How to Build a Payment App Like Zain Cash?

Sudeep Srivastava July 18, 2024
build a payment app like Zain Cash

Due to the universal presence of mobile devices, it comes as no surprise that the widespread adoption of mobile payment solutions is increasing globally and driving growth in noncash transactions.

Custom payment apps provide comprehensive functionalities of funds management, supporting all the required currencies and payment methods, along with offering advanced level security to customers’ payment and personal data. It completely focuses on providing customers with the convenience of sending and receiving digital payments with just a few clicks on their smartphones.

Every day thousands of apps are mushrooming in the app stores, indicating the growth of international mobile payment services. For instance, fintech apps are quite popular now as people are embracing the convenience of easy bill payments, quick money transfers, and much more. And this trend has been even more fruitful for payment apps like Zain Cash which has garnered a lot of attention ever since its launch in Iraq and other MENA regions.

What do you Need to Know About Payment Apps like Zain Cash?

With the adoption of mobile payment expected to reach a valuation of 4.8 billion by 2025, the key players in the major global regions would experience remarkable growth. This is because most of these apps are now integrated with other fintech services. The top popular mobile payment apps worldwide are Google Pay, Apple Pay, Paypal, Venmo, Zelle, Cash App, PayPal, Zain Cash, and others. Recent statistics show that the number of mobile payment users is projected to reach 1.31 billion by 2023, which indicates the rise in the popularity and usage of mobile payment apps worldwide.

Proximity of mobile payment app users from 2018- 2023 (in billions)

Amongst all days apps, Zain Cash has emerged as one of the largest and most widely adopted online payment solutions in the MENA region. It is a mobile funds disbursement service founded in the year 2013 by Ahmed Al-Hemyari. Headquartered in Baghdad, Iraq, Zain Cash is licensed by the Central Bank of Iraq. With more than 4000 agents across Iraq, Zain Cash has a huge user base that allows individuals to transfer money, pay bills, shop online, receive payments, and utilize other personal banking services.

As per Yazen Al-Timimi, MD of the Iraq Wallet, Zain Cash “with a solid customer base of 11 million, many of whom had never used online payment services before and now benefiting from Zain’s hassle-free mobile transaction services. Zain Cash will be instrumental in boosting social and economic development across Iraq.”

Zain Cash, in the second quarter of 2022, earned revenue of KD 421 million which is $1.4 billion growing at a CAGR of 14%.

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Step-By-Step Guide to Building a Payment App Like Zain Cash

Step-By-Step Guide to Building a Payment App Like Zain Cash

To build a payment app like Zain Cash, you need to introduce a secure and reliable architecture specifically tailored to meet the requirements of your users. Here are the steps you need to know to develop an app like Zain Cash:

Analysis and Requirements Gathering

This is the initial stage of your P2P payment app development process. The custom fintech app development experts will do their research before they begin the development process. The team creates an outline for finalizing the features and outlook of the interface, after which they communicate with the key project stakeholder to discuss the payment app’s vision, the choice of payment app, the platform to base the payment app on, functional capabilities, UI/UX requirements, and other non-functional requirements.

Choose the Preferred P2P App Type

There are various types of peer-to-peer payment apps that commonly provides banking and other standalone solutions. Here are the top P2P app types you need to know before initiating your mobile payment app development process.

Bank-Centric System

Several banks are now developing their own P2P payment system to offer convenient and accessible banking services to their customers. These apps help users to make deposits or receive money to their bank accounts directly without the need to visit the banks. Banking apps have completely revamped the user experience, as they can now get complete control of finances and make hassle-free transactions.

Our experts at Appinventiv worked with a leading global bank in Europe where they automated their banking processes using machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies. This helped in increasing the bank’s customer retention rate by 20% as the focus was laid more on improvising the customer experience.

Standalone Services

These are independent banking solution providers offering their own payment systems like Zain Cash, Venmo, and PayPal. These applications allow users to create their own digital wallet and utilize it to make payments or store their electronic money in the form of an e-wallet. Typically these applications support visa cards and MasterCards.

Bonus Read- How Much Does It Cost to Develop a P2P Payment App Like Venmo?

Mobile OS System

Smartphones these days have an in-built payment feature. This completely works like any full-fledged mobile payment application. Some of the best examples of mobile OS payment systems are Android Pay, Samsung Pay, and Apple Pay.

