How Much Does it Cost to Build a Mobile Banking App Like Chime?

Sudeep Srivastava February 23, 2024
Chime app development cost

With the digital transformation reaching its peak, mobile banking has witnessed a significant rise in popularity, revolutionizing how we manage our finances. Efficient mobile banking apps like Chime are at the forefront of this transformation, offering convenient, user-friendly banking solutions.

According to a report, over 217 million users are expected to use mobile banking services by 2025, presenting a huge opportunity for on-the-go financial services. As per Business of Apps, Chime is one of the most popular and fastest-growing mobile banking apps, which has attracted over 14.5 million account holders as of September 2022. In addition to this, the app has also witnessed a strategic increase in revenue, estimated at $1.8 billion in Q2 2022 alone.

Given the surge in mobile device usage and the success stories of apps like Chime, understanding the investment required to develop a similar mobile banking application is crucial. To give you a brief idea, the cost to develop an app like Chime can vary from $35,000 to $250,000, depending on various factors that will be discussed later in the blog.

This article will analyze the key factors influencing the Chime app development cost. In addition to this, we will also overview the must-have features and steps to develop a mobile banking app like Chime with advanced FinTech app experience for modern consumers.

Collaborate with us to get clear cost estimates for mobile banking solution like Chime

Understanding the Chime Mobile Banking App

Chime is an innovative mobile banking app that provides users with a full suite of financial services through an intuitive, user-friendly interface. This app is available at no cost to users and supports the creation of online checking and savings accounts without necessitating a minimum balance.

One of the app’s standout features is its ability to offer early access to direct deposit paychecks, enabling users to access their funds up to two days in advance. Additionally, Chime enhances savings efforts with its automated savings tools, making it straightforward for users to allocate funds from each paycheck towards their savings effortlessly.

Understanding the Chime Mobile Banking App

Chime users benefit from a complimentary debit card and the convenience of over 60,000 ATMs across the country for cash withdrawals. The app’s design ensures users receive real-time updates on transactions and spending, empowering them to manage their finances effectively.

Coming to a Crunchbase report, the banking app has been able to witness an overall funding of $2.3 billion, signifying its immense success and the market’s confidence in its model. The mobile banking market is further expected to reach $7 billion by 2032, witnessing a CAGR of 16.8% from 2023 to 2032.

Mobile Banking Market Size

Given Chime’s success and the increasing need for easy-to-use, affordable banking options, now is the perfect time for investors and businesses to consider creating similar mobile banking apps. Investing in this sector can offer substantial returns, as it aligns with the ongoing shift to digital banking and addresses consumers’ current needs for both convenience and efficiency in their financial services.

How Much Does it Cost to Develop an App Like Chime?

When considering to develop an app like Chime, one of the most pressing questions is – how much will it cost to develop an app like Chime? Let’s explore the intricacies revolving around the budget.

As revealed earlier, the cost to create an app like Chime can vary significantly, ranging from around $35,000 on the lower end to over $250,000 for a complex app built by a top-tier development firm. The cost of developing a banking app will depend on several key factors like location of the app development firm, the app’s UI/UX design, the overall app complexity, etc.

Simply put, higher the complexity of the app and the number of features integrated, more will be the associated cost. Let us try and give you a rough cost estimate based on multiple levels of complexities.

App TypeEstimated App Development CostTime Frame
Simple App$35,000 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

Factors Affecting the Cost to Develop an App Like Chime

Developing a mobile banking app like Chime involves various factors that can significantly influence the overall cost. From the complexity of features to the choice of technology, let’s explore the key elements in detail below.

Factors Impacting the Cost of Developing a Chime-Like Mobile Banking App

Number of Platform Integrations

One major cost driver is the number of backend platform integrations your app will require. An app like Chime seamlessly connects to critical systems like core banking platforms, payment processors, card issuers, account data APIs, and more. Each integration adds complexity for developers and needs to be built and maintained. Plan for around $10,000 to $15,000 per complex platform integration.

Complexity of Features

The complexity of the features you want to include will also heavily impact cost. An app with basic banking features like account balances, transfers, and ATM finders will be far simpler to build than one with cutting-edge AI analytics, gamified budgeting, early paycheck access, and other advanced capabilities. Prioritize the must-have features first before adding complex options.

Custom Designs and Templates

Developing a fully custom-designed mobile interface can increase the overall cost of developing a banking app substantially, compared to using readily available design templates. Unique, branded designs require far more design time and customization. But the result is typically a superior, more polished user experience that helps your app stand out.

Development Team Size

The size of the development team will influence how quickly your app can be built. More developers allow for parallel work streams but also increase hourly costs. Find the right balance based on scope and budget. Typical team sizes range from multiple developers to designers, project managers and more.

