How much does it cost to build a trading platform like Robinhood?

Fintech development is a complex process, given the need to create a software product that will meet all business and technological requirements.

In the previous article,  we discussed the types of trading software and the steps to make it. And now, when we know how to build a trading platform, the next question arises - how much does it cost?

Table of content:

  1. Key features for a trading app
  2. How much does it cost?
  3. Summary with hours and team composition
  4. How much does it cost to build a stock market software in different countries -hourly rate, prices
  5. How to find an outsourcing partner to deliver the app?
  6. Our experience in building trading apps

Key features for a trading app

While developing automated trading software, you need to consider some main features of your application that will make your platform competitive in the market.

Authorization and authentication

While performing the compliance process to security standards, you should include authorization and authentication features in your app. This thing is not only a feature but also a part of the security process.

  • authentication verifies the identity of a user
  • authorization determines access rights to the account and information.

Those two terms sound similar, but they are equally essential in securing applications and data.

Onboarding

Onboarding is the first user's interaction and impression while using your app.

In investment platforms, this feature has one important detail: adding users' bank accounts is a crucial part of the onboarding process. One of the most popular options is integrating with Plaid API. This tool has already become virtual means for securely connecting bank accounts with fintech apps. It would be hard and almost impossible to build a trading app that works with fiat money without Plaid or direct bank integrations.

Profile

Using this feature, users can manage information in their profiles and change settings.

Statistics and Trading Journal

Statistics and Trading Journal are designed to monitor users' activity and analyze trades. Implementing those features in the app will help users improve their trading performance.

The search button allows consumers to navigate through the content of your application easily and quickly. Ensure that search results are helpful and suitable. The users rely on the search feature for specific tasks, so they expect it to work as well as the browser.

Favorites

This option allows users to manage the content they want to save and access it easily and fast.

Dashboard

This tool allows you to visualize the data in a manner of ways. A dashboard helps to track, analyze, monitor, and visually display key metrics while allowing users to interact with data.

Trading

To make selling and buying stocks possible, you need to add payment options to your app. To build an app like Robinhood, we highly recommend considering a payment gateway integration to secure transactions and protect personal data.

Also, it is essential to add a paper trading feature to your app. It is a simulated trade that lets investors practice buying and selling stocks without risking real money.

Robo-advisors

Robo-advisors are digital platforms that provide automated financial planning services and require little human supervision. They are used to optimize passive indexing strategies based on modern portfolio theory.

Newsfeed

Stock trading is based on collecting valuable information since news is very influential on the stock market. For this reason, apps should contain newsfeeds to inform their users about updates in the trading world.

Push and pull notifications

By using push notifications, trading platforms usually provide some  “just-in-time” information, while “pull” notices facilitate access to information by different methods.

For example: push notifications are usually used to inform users with the most relevant information (e.g., information about some changes in the company's work).

And using pull notifications means that the user should interact with some links (e.g., “learn more” tutorials, privacy policy)

Educational page

The application should have resources with tips and guides so that people can enhance their knowledge.

Factors that affect the product cost

Up to the present, fintech has been one of the most dynamic industries, which brings a lot of opportunities for developers and startups. As with any growing industry, it has risks and many factors that make it hard to calculate exact prices.

Firstly, you need to clarify and determine some aspects of the app: the operating system you want to build an app for, the features of the product, and whether the prototype is needed. The price of fintech projects is directly related to the country where software engineers are hired and the type of cooperation between the parties.

After clarifying the factors mentioned, you will need a team to make your app in the other stages. This step will help to calculate the price more precisely.

Stock market software is a complex system. We highly recommend dividing development into 2 stages: Discovery and Development phases.

In the Discovery phase, you will need to clarify the project goals and vision. Our team will help you to identify the risks and get to know the end-user. During this stage, the team will consist of:

  • A business analyst is a member of the team who will determine requirements, analyze the business domain, and deliver data-driven recommendations and reports to stakeholders and executives.
  • A system architect is a specialist who defines the software architecture to comply with technical standards and requirements. They are in charge of implementing, maintaining, and operating these systems.
  • A UX/UI designer is responsible for delivering user experience and providing the design of your app based on research and interviews with users.

This step usually takes about 1-3 weeks.

During the Development Phase, the app's prototype will be converted into a working system that addresses all documented requirements. During this phase, the team will include such specialists:

  • A Project Manager is a person who handles planning, executing, and delegating responsibilities to help organizations achieve their IT goals in a reasonable period.
  • A Software Engineer addresses the entire software development lifecycle. This professional will analyze the needs, design, test, and develop software to meet those needs and requirements.
  • Junior/Middle Fullstack Software Engineers are experts who build the visible part of the app (front-end) and invisible to the user but the most crucial part (back-end). They also write API code and server code and connect with databases.
  • A Quality Assurance engineer is a specialist who finds and fixes a product's bugs before the launch. It’s necessary to include a QA in the team while building trading software to prevent bugs, security issues, and data breaches from happening.
  • A Product Owner is a professional who determines the needs on behalf of the client. It’s important to mention that the clients can act as Product owners.

