Dashboard

The dashboard is the nerve center of any split payments app development project. It offers a snapshot of the user’s transaction history, upcoming payments, and account details. A user-friendly dashboard is not just a luxury; it’s a necessity. A well-designed dashboard allows users to navigate the app’s features effortlessly, which is vital for any app similar to Tamara.

Customer Support Chat

Customer support cannot be compromised when developing an app similar to Tamara. A real-time customer support chat can assist users in resolving any issues or queries they might have regarding their transactions or accounts.

This feature enhances user trust and satisfaction, aspects that are paramount in the competitive landscape of split payments app development. One can also consider including a conversational AI chatbot to make the experience better for the users.

Multi-Language Support

Considering that the Middle East is a linguistically diverse region, multi-language support is among the critical Tamara app features to consider. This functionality caters to users who may not be fluent in English, making it more accessible to a broader audience.

The feature could help increase user engagement rates and, in turn, potentially raise the average transaction value per user. Multi-language support not only enhances user experience but also adds to the Tamara app development cost due to the complexity of implementing multiple languages seamlessly.

Transaction History Archive

A transaction history archive is another feature that you should think about when aiming to develop a split payments app. It allows users to view their past transactions in chronological order, giving them better control over their financial activities.

For example, if a user wants to review how much they’ve spent on dining out last month, they can easily do so through the archive. Such a feature may not seem like a priority at first, but it adds significant value in the long run. Incorporating it into the initial development phase will factor into the Tamara app development cost and should not be overlooked when planning to develop a split payments app.

Taking into account these essential features can significantly impact the overall cost of building an app like Tamara. Being mindful of these functionalities will not only improve user experience but will also give you a realistic budget estimation for your project.

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Monetization Strategies for an App Like Tamara

Creating a split payments app like Tamara isn’t just about development; it’s also about generating revenue. Once you’ve understood the cost to build a split payments app like Tamara, you’ll want to plan how to recover those costs and make a profit. Here are some effective monetization strategies that can work well for this kind of app.

In-App Purchases

Offering in-app purchases can be a direct way to generate revenue. For example, you could allow users to buy premium features that make their transactions more convenient or secure.

Subscription Models

Another popular method is to offer a subscription model. For a monthly or yearly fee, users could enjoy perks such as zero transaction fees or higher transaction limits. This can be particularly appealing for business accounts or frequent users.

Transaction Fees

Implementing a small transaction fee can be a stable way to earn revenue without affecting the user experience drastically. Given that the users are making transactions through the app, even a small fee can accumulate to a substantial amount.

Partnering with Retailers

Partnering with retail or online stores can provide another revenue stream. In such partnerships, you can charge retailers a commission for every purchase made through your split payments app. This is a win-win, as it also gives retailers another avenue for sales.


Including advertisements within the app can offer additional income, although this may compromise the user experience if not done tastefully. Therefore, it’s essential to strike the right balance.


By understanding your cost to build a split payments app like Tamara and implementing one or more of these monetization strategies, you can not only recover your investment but also create a sustainable revenue stream.

The strategies you choose should align with your overall business goals and the needs of your target audience. By doing so, you can develop a split payments app that is not only functional but also profitable.

You may also like reading: App Monetization Guide: 7 Strategies and Models Overview

The Process of Developing an App Like Tamara

Process of Developing an App Like Tamara

Understanding the Tamara app development process is crucial if you’re aiming to launch a competitive product in the financial tech landscape. This involves a series of intricate steps that form the building blocks of your application.

Initial Planning and Market Research

At the very outset, in-depth market research should be conducted to identify gaps in the market and gauge the demand for a mobile app development for split payments. This phase ensures that you are not entering a saturated market and helps in shaping the app’s features.

Wireframing and Design

After the initial planning, you move on to the wireframing stage. Here, you map out the user experience and design the interface. This is a foundational aspect of the Tamara app development process.

Development Phase

Now comes the core development phase. This is where the app takes shape, with developers writing the code that will become the backbone of your app. This phase often takes the most time and contributes significantly to the mobile app development for split payment costs.

Testing and Quality Assurance

Once the app is developed, rigorous testing is essential. Quality assurance helps in finding bugs, security vulnerabilities, and assessing the overall performance of the app.

Deployment and Maintenance

Finally, once the app is tested thoroughly, it’s time for deployment. However, the work doesn’t end there. Maintenance is an ongoing cost that you should be prepared for.

By focusing on each of these elements, you gain a deeper insight into the steps and considerations that are integral to the Tamara app development process. This, in turn, provides a more accurate estimate of the costs and efforts involved.

Why Choose Appinventiv for Developing an App Like Tamara in the Middle East

At Appinventiv, we specialize in crafting FinTech solutions tailored to the unique demands of the Middle Eastern market. As a renowned Mobile app development company in Qatar, we bring local insights and global expertise to your project. We’re well-versed in the complexities and understand the cost to build a split payments app like Tamara, thus offering you not just technical excellence but also cost-effective solutions.

With our experienced team and proven methodologies, you get a reliable partner committed to turning your vision into a scalable and robust app. Choose Appinventiv for a seamless, top-notch development experience. Contact us today


Q. How much does the Tamara app cost?

A. The Tamara app development cost can vary widely, ranging from $30,000 to $300,000. The exact amount depends on various factors such as features, security protocols, and third-party integrations. Please consult us for a more precise estimate.

Q. How long does it take to develop an app like Tamara?

A. To develop an app like Tamara typically takes around 4 to 9 months, including the planning, development, and testing phases. This can vary depending on the features’ complexity and the development team’s efficiency.

Q. What are the main monetization strategies for an app like Tamara?

A. The main monetization strategies for an app like Tamara could include transaction fees for each successful payment split, premium features available via subscription, and partnership deals with retail companies to facilitate their payment options in the app.

Advertising can also serve as an additional revenue stream. These monetization models contribute to sustaining and growing the app, making it a viable financial tool for users.

Sudeep Srivastava
Co-Founder and Director
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