Social Media Platforms

Social media applications and other messenger apps are also developing their own in-built payment features. The best examples of this are Facebook and WhatsApp. Social Media users can now directly send money to their friends without exiting the app.

Make your Feature List

Once you have decided what type of P2P app you would like to build, the next thing for you to do is draw up a list of features for your mobile wallet app development. Choose the basic one first and then add the additional features. To ensure that you do not miss anything, study your target audience, create a clear sketch of your users and analyze the user flow.

Work on the UI/UX Design

The first thing that the users see when they open your application is the look and feel of the app and how smoothly they are able to interact with it. The effectiveness of your app can be measured by the optimal combination of functionalities and attractiveness.

Considering this, ensure that your app is simple, intuitive, yet engaging. While user interface (UI) refers to how your mobile application represents itself to the users, user experience (UX) is all about how they interact with the app.

Add Robust Security Architecture

While creating a P2P payment app ensuring a robust security architecture is crucial. All the information related to your user’s account and transaction history must be end-to-end encrypted.

But how would you ensure a proper level of security for your application?

To avoid accidental payment or any kind of fraudulent actions, implement the best security features like a fingerprint scanner, multi-factor authentication, facial recognition, unique OTP or ID, etc. It is also essential for you to ensure the security of your admin digital wallet to prevent any chances of personal data leaks.

Discuss with your development team what other security features can be implemented into your payment application to make it completely secure.

Abide by Regulatory Compliances

Regulatory compliance is vital as a security of your payment app like Zain Cash. For your online payment transfer mobile app development in Saudi Arabia, you need to comply with the payment standards set by the regional authority. Regulatory compliances are different as per various global regions, and you need to choose your target region while you create an app like Zain Cash. Here are some of the regulatory compliance examples as set by various global regions:

RegionRegulatory Compliance
AustraliaInnovation Hub by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
KoreaFinTech Center under the Financial Services Commission (FSC)
ChinaFinTech Committee under the People’s Bank of China (PBOC)
UKFinancial Conduct Authority
European UnionDirective (EU) 2015/2366 + GDPR
USDepends on the state

Test your App

Testing determines whether your app is functioning as it was intended and whether it is convenient to use. Here is a quick checklist for testing your app similar to Zain Cash:

  • Ensure that your app installs and runs properly on different devices.
  • Check how the application behaves in case of special events like low battery, incoming calls, airplane mode, etc.
  • Test hardware connectivity like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB, and NFC.
  • Test the app with users to ensure that it runs smoothly on their devices.
  • Get feedback and make changes if required.

Always remember that a few swipes and clicks are not always enough to entice your users and draw a conclusion about your app. According to Compuware, 48% of users are likely to abandon your app if they experience performance issues continuously. End-to-end testing thus helps you to avert this risk and retain your users.

Launch your MVP and Scale

Validate your MVP and receive invaluable user insights that can help you to quickly iterate and improvise your product before you fully develop it.

The idea behind MVP app development is how users are getting influenced by your app idea before you invest a fortune into scaling it to the next level. To get a better hang of the MVP concept, check out the pocket guide on building a minimum viable product.

You can perform MVP releases and other test launches. Your mobile payment app should be able to handle thousands of users, offering stability on load. Once you have received feedback from your users, get those updated or implemented before you move on to deploy the new version to production and get your app launched.

Implement these Core Features to Build a Payment App Like Zain Cash

Features play a major role in digital wallet app development. By integrating the best mobile payment app features, you increase your chances of your app being embraced and well-utilized by your target audience. Here is the list of essential features that can make a difference and help it stand out in the crowd.

1. Digital Wallet

The digital wallet is the core feature of any payment app. With a digital wallet, users can store their electronic currency and make easy payments. Usually, these wallets are integrated with payment card tokenization services from MasterCard and Visa, as these two providers cover most of the country’s banking institutions.

2. Send or Request for Funds

The P2P app users can perform the two key operations of requesting and sending funds to other users. For creating a robust payment gateway, implement this must-have feature in your app to allow your users to handle transactions in a lightning-fast and secure way.

3. Currency Conversion

Automatic currency conversion is one of the most convenient features that can make your mobile payment app popular. With the implementation of this function, your users will be able to make cross-border transactions and pay for goods and services while traveling to other regions.