Professional Ui/UX design is a way to succeed in the highly competitive market

A design team is crucial for developing any app, especially a trading one. UI/UX designers help you create the perfect user experience for your product. They will create a user-friendly interface that will help consumers understand how to use a complex thing like a trading system.

The main task of UI/UX designers is not only to make your website or mobile app look beautiful but also to design an app that will meet all the needs and requirements of the users.

An experienced UI/UX designer can predict the usability issues so they can be fixed and avoided before the development stage. The user experience must be smooth and better than competitors' ones on the market. To achieve this, our professionals define a product, make research and competitors’ analysis, then design and validate your application.

The estimated period for design is 1-2 weeks. Design should be done before the development phase.

Mobile app development: tech stack and preferred technologies

Mobile application development is creating apps that run on and are designed specifically for mobile devices. The process generally involves developing and testing software that utilizes a network connection to work with remote computing resources.

Therefore, the mobile development process consists of creating installable software packages, implementing back-end services such as data access with an API, and testing the application on target devices.

A technology stack for mobile development (the combination of programming languages and products used to create a mobile app) can vary depending on the type of OS (iOS/ Android etc.) In ElifTech, we use Flutter or ReactNative technology to cover different platforms (iOS, Android) with one code base to decrease time-to-market, overall implementation efforts, and in-app discrepancy functionality for different platforms.)

The estimated time is about 6-10 weeks, depending on the features of the app and its complexity.

Admin app Development

Application administration is the process of modifying and maintaining software. App Admins also view and manage user permissions in the application. They can also view and manage user permissions in an application.

Usually, this process takes about 3-4 weeks

Frontend development

Front-end development is a process of building the part of websites and web applications that users see and interact with. Front-end developers usually communicate directly with designers and ensure their work is functional and accessible to the public. They “translate” designs into code by writing CSS to style a website, using HTML to organize content on a page, and using JavaScript or other programming languages to modify the content of an app or website dynamically. Using modern frameworks like VueJS or React enables fast UI/UX and solid implementation speed.

This stage takes approximately 6-10 weeks to complete.

Backend development

Back-end developers create the code for the part of a website that users can't see. This part is responsible for processing sensitive data like biometric information, CVV numbers, etc. Responsibilities of a back-end developer include writing code solutions to problems and integrating new technologies into existing systems. Depending on the system's complexity, we focus on using NodeJS or Golang technologies.

This part of the app development process can take 3-6 weeks.

QA Testing

Quality assurance (QA) is a process whereby an organization seeks to minimize or prevent defects. It encompasses all activities that help ensure a product meets quality standards and requirements. Our team uses the Test-Driven Development approach to eliminate possible defects.

The estimation period depends on project duration (usually, 1/3 of development duration)

Project management

And last but not least, project management. It is a process that incorporates all the activities, methods, skills, and results of an organization to achieve its goals. The purpose is to achieve strategic goals by delivering quality outcomes.

Project managers work on a project throughout its life cycle.

Summary with hours estimate and team composition

Our work on your app does not stop after the development phase. To provide high-level and modern services to your users, the app needs support and maintenance. Let's sum up the team composition and estimation period during the development phase and after.

Phase

Estimation period

Team

Development phase

240-480 hrs/ 1.5- 3 months


PM, Software Engineer, Fullstack Engineer, Frontend/ Mobile Engineer, QA

Bug Fixing and Support



160 hrs/ 1 month with no additional cost


Same development team

Product Support and Maintenance



Depends on business needs

Middle Frontend, Middle Mobile Devs (part-time)  and other team members on demand


Future extensions



Depends on the planned scope and company requirements

PM, Middle Frontend, Middle Mobile, QA and Senior Fullstack Engineer consultancy on demand


How much does it cost to build a stock market software in different countries (hourly rate and prices)

The price of the app depends on the country of development and average rates of workers per hour. For example, average rates for application development:

  • North America – $80- $150 /hr
  • Eastern Europe – $40-$65 /hr
  • Ukraine – $25-$30 /hr

The Ukrainian IT industry is growing dynamically. This country is a great partner if you want to build high-quality apps inexpensively. You can contact us, and we will provide you with all the details of the cooperation.

How to find an outsourcing partner to deliver the app

On the clutch.co website, you can find and compare portfolios of many companies. And here you can find Top Financial Services Custom Software Development Firms, where you can find Eliftech

Our experience in building trading apps

If you have an idea for your app and are ready to bring your stock trading app to the market- we recommend working with a company that works on a turnkey basis. This means that the design, development, and testing of the product will be performed by one team. ElifTech provides such services to build your app from scratch. We have experience in making automated trading platforms. So, if you want to know more about trading software development, do not hesitate to contact us.




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