App Development TeamHourly Rates (Approx)
Project Manager$25 to $30
Tech Lead (Backend / Frontend)$28 to $30
Sr. Mobile App Developer$25 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

Testing Requirements

Extensive testing is necessary for any financial app, but comprehensive test plans drive up the costs of banking apps development like Chime. Allow time and budget for UAT testing, functionality testing across devices, regression testing, performance testing, automated scripts, security audits, and beta user testing.

Location of the App Development Firm

The location of the hired app development team also affects the cost to build an app like Chime. For instance, the hourly app development rates of companies in regions like Asia or Southern Europe are lower than the hourly rate of development in regions like the UK or the US. Let us try to offer you an estimated hourly development rate in multiple regions of the world.

RegionHourly Rates of Development
UAE$60-$65
US$95-$100
Western Europe$80-$90
Australia$70-$90
Eastern Europe$50-$55
Asia$25-$40

Hosting Infrastructure

The backend hosting infrastructure has upfront and ongoing costs for cloud servers, bandwidth, redundancy, security measures, and DevOps engineers to keep everything running smoothly. Budget at least $15,000/month for robust hosting.

Most experts estimate the reasonable Chime app development cost for a properly-scoped banking app suitable for launch is $150,000 to $250,000, accounting for all core features, solid design, and diligent testing.

It’s also important to consider ongoing costs post-launch. Expect to budget roughly $25,000/month for a 5 person team to maintain enhancements, fix bugs, release new versions, provide customer support, and manage infrastructure/hosting. Complex apps with heavy usage may require larger teams and budgets.

Features to Create an App Like Chime

While each mobile banking application development requires some unique features to stand out, there are some must-have features to be integrated during mobile banking app development like Chime.

Features to Be Integrated During Chime Online Banking App Development

Seamless Account Creation

The account opening process for the app should be completely digital and take just minutes to complete. Minimal data entry should be required through integration with services that can pre-fill identity details. Users should be able to open checking, savings, and joint accounts by linking a funding source like a bank account or card.

Advanced automation through AI and machine learning algorithms improves risk analysis, KYC checks, and compliance to onboard users seamlessly while preventing fraud. Upon approval, users can receive a virtual debit card, allowing immediate spending while the physical card is in transit.

Intuitive Account Management

A centralized dashboard provides an overview of all the user’s accounts on one screen. Key details like balances, spending categorized by budget, upcoming scheduled transactions, and net worth across accounts are displayed clearly. Graphs and charts visualize trends for expenditures, income, account balances, and other data to reveal insights. Custom dashboard layouts with movable widgets suit each user’s preferences. A quick search makes finding transactions, statements, disputes, and other account details simple.

Smart Financial Feed

A personalized feed shows pending transactions, recent transactions, scheduled debits, account alerts, and notifications tailored specifically to the user. Upcoming bills, deposits, and other events are displayed chronologically. AI analyzes spending patterns and transactions to surface timely, relevant insights, financial tips, and recommendations personalized to each user to aid their money management.

P2P Payment Network

Integration with real-time payment rails like PayPal, Visa Direct, or Dwolla enables bank-linked peer-to-peer transfers. Users can quickly send money to registered recipient lists or other app users. Payment requests can also be sent. Activity feeds show pending and completed peer-to-peer payments. Reminders, confirmations, and notifications provide updates on the payment status.

P2P Payment Network

External Account Aggregation

Allow users to securely connect financial accounts from other institutions through account aggregation APIs like Plaid. This enables the app to consolidate external account balances, holdings, and transaction histories for a complete financial picture. Transfers between internal and external accounts become seamless. Data is synced automatically to keep balances and available funds updated.

Bill Pay & Scheduling

Tools to pay bills directly through the app allow setting up payees by account details or integrated search, scheduling one-time and recurring payments on specified dates or frequencies, and setting up automatic payments for bills. Confirmations are provided for completed payments and reminders for upcoming payments. Digital receipts are maintained for all bills paid through the app.

Advanced Debit Card Management

Physical and virtual debit cards are issued with card numbers decoupled from underlying account numbers for enhanced security. Cards can be frozen and unfrozen instantly when misplaced right through the app. Other features include adjustable daily spending limits, transaction notifications, and contactless payment toggling. Virtual cards integrate with mobile wallets for contactless payments via NFC terminals. Multi-use virtual single cards provide an added layer of privacy.

Advanced Debit Card Management

ATM Locating

An in-app map taps into location data to display nearby fee-free ATMs available on the network. Users can search by proximity and filter by amenities. When approaching partner ATMs, reminders can be provided to the user. ATM locations are shown on the map with addresses, hours, and directions. This simplifies cash withdrawals.

