Wallet App Development: Features, Cost, Technologies

As smartphones and cellular networks become ubiquitous, more and more people are using their smartphones for buying things, consuming content, and interacting. According to a McKinsey report, more than half of retailers say they’re launching mobile apps or focusing on the point of sale experiences soon.

E-wallet apps have become increasingly popular because the COVID-19 pandemic has made people stop going to physical stores and paying in cash.

In addition to contactless payments, digital wallets let users make purchases online without providing their cards’ details. They can also store credit, debit, and loyalty cards on their phones and send money to friends and family.

By offering convenience and discounts, retailers get a broader customer base and have more useful data to make their offers even more attractive.

Now is a good time to start working on a digital wallet. Fintech apps like digital wallets can be highly profitable due to the digitalization of all industries. It’s no secret that Surf has spent a lot of time developing apps for banks and trading platforms and that they know how to make wallet apps.

You’ll learn about the multiple types of digital wallets, the features you’ll need to build your app, and how much it will cost.

Types of Wallet Apps

Wallets are categorized by the way they’re delivered or how transactions happen.


Near Field Communication is a wireless technology that lets you pay with your phone. NFC chips replace physical cards in mobile phones – users link their cards once, then use their phones to connect to nearby readers and make payments. Apple Pay and Google Pay are the most famous of these apps.


QR-codes are 2D barcodes you can scan with your smartphone. Pay with your wallet app that recognizes QR codes. Cash App is one of the most popular e-wallet apps supporting QR codes.


YooMoney, for instance, lets you use your bank cards to check out instantly at e-stores. You just type in your phone number or email to send money with Zelle.


Combining multiple delivery technologies into one app is becoming more common, making transactions online and offline easier. QR codes can accept payments with PayPal, a major fintech company, and money can be sent directly to other PayPal users.

One method of categorizing digital wallets is the types of transactions they support.

Closed Wallet Apps

You can buy products with these apps and pay for just those products. Walmart Pay app, for example, offers additional cashback options and streamlines the checkout process in Walmart stores.

Half-closed Wallet Apps

With a half-closed wallet app, like Amazon Pay, you can make payments to other people or companies in the wallet network.

Open Wallet Apps

Using a QIWI wallet, for example, allows you to use it wherever credit cards are accepted and send money to anyone else using a QIWI wallet.

Wallet App Features & Technologies

Your wallet app’s features will vary greatly depending on your build type. Here, let’s go over the main features of a wallet app and how they’re implemented.

Frontend – user app

User sign-up and log-in

You can sign up for the app using social networks or email and see your profile details if you are a new user.

Linking bank account

The payment card integrations like PayPal, Stripe, and Braintree allow inputting payment card information once an instantaneous use of the card.

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Add & check the balance

Make an e-wallet app that allows users to store money and transfer it from credit and debit cards, PayPal, and Webmoney. Ensure that all transactions are displayed clearly on a screen, so the user can easily keep track of their spending.

Money transfer

It will be beneficial to your app if you can send money quickly to other app users. You could also integrate with your phone’s contacts so you can pick a person and send them money in a flash.

Push notifications

Engaging users is essential by sending them notifications regarding transactions, deals, offers, and rewards. Customers should have the ability to customize their notifications – many unimportant push notifications can make users unengaged.

iBeacon and Bluetooth integration

To maximize the use of mobile wallet apps in physical stores, Surf recommend incorporating Bluetooth (or iBeacon for Apple devices) into them. If the user approaches Bluetooth beacons, their app will automatically open or receive an alert about current deals.

QR-code scanner

It will take integrating software that reads barcodes, like ZBar’s bar code reader, to make QR-code payments work. Most apps in the fintech space, including banking apps, recognize QR-codes because they’re often on utility bills and other documents as fast payment options.

Smartwatch integration

As smartwatches become more popular, this is a great feature for any wallet app. Is there anything more convenient than paying with your watch via NFC without taking out your phone? How about monitoring your incoming and outgoing payments?

Backend – admin tools

Admin dashboard

Admins may use this control panel to manage users, track app metrics, and monitor transactions. A hierarchy of access levels will ensure that only a few administrators have access to customer data, and all interactions will be logged.

Marketing panel

Customers of a specific store would want a wallet app showing current offers and telling them what’s trending. A simple admin page will allow the marketing team to quickly design layouts, post news, and push notifications to app users.


A number of reports are available in this section of admin tools, including users, transactions, changes over time, and user behavior (most frequent methods of signing in, most-used features). You can also stop fraudulent activity by looking for unusual behavior.

