Source: Allied Market Research
Stock trading app development is up, up, up in the FinTech industry, and there are no signs of the trend stopping. Allied Market Research estimates the global online trading platform market at $8.9 billion in 2021 and forecasts to hit $18.4 billion by 2031.
As the pandemic boosted mobile app consumption, online brokers are reaping the benefits. FinTech startup interest in stock trading platform development is currently soaring.
To better understand what it takes to build and own a competitive trading platform, this article, divided into two sections, provides readers with valuable information:
- Essential features (must-have set of features to win over users)
- Development aspects (the ones to deliver complete software product)
We will calculate the approximate cost of stock trading platform development and outline the two common options available for startups to enter the trading market.
Two ways to enter the market with stock trading software
As a FinTech startup, you have two optimal ways to enter the market: 1) off-the-shelf software solutions; 2) custom stock trading app development.
When you choose off-the-shelf software solutions, you buy ready-made trading software from a tech vendor and label it with your brand.
The key advantages of this approach include quick time to market and lower cost compared to bespoke software development.
The disadvantages are:
- The cost (price) might rise over time. (It’s crucial for business owners to keep their variable costs low, but in this case, expenses might increase proportionally to the growth of your monthly active user rate)
- Difficult to customize (or changes are too expensive):
- Too many features and functions (you are paying for redundant functionality)
- Too few features and functions (you can’t provide your target audience with sufficient functionality)
- Support might cease after time
- Risk of integration issues
- You have not control (you have no access to trading software code)
When you choose to enter the market with custom stock trading app development, you face the following core challenges:
- Higher product cost
- Longer time to market
- Absence of a trial product
As the product owner, you define the set of features and functionality of your trading platform, elaborate on a design, choose the best tech stack, and more.
Key advantages of this approach include:
- Control over the development process
- Intellectual property
- Unique, custom-tailored solution
- Solid security
- Continuous updates and support
- Top-notch usability
- Greater flexibility
- Focus on the most valuable features
- Seamless integration
Regardless of the approach you select, make sure you are going to enter the market with a product that possesses the features listed in the next section.
Must-have features of stock trading apps
When building your stock trading application, you must define the features to be included in it.
Below is a list of vital features we highly recommend you add to your app:
The login procedure must be quick and easy. At the same time, users want to be sure their data is secure since your application is handling their finances. The common way to do this is to enable multi-factor authentication (MFA). Or you can adjust biometric safeguards like face ID solutions.
User profile dashboard
This is where users can edit their profiles and configure settings, including security aspects like turning MFA on or off. Consider it the main menu of the application.
Search bar and filters
Let users find sought-for stocks quickly by using the search bar and adjusting filters to enhance accuracy of the results. The number of stocks available in markets is huge. Save your users from endless guess-scrolling.
Information is fundamental to decision making in trading. Newsfeed must deliver the most valuable information concerning the stock market because this affects its movement.
Users need access to both historical and real-time data to perform informed trading. Provide them with access to data charts, stock indicators, figures, and historical benchmarks. Analytics is a way to conduct primary market research. Consider adding a data chart next to the newsfeed as these two information features complement each other.
A watchlist allows users to see real-time stock prices, track their performance, and monitor the most popular stocks. This helps them find good trading opportunities. It’s crucial to allow users to create their watchlists, so your app has to support the edit option.
Limit order helps market makers sell or buy stocks at a specific price. For example, if they own $100 worth of stock and want to sell it for $110, they set their desired limit. Once the desired price becomes available on a market, the order is executed. The point is the stock won’t be sold for a lower price. And vice versa, market makers can set a specific price to buy a stock.
It’s simple yet convenient. This feature allows market makers to save their favorite stocks to a designated folder to find them quickly when needed.
Successful trading is about taking quick action against market movement and asset volatility. Thus, users need to conveniently receive all essential news and data in real time. Push notifications work perfectly here. Keep your notifications short. The message length impacts click rate.
User tips and guides
Elaborate on comprehensive educational resources. Make sure users can find all necessary information about how to use your app. Create a manual document and video guide if possible. Even better, arrange customer support service, if you can. It can be a robot or live chat, email responses, and online call.
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Stock trading platform development scope
So, you decided to build a custom stock trading platform with the help of an outsourcing software company? Good. Now you must set global tasks and goals for the dedicated team. Also, it’s essential to ensure your software provider can deliver what you need.
Hint: To validate the competencies of your potential software provider, check out their rating on independent sources like Upwork, GoodFirms, and Clutch. Also, check out their portfolio, case studies, and testimonials — both text and video.
Type of application
When it comes to development, one of the first things you must decide is your preference for the type of application.