ATM Locating

Check Depositing

Checks can be deposited instantly by capturing photos through the smartphone camera. Optical character recognition extracts payee, amount, account numbers, and other key data. Image processing verifies the check authenticity. These technologies minimize the manual review needed for check processing versus traditional deposit methods, and funds from approved checks become available faster.

Notifications & Alerts

Timely push notifications keep users informed of account activity in real-time, such as ACH deposits, withdrawals, approaching deadlines, low balances, fees, account changes, payment receipts, and fraud alerts. Notifications are customizable based on transaction types, amounts, locations, recurrence, and other preferences set per user. Alerts can also be set up for risk factors and suspicious activity.

Top-Notch Security

Enable biometric authentication like fingerprint or facial recognition for account access to increase security without adding password friction. You can also add account recovery mechanisms to provide access if phones are lost, and activity logs allow auditing accounts to access instances and actions. Add data encryption, fraud monitoring, and formal audits to protect account integrity. Always remember that adherence to industry security standards ensures best practices.

Responsive Customer Support

Provide 24/7 customer support via diverse channels like phone, email, in-app chat, online help desk portals, and social media, which enables prompt resolution of any user issues. Well-designed FAQ pages and searchable knowledge bases with tutorials allow self-service for common questions. Direct messaging with support agents makes getting assistance easy. AI chatbots can handle basic inquiries to deflect call volume efficiently.

We recently helped a global bank revolutionize its banking services by integrating AI and machine learning technologies. The AI-powered chatbot we developed allowed the bank to streamline customer interactions, providing instant, 24/7 responses to inquiries and improving overall customer service efficiency.

Our expertise in AI and understanding of the banking industry enabled us to create a solution that not only enhanced the client’s operational capabilities but also significantly improved user engagement and satisfaction.

Collaborate with us to empower your mobile banking app with robust features

How to Develop a Mobile Banking App Like Chime?

A user-friendly, feature-rich mobile banking application development app requires careful planning, design, development, testing, and implementation. Follow these key steps for a smooth Chime application development process.

A Step-by-Step Process to Develop an App Like Chime

Step 1 – Conduct Comprehensive Market Research

Thorough market research is crucial before starting the Chime application development process because it helps understand the competitive landscape. Analyze the growth, trends, and regulations in the mobile banking industry. Research the adoption and usage of banking apps across demographics. Examine what’s driving innovation in FinTech, including AI, blockchain, and open APIs. Study how the future of banking is shaping with embedded finance and new business models. This will reveal opportunities to fill white spaces.

Research the features, user experience, technology architecture, and marketing strategies of leading banking apps like Chime, Varro, Dave, and others. Identify their strengths to simulate and weaknesses to improve upon. Derive insights on customer needs and pain points. Research also helps estimate Chime app development cost based on app complexity.

Step 2 – Identify Target Audience

Defining your target audience is essential. Evaluate behavioral and demographic factors like age, income, education, lifestyle, financial needs, mobile usage, etc. This shapes the understanding of customer expectations. Create sample user personas that exemplify your audience.

Step 3 – Define Essential Features

Outline the key features and functionality required based on market research and competitor analysis learnings. Integrations with banking systems and data APIs will be needed for accounts, transactions, payment processing, account aggregation, etc.

Ensure that basic features in app-like Chime mobile banking app development are included, including account dashboards, transfers, mobile check deposits, ATM finders, bill pay, P2P payments, debit card management, and transaction notifications. Differentiating value-added capabilities involve financial insights, budgeting tools, savings programs, investment integration, rewards, support for joint accounts, and expense management. Prioritize must-have features first.

Step 4 – Design Seamless UX/UI

Exceptional user experience is crucial for FinTech apps to drive adoption and retention. The interface should be user-friendly, intuitive, and easy to navigate. Ensure visual consistency across the app. Create user flows and wireframes detailing optimal screen layouts, navigation, visuals, and interactions to realize critical tasks like onboarding, transfers, deposits, payments, notifications, etc.

Step 5 – Choose Appropriate Tech Stacks

Select optimal technology stacks for front-end and backend development tailored to your app’s functionality and scale requirements. Popular front-end stacks include React Native, Swift, and Kotlin, and backend options include Node.js, Python, Java Spring, MongoDB, or PostgreSQL for the database. Make sure to include third-party APIs to facilitate integrations. Prioritize scalable cloud infrastructure on platforms like AWS or Google Cloud, AI/ML libraries like TensorFlow integrate intelligence, and containerized microservices to enable extensibility.

Step 6 – Develop Your Banking App

Now, it’s time to execute the build. Assemble a skilled development team with proven FinTech apps and banking integrations expertise. Utilize agile methodology with sprints to iteratively develop features.