Their app built for a European investment bank tracked events such as logins and screen opens and how users applied for credit, issued cards, and transferred money. The moment they detected a problem of any kind, they gathered more detailed analytics and more data to resolve the matter as soon as possible.

Security features

Personal data, transaction history, and details of other bank accounts can be stored in wallet apps, depending on the type. The wallet app needs to be secure to build brand image and get customer trust.

Two-factor authentication

A second authentication factor (touch ID or face ID) should be added after entering their login and password to protect users’ personal information. Some two-factor authentication methods are:

  • SMS: The user receives a digit code on their phone, which must be entered into the application.
  • Email: You get a code or link in your email.
  • App: Users have apps (like Google Authenticator) that generate codes.

It’s easy to set up SMS authentication on Zenit Mobile Bank because they designed it convenient and secure. Automatically, the app makes the user tap the confirmation button, but the confirmation button is hidden manually, so the code can still be entered without it.

Public Key Infrastructure (PKI)

Public-key cryptography is a great way to encrypt data in fintech. Private and public keys make up the public key infrastructure. Each entity has a private key that only the owner knows and can use to sign in and a public key that can verify signatures but can’t be used to sign in.

Payment tokenization

Secures payment info during transactions. It turns credit card information into a digit string, or ‘token,’ that doesn’t have value outside a transaction’s context. Token vaults keep bank info safe and don’t share it with merchants.

SSL & End-to-end encryption

Secure Socket Layer (SSL) secures data transfers with asymmetric and symmetric encryption, then authenticates the communicating parties. A new layer of security is end-to-end encryption (e2e), where cryptographic keys are used at both endpoints to prevent third-party interference.

Proper testing

While it’s not an app feature, testing during mobile wallet development can drastically affect its security. Identifies and eliminates vulnerabilities and double-checks authentication and authorization, encryption techniques, and other security measures. They found that independent third-party audits produce the best results when it comes to security testing.

Surf tested all the Zenit Mobile Bank products and features manually before the first release, including payments, transfers, and statuses. They also rely on automated testing to speed up the development process and provide coverage of the app code quickly.

Cost of digital wallet app development

App’s features, technological stack used, location, and size of the development team are a few factors that determine e-wallet app development costs. Their article on mobile app development costs and timeframes gives you more details about the factors affecting costs.

Choice of framework

Using different programming languages for iOS and Android (Kotlin for Android, Swift for iOS), you’ll need to code separate apps. Two teams of developers are required to build two different apps – native apps are known for their performance, stability, and energy efficiency.

Developers can write apps for iOS and Android from one code base with just a couple of changes using cross-platform frameworks like Flutter. You’ll save money and get it out faster. The debugging process gets easier because both apps are written in the same language (Dart in the case of Flutter).

A Flutter app appears identical to a native app from the user’s point of view: it offers smooth animations, supports gesture navigation, and the UI elements look and behave natively. Flutter apps are made more secure by converting Dart code into native, non-human readable native code. This complicates reverse rendering as well as reverse rendering for Flutter apps.

Surf has been a keen user of Google’s Flutter framework since its release in 2017. With Flutter, they saved 40% of the client’s budget on apps for Rigla, and their Rosbank app was the first in Russia to use Flutter.

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How you intend to create a wallet app, closed, semi-closed, or open, affects how many integrations and, thus, how complex the app is. Integrating with payment providers, technologies like APIs for tracking, or hardware like QR-code scanners requires a certain amount of development effort. Check out their article on estimating mobile app development costs for more information.

Always begin the development of an app by creating a prototype to avoid unexpected expenses. MVPs (minimum viable products) have only the big features for the app. MVPs are great for testing usability, refining interfaces, and showcasing your app concept to investors and partners.

Developer location and team size

The location of your development team largely determines your app’s final price. For example, US developers normally charge an hourly rate of $90, while developers in Eastern European countries charge an hourly rate of $35-40. Because the entire e-wallet software development process is performed remotely, you do not have to restrict the pool of potential talent to your local area.


Today, people prefer to manage their finances from their phones instead of going to the bank, and almost every store accepts cashless payments. The fintech industry is growing fast. These apps bring financial tools to the unbanked in developing countries and make life easier for traditional bank customers.

As digital wallets, including universal payment systems and loyalty programs, gain more popularity, contactless payments are a top fintech trend for 2022. If you want to create an e-wallet app, work with developers with successful fintech projects.

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Surf has been developing mobile applications for banks and crypto trading platforms for over a decade. Fill out the form to get an estimate and talk more about your app. They will get back to you soon.

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