Technically, you should integrate your mobile payment app with exchange rate APIs, which will help you handle automatic conversion while your users make transactions.

4. Send Invoices and Bills

For your user’s convenience, your app should have the function for generating bills or invoices that can be received by both sender and the recipient. The bill generation feature should support popular formats like PDF and in-app downloads. Also, your users should be able to share the generated invoices and bills with a single click.

5. Unique ID or One-Time Password

As per KPMG, 72% of organizations witnessed different types of cyberattacks in the year 2018. This included DDoS, phishing, and spam activities that incurred huge losses for the end users. These statistics indicate the necessity of paying attention to the security of your payment app.

Therefore, to avoid accidental or unwanted transactions and fraud, your users should be able to confirm the Unique Identification Number or One-Time Password (OTP) while making a transaction.

6. Transaction History

By implementing the feature of transaction history, you will help your end users to keep track of their finances and reconcile their inflows and outflows. Try giving your users access to their account information as much as possible. If you want to stand out in the competitive marketplace, you need to provide your users with unique features that allow them to control their own finances.

With filters like smart sorting and custom date range, customers can generate their e-statements and download them whenever required. Also, they can convert their transaction history or e-statements into PDFs and share them via messengers and other apps.

7. Bank Account Transfer

To make your peer-to-peer payment system more convenient and useful, offer your users the feasibility of money transfers from apps like Zain Cash to their bank account and vice versa.

Bonus Read- Payment Gateway Integration: The Process and What Next

8. Push Notifications

By implementing the push notification feature, you will be able to send quick messages to your users about promotions, new offers, or any other updates. Also, the users will be able to get instant messages or notifications as they make any kind of transaction.

However, you need to keep in mind that constant push notifications can annoy your users. Therefore, it’s better to send them notifications that would make them engage with your app instead of irking them.

Additional Features to Implement in your E-Wallet App Development

By implementing a few advanced features in your wallet app, you can make it more user-friendly and secure. Let’s check out the list of additional features in your payment app.

Fingerprint Security Lock

To minimize the risk associated with your application, your users can configure the fingerprint security lock. In this way, your users will only be the sole owner of their accounts. The fingerprint scan feature adds an extra layer of security to your application that secures the app from third-party access.


A chatbot in your e-wallet app can overall improvise the user experience. This allows the users to interact with your app and resolve their queries if any. A chatbot helps users quickly sort out the issues that may arise due to incorrect debits from the wallet, concerns related to funds transfers, and others.

As the users connect with chatbots for assistance, they can get timely solutions to their problems. In case the issue needs human intervention, the chatbot would suggest the users get connected with the customer support executive.

Cryptocurrency Payment

The cryptocurrency exchange platform market was recently valued at $30.8 billion and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 27.8% from the year 2022 to 2030. The banking apps are also becoming a holistic platform for dealing with cryptocurrencies and other digital currency payments like Ethereum and Bitcoin.

Asian-Bank Fintech App

Appinventiv worked with one of the globally leading banks, Asian Bank, and introduced crypto as a mainstream source of their day-to-day transactions. Our team took the Asian Bank’s cryptocurrency project to the next level by offering them a banking solution that provides a custodial cryptocurrency wallet with plastic cards. The app soon garnered 250,000+ app downloads and 50,000+ cryptocurrency transactions.

Tech Stack Required to Make an App Like Zain Cash

Tech Stack Required to Make an App Like Zain Cash

To make an app like Zain Cash, you need to choose a robust set of technologies based on the type of your app. Choosing the right set of technologies decides the future of your product as it overall influences the performance of the application.

For instance, Kotlin and Java are best for Android payment apps, and Swift and Objective-C for iOS apps. For cross-platform app development, you can utilize programming languages like React Native, Flutter, and  Xamarin.

What is the Cost of Developing an App Like Zain Cash?

Development StagesDevelopment TimeDevelopment Cost
Research and Estimation160 hours$6,400
Design and Development350 hours$14,000
Testing120 hours$4,800
Post-Launch Support320 hours$12,800
TOTAL950 hours$38,000 (The cost can vary as per the requirements)

Every business has its own unique ideas, goals, and requirements. Overall, the cost to build a payment app and its timeline mainly depend on different factors like the number of features implemented, launch date, geographic locations, budget size, and much more. Here are some of the major factors that influence the overall e-wallet app development cost.