Ensure robust integration with banking systems for accounts, payment processing, card issuance, and compliance. This forms the app’s transaction backbone. Continuously test across the full banking lifecycle, such as account opening, transfers, deposits, withdrawals, fees, risks, etc., to rigorously address bugs and edge cases.

Step 7 – Test & Launch Your App

Conduct thorough testing, including functionality, usability, security, performance, penetration testing, and piloting with a limited user base to identify flaws and fine-tune the experience. Once refined, submit the app to app stores for approval. Develop a marketing plan including digital ads, influencer partnerships, PR outreach, referral incentives, social media campaigns, and search ads.

Step 8 – Post Launch Maintenance and Support

Measure app performance post-launch with analytics on onboarding, engagement, retention, support issues, etc. Continuously enhance with new features and improvements based on post-launch insights to provide exceptional user support and community engagement.

How Does Apps Like Chime Make Money?

Apps like Chime generate revenue through various innovative strategies. Let’s look at them in detail below.

Multiple Monetization Strategies Used by Mobile Banking Apps Like Chime

Interchange Fees

Each time a user swipes their card, these apps earn a small fee from the merchant’s bank. This method provides a consistent income stream without costing the user.

Out-of-Network ATM Fees

While offering a wide range of free ATMs, these apps also charge for transactions made outside their network, encouraging users to stick to their ATMs and generating additional revenue.

Partnership Revenues

By collaborating with other financial services, these apps can earn referral fees or commissions when users opt for partnered services or products.

Optional Premium Services

They may offer premium services, like expedited transfers or enhanced overdraft protection, for an additional fee, giving users the freedom to customize their banking experience.

How Can Appinventiv Help You Leverage the Mobile Banking App Market?

Creating a next-gen mobile banking application requires extensive planning, design, development, and a determined focus on simplifying digital money management. At the same time, the cost to develop an app like Chime can range from $35,000 to over $250,000, depending on the number and complexity of features integrated.

You can build a secure, user-friendly mobile banking app that exceeds customer expectations by leveraging our dedicated FinTech app development services. Our experienced developers  and strategists can guide you from concept to launch, ensuring that your app not only meets but surpasses the industry standards.

We specialize in integrating advanced features similar to those in apps like Chime, including user-friendly interfaces, robust security measures, etc,. With Appinventiv, you gain the advantage of our deep industry knowledge and technical expertise, which can help bring your vision to the market more swiftly and with reduced risk.

We recently developed an AI-powered budget management app Mudra, tailored to enhance financial literacy among millennials through engaging gamification and interactive experiences. The innovative chatbot is capable of transforming the traditional budget management process by allowing users to track their expenses, offering timely alerts when spending exceeds budget limits.

Chime Mobile Banking App

Get in touch with our experts to set a new benchmark for mobile banking experiences.

FAQ’s

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

A. The time required to develop a mobile banking app like Chime usually depends on the overall complexity of the app. You can create a basic MVP version in 4 to 5 months. Most of the time goes into tasks such as collecting requirements, working on UX design, integrating with core banking systems, and testing. You can release features step by step through agile sprints and ongoing development to reach the market quickly. For a highly complex app with extensive features, the duration of app development may vary from 12 to 14 months, on average.

Q. What are the advantages of building an app like Chime for the users?

A. Key advantages to users from an app like Chime include:

  • Convenience of mobile banking anytime, anywhere
  • Easy account opening without visiting branches
  • Early access to direct deposits and paychecks
  • Avoiding fees like minimum balance charges for overdrafts
  • Security of card freezing and biometric logins

Q. What are the latest mobile banking trends?

A. In the fast-evolving mobile banking sector, staying updated with trends is crucial for staying ahead. Key trends shaping this space include the adoption of Generative AI, digital transformation strategies, new working models, pricing strategies, and AI-enhanced budgeting tools. Additionally, the focus is on mobile payments, advanced security measures like biometrics, voice payments, smart assistants, and personalized services based on customer data.

The industry also sees a rise in shared platforms, educational entertainment, gamification, cardless ATM withdrawals, and the integration of cryptocurrency/blockchain technologies. To compete effectively, mobile banking apps are incorporating these trends to offer users a streamlined, secure, and personalized banking experience.

Q. What factors influence the cost to develop an app like Chime?

A. The Chime app development cost depends on factors such as fe­atures, design, platform (iOS, Android), security inte­gration, and compliance. Additionally, scalability, authentication, integrations, and location impact the overall cost. It is advisable to consult e­xperienced de­velopers for an estimate­ tailored to requireme­nts.

THE AUTHOR
Sudeep Srivastava
Co-Founder and Director
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