Currently, you have four options:
Besides defining the device platforms, decide on an operating system. For example, you must either decide if your mobile app is going to be compatible with the Android or iOS environment or both. Or choose a cross-platform app to reach a wider audience using both Android and iOS.
Based on your project characteristics, you might want to choose a different tech stack to develop your application.
Prominent software development companies offer the following choices:
- Rest API
- PHP 8 (Symfony LTS)
- NodeJS (Express, NestJs)
- AWS Amplify (AWS Lambda, AppSync, Cognito, S3, CloudWatch, Pinpoint)
- Microservice Architecture
- Docker, Amazon Web Services (EC2, AWS Fargate, CloudFormation, CloudWatch, S3, RDS, Elasticache)
- Automation Testing:
- Functional testing
Also, there is a choice in terms of development of applications for iOS and Android platforms:
- Stripe payments
- Cocoa Pods
- MVP, MVVM
- Java 8
- AndroidX appcompat
- Stripe payments
- MVVM, MVC
- Coroutines, LiveData, DataBinding
Optimization and performance
To win over users, you must provide a high-performance application. Application optimization is the way to achieve this goal. Ensure the app consumes as few resources as possible while supporting its functionality. Poorly written code is a critical barrier here. The only way to overcome this obstacle is to hire experienced developers with hands-on experience writing performance-oriented code.
To win user loyalty, the interface of your stock trading application must be intuitive, interactive, and responsive. Display key trading data using charts, analytics, and a watchlist if screen resolution has sufficient room for all of them. For small screen devices, consider instant access to all other menus, so users can consume your platform’s entire functionality just by tapping them.
Security and project rescue
Online fraud and cybercrimes are evolving fast. To protect your users from account breaches, your stock trading application must adhere to the best practices in data security.
To address the security challenges, software development companies typically apply the following technical remedies:
Pentests on a regular basis
Scripted compliance in continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) accompanied by regular review
Static/dynamic application security testing (SAST/DAST) as part of CI/CD
Regular security review by a human
Encryption at rest (DBs, code, backups) and in transit (HTTPS)
Strict network firewall rules (deny all, allow only required ports to explicit targets) and state-of-the-art web application firewall
Workload security monitoring (for this purpose, implement security operations center)
Segmentation of networks
Single sign-on (SSO) implementation if possible
Anomaly detection based on app metrics
Pro-active alerting based on logs monitoring
However, if your project suffers from cyber attacks, there’s a high risk your product will shut down or will function incorrectly. Therefore, it’s reasonable to initiate a project rescue procedure. In terms of cybersecurity, the procedure covers a security audit and aims to close vulnerabilities, protect networks, secure infrastructure, and improve security processes.
Outsourcing software development providers should deliver flawless trading applications. To achieve this, their QA teams must execute automation testing for bugs, defects, and any other issues. Automation testing compares the expected outcome with the actual one.
Release and marketing
If you have a sufficient marketing budget, use a two-tiered-marketing-campaign approach. The initial campaign should cite the unique value proposition (UVP) and unique selling proposition (USP) and major advantages of going with your specific platform. The idea of the initial marketing campaign is to announce your platform and evoke interest in your app among your target audience. So it should be launched before a product release.
If you are tight on marketing budgets, then start from the second marketing tier. When your stock trading app is ready to market, you can acquire users by offering a ready-made product. At this point, it’s reasonable to try omnichannel marketing first. Comparing the results, you will be able to pick the most efficient channel and direct the budget accordingly.
Similar to the first tier, deliver a persuasive UVP and USP so potential users could distinguish your competitive advantages. If you’re using a subscription monetization model, consider offering free trial periods. Use paid ads and engage trading influencers to promote your stock platforms. Pay attention to user feedback and try to calibrate and upgrade your app accordingly.
How much does it cost to build a stock trading platform?
The cost of building a stock trading application varies significantly. Two basic factors define the price. First, the kind of functionality you want your product to have defines the scope of work. Second, your outsourcing software development provider.
Regarding the second point: providers in different countries have an essential difference in hourly rates for their employees. For instance, the hourly rate of a software engineer can range from $20 to $250.Hiring the cheapest specialist implies a risk you will receive a buggy product. Hiring the most expensive one might be inexpedient.
Companies in the CEE region offer high-quality software development services at affordable prices. Typically, they can deliver a trading application in 5 – 10 months, while the overall cost might vary between $47,500 – $125,000.
As the global online trading platform market surges, more startups are considering entering the FinTech industry. There are time-tested approaches to develop one’s own stock trading platform, but the process requires tackling quite a number of technical, security, and marketing aspects.
It’s crucial for business owners to understand the principles of stock trading and the needs of their potential app users. This helps them design a unique set of features that translates into a competitive advantage. Startups looking for cost-affordable yet high-quality solutions to build their own trading platform can win with outsourcing software development models.