FinTech apps have been around for years and offer a host of benefits for users. From apps that help users manage their payments to those that track their stock portfolios, there’s a FinTech app for everyone. However, given the way the COVID-19 pandemic has led many people to lose their jobs or at the very least experience a pay cut, financial priorities have drastically changed. As a result, COVID has also had an impact on FinTech.
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FinTech trends during the pandemic have evolved to reflect the financial impact users are facing. User needs have shifted from investing to basically trying to stay afloat, and the types of financial apps and services they are looking for must reflect this new trend. Luckily, FinTech companies have been able to adapt to the current situation their customers are facing and are presented with a whole new opportunity to diversify their products and services to meet current user demands.
So, if you are in the FinTech industry and have an existing app, an idea for a new app, or need some inspiration, here are a few different concepts to help you either design or revamp an application so it caters to the present situation of your target market and can help them during these difficult financial times.
Personal Finance Apps
For those who are looking for a simple and easy way to keep track of their accounts and bills, personal finance apps are the way to go. These types of FinTech applications are often linked to bank and investment accounts in order to help users monitor their earnings, savings, stocks, scheduled bill payments, and where they’ve spent their money so they can stay on top of their finances and be in the green.
When people use their debit or credit cards, it can be easy to lose track of what exactly they are spending their money on. One of the most beneficial features of personal finance apps is their ability to parse out users’ expenditures by category, such as entertainment, dining, utilities, medical bills, and so on. This makes it easy for users to see exactly how much of their monthly income is being allocated toward each area and make adjustments to their budgets.
The bill pay feature included in many of these apps makes meeting upcoming payments hassle-free. Users won’t have to worry about setting calendar reminders for themselves to pay their bills on time and will never have to stress over missed payments. The personal finance app will automatically handle the payment process. Should users prefer to make payments manually, many of these FinTech apps send reminders via text and/or email to ensure the user doesn’t fall behind.
Since FinTech trends during the pandemic have widely changed, companies considering creating a personal finance app should include a range of features, as consumers need simplicity and will likely be seeking a single tool that can help them manage not just monthly bills, but the entirety of their assets so they can make wiser monetary decisions.
A well-rounded personal finance app should offer users the following:
- The ability to link their bank and investment accounts
- The option to pay their bills directly through the app or manually
- Reminder features so users don’t miss payments, which can be linked to their smart phones and emails
- Recommendations for smarter spending habits
If you really want to go the extra mile, consider adding a goal tracker to help users who are trying to make a large purchase, such as an automobile or home, stay on the right path by maximizing their savings and minimizing their spending. You can also add a feature for shared accounts, including those between couples and families. This way, users can set joint goals if they are a couple or goals for their dependents so everyone can make the best possible choices regarding their finances.
Lender Comparison Apps
For people with a lot of debt and/or low credit scores, finding a lender who will offer a decent APR on a credit card, personal loan, auto loan, or mortgage is just as difficult as finding a needle in a haystack. With COVID-19 reducing or even eliminating millions of people’s income, many have fallen behind on their bills and their credit scores have taken a huge hit as a result.
Unfortunately, Uncle Sam waits for no one, even during a pandemic. Although many creditors offered deferral plans that allowed borrowers to postpone their monthly payments, several did not. Even lenders who did offer relief are beginning to cease their deferral offers.
So where does that leave consumers who have amassed debt, but still need to take out new loans? How will they find a lender who is willing to take them on? That’s where a lender comparison app comes into play.
A lender comparison app gathers data from various lenders and presents them to the user so they can see all their available options without having to do extensive research on their own. These apps work by collecting some basic information from the user, such as their current debt amount, regular expenses such as utility bills, the amount the user wants to borrow, and their credit score range. The apps then pull up the best lending opportunities based on those factors and their likelihood of approval.
These types of FinTech apps have a lower level of complexity because they don’t actually require the user’s social security number. Instead, by working with a credit score range, the user’s personal data remains secure.
Budgeting and Debt Management Apps
Some consumers may not be looking to obtain a new credit card or loan, but they still may find themselves in debt and unable to manage it on their own. For some people, this is the first time they’ve even had to deal with debt, and are in a state of panic because they don’t know what to do or how to get out of it. Some are even considering bankruptcy because they’ve amassed so much debt that they feel as there is no way out of it. Budgeting and debt management apps are the perfect solution because they take the pressure of trying to manage finances off the individual, providing them with different tactics to reduce monthly expenses and chip away at their debt little by little.
There are dozens of tools that can be included in a budgeting or debt management app. One popular tool is a monthly expense tracking system where the user inputs all their monthly bills and any other expenses. The software then suggests ways in which the user can reduce their spending, such as by eliminating unnecessary expenses like dining out or shopping, and how much they can expect to save by making these minor changes.
Another great tool is a debt repayment calculator. This tool works by analyzing the user’s total debt, broken down by credit card or loan, and suggesting which debts to pay off first to reduce the user’s interest payments and become debt free at a much faster rate than if they were to pay the minimum that is due each month. The tool might also suggest the user increase the amount they pay on certain cards or loans or that they make multiple small payments throughout the month to accelerate the payoff date.
If you are thinking about creating a budgeting or debt management app, it would be customary to focus on the target audience you want to appeal to and what features they are most likely to find relevant. However, because the pandemic has affected the workforce equally, regardless of age, it’s likely that everyone is looking for the same types of financial management tools to assist them during these trying times. Still, keep that in mind because your app may just as likely be downloaded by a 20-year-old as it would by a 60-year-old, try to keep the tools as simple and user-friendly as possible so that every user can easily navigate and understand them.
Cashback and Reward Apps
These days, everyone is looking for any opportunity to save money. Even if it’s just a few cents here and there, those small triumphs add up. For that reason, it’s no wonder why cashback and reward apps are one of the hottest FinTech trends during the pandemic.
Apps like Ibotta, Checkout 51, RetailMeNot, and Coupons gather deals from some of the top stores where people shop and make them easily accessible from a single platform — no coupons needed. They also offer cashback opportunities that accrue the more the user purchases from those retailers either directly through the apps or by uploading a receipt from in-store purchases.
Beyond regular shopping, some of these apps also provide assistance with finding gasoline stations that offer the lowest prices and cashback rewards for those who choose to pump gas at the stations the apps suggest. Others also offer rewards for dining out or even for using a food delivery service. Some apps even offer rewards for hotel stays.
On average, users can earn a minimum of $20 per month with cashback and reward apps, but the amount can vary depending on how much and how often the user shops at the partner stores and restaurants affiliated with these apps. Additionally, many of these apps even provide bonuses for referring a friend.
If you are considering building a cashback or rewards app, consider including a mix of top franchises, like Target and Walmart, and local stores that are frequented by users in their respective areas. However, because these apps offer a mutual benefit for both the app creators and the businesses they partner with, it might also be a good idea to include some lesser-known stores to help them boost their business. In turn, those businesses might provide great reviews or even a commission as thanks for bringing them new clients.