Research and Estimation

Our wallet app development team validates your app idea by researching the P2P payment app market and determining the competitive advantage. Our team returns to you with their feedback and discusses the project estimation to the next stage.

Cost: $6,400

Design and Development

Our designers build the app’s user interface and create a robust backend of the product dealing with compliance and security issues along with linking databases to the data flow. Our frontend developers then combine the created prototypes and code with building the final version of the app.

Cost: $14,000


Testing is yet another factor influencing the fintech app development cost. At this stage, our QA engineers cooperate with the developers and identify the possible errors present in the application. If the team finds any glitches, they immediately fix them and take the app for launch.

Cost: $4,800

Post-Launch Support

Our team ensures you complete ongoing support post-app launch. With constant upgrades, we offer complete maintenance and ensure better performance of your application post-launch.

Cost: $12,800

Considering these factors, the overall estimate of the average cost of app development can be determined. The cost to develop an app like Zain Cash can range anywhere from $38,000 to $60,000 depending on the client’s requirements. Note that with the addition of advanced features, the cost would also double.

Bonus Read- How much does it cost to build an app like Cash?

Choose Appinventiv as your Mobile Payment App Development Partner

To make a payment app like Zain Cash that would attract a huge user base, you need to ensure that it is reliable and engaging. With an extensive experience in the field of wallet app development, Appinventiv being the top-rated fintech app development company and artificial intelligence app development company builds an end-to-end encrypted and secured mobile payment app that earns you huge revenue.

Our solution architects would analyze your requirements and build you a robust functional fintech application. Outsource your mobile payment app development to us. Connect with our experts and kickstart your project idea today.


Q. How much does it cost to build a payment app?

A. The cost to build a money transfer or payment app depends on the features and functionalities you want to implement, the design approach, the development team’s location, and the number of hours required to finish the project. On average, to build a payment app, the average cost would be $38,000 to $60,000 based on the complexity and size of the project.

Q. How payment app works?

A. P2P apps today are leveraged by almost everyone today. It ensures easy money transfer directly from one account to another. All you need to do is create an account and link your bank account with it. P2P transactions allow the transfer of funds without any intermediaries.

The payment apps ensure smoother, quicker, and hassle-free transactions between the users of different banks. P2P systems have a myriad of applications. You can pay for services utilizing such apps, send and receive money, buy things from the online marketplace, make cross-border payments and do lots more.

Q. What are the top 3 ways to monetize your app?

A. As an entrepreneur, your main goal should be to earn profit post launching your P2P payment app. Here are some of the top ways to monetize your money transfer app:

Charge app fees: This monetization model requires you to charge a particular amount for each transaction the users make. This is one of the most aggressive business models that might distract users. Also, the chargeback and refund scenarios should not include additional fees as most users consider it to be a non-fair activity.

Charge per feature: This is one of the most essential business models of the payment gateway app. In this business model, you need to offer specific functionalities for free, but to explore the additional features, the users need to opt for the paid pricing plans.

Charge per usage: This business model is quite similar to the app free and revenue share models but implies that the users need to pay for high account activities, and they won’t be charged for each transaction. This approach works well if you analyze the monetary transactions over a specific period of time per user. After that, you can charge the customers on a regular basis.

Q. How to build mobile payments app?

A. For building a robust payment app, you need to follow these steps:

  • Put your requirements in one place
  • Choose the payment app platform
  • Validate regulation compliance
  • Design an appealing UI/UX
  • Test your app
  • Launch your MVP and scale

Q. What are the applications of peer to peer payment apps?

A. Payment apps facilitate quicker and easier digital payments. Here are some of the top applications of payment apps:

Peer-to-peer money exchange: For sending funds to friends and groups, P2P apps have made it extremely easier. As per Statista, in the year 2022, 42% of respondents have said to utilize the P2P payment platforms.

Online purchases: Payment platforms like Zain Cash allow users to make easy purchases from the online marketplace just with a single click. For instance, e-commerce businesses now support different types of payment gateways to make it easier for users to complete their purchasing process.

Sudeep Srivastava
Co-Founder and Director
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