How Much Does It Cost to Build a Basic Trading Application?

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In recent years, investing has advanced rapidly as more investment platforms have embraced the digital era. Stock trading is no longer a niche activity limited to seasoned brokers and Wall Street experts. It has gained the same status as cryptocurrency trading.

Online trading platforms have become efficient tools for brokers and traders in today’s dynamic market. Users can buy and sell stocks, bonds, currencies, futures, and other assets using trading apps. Trading platforms provide the entire trading experience, including a variety of trading tools, several bid kinds, charting, news feeds, and data analysis. Successful strategies for the market players depend on the robust online trading platform.

Trading platform development

As market needs continue to rise, IT firms are now developing trading platforms for individual and business use. But before companies decide to build a trading app, they must understand the procedure and evaluate the project’s cost.

The process of creating excellent trading software is challenging. These products must meet industry and security standards, offer a fantastic user experience, present a wide range of functions, and perform at a high level. Custom software development, however, can handle this task.

Whether you are a trader, an investor, or a fintech start-up looking to build your online trading application, it’s essential to remember that we live in an age of constant innovation. Therefore, developing an excellent platform that matches the market’s high expectations could take a lot of work.

This article will outline the development process of the stock trading platform and its associated costs. We’ll also highlight trading app benefits and ways to monetize it.

State of the market

According to Fortune Business Insights, the market value of automated trading software is currently $8.6 billion and is projected to reach $12.16 billion by 2028. It makes perfect sense for financial organizations to invest in a bespoke trading application, given that these statistics indicate an upward trend in the development of trading software.

Early in 2021, the number of users increased sharply, peaking at nearly nine million in May 2021, the Statista data shows. The media attention given to retail investors, who typically use trading apps, may have driven the timing of this popularity surge. In the niche, Robinhood is by far the most well-known eTrading app in the US in terms of monthly active users, with 7.3 million.

What is a trading application?

An online system called a trading application is made to make it simpler to buy and sell on trading platforms, monitor and update investment portfolios, and make strategic decisions. Automated trading systems are appropriate for long-term investments and short-term transactions and allow users to maintain control at all times.

Investors can purchase and sell stocks directly from their smartphones using stock trading software for the financial industry. A stock trading application should be used for something other than day-to-day transactions. Still, it should enable users to monitor the status of their portfolios daily and keep an eye on market changes by giving them access to up-to-date data on share prices, market capitalization rankings, and sector performance.

Financial experts’ trading applications frequently share features with consumer finance apps, including banking, portfolio management, and cryptocurrency trading apps.

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How do trading apps work?

Due to our technological age, your order can be filled in seconds when you buy or sell within an e-trading platform. Let’s examine the operation of a stock trading app.

  • You place an order with your online broker after logging in.
  • The order is then kept in a database after that.
  • The database looks through every trade market and gets you the best price.
  • Both sides are informed after the deal successfully matches the seller and buyer.
  • The order and the price are visible to every investor.
  • E-trading records the trade-in history if it becomes necessary to research previous transactions.
  • The technology also transmits a contract to the broker who bought the shares and those who sold them.

How to monetize a trading app?

Once you have chosen to develop a trading application, your priority will be figuring out how to make money from it. Getting profit should be the primary goal while developing trading software, which should happen naturally due to providing customers with value. There are many ways to monetize your trading app, and you should consider the following strategies.

Transactions

According to Bloomberg, this monetization strategy is “paying for order flow.” Essentially, you get a little share of each transaction you forward to a market maker.

Interest and fees

Trading applications of today let users borrow money or securities at predetermined interest rates. Requiring a modest membership fee to access trading can be an excellent method to monetize your trading software. However, keep the sign-up procedure free and allow users to get stock market knowledge. To ensure you stay within a reasonable range, consider your competitors’ fees before setting commissions for any transaction.

Freemium concept

Paid subscriptions provide an additional method of funding a trading app. With this model, you can restrict access to some sophisticated features to paid subscribers only.

In-app advertising

One of the traditional methods of generating income using an app is in-app advertising. The app developers may charge to play or display advertisements from other service providers on their stock market investment app. Advertising, however, can become annoying to the user experience with trading apps, which can turn users away from your platform. So, use the following ad styles for trading apps wisely: Banner ads, Pre-roll video ads, Native ads, and Rewarded video ads.

Sell financial products

Various financial products, including mutual funds, gold ETFs, insurance, and other money security packages, can be sold to customers to increase revenue.

Trading applications market research

Always begin the creation of stock trading software with thorough research. Find out the platform you want to use as a starting point. If you wish to create prop trading software, concentrate on your product’s desktop version. Focus on mobile devices if you are going to develop a commercial application (Android and iOS). A cross-platform application might also be created to cut down on development costs.

Prop platform traders work in brokerage firms, which implies they spend more time on their computers. On the other hand, individual traders will probably trade on their phones and tablets. Therefore, you must determine your trading app’s target market to create a user-friendly platform for them. Create a marketing plan and monetization strategies after selecting the best platform to ensure the trading app is profitable.

Stages of trading application development

Due to its complexity, a deep knowledge of the trading process and market behavior is essential for creating an online trading and investment app. It also depends on the business you pick to develop such cutting-edge apps. Working with a trading app development company that has the support of stock market app developers is highly encouraged.

Any web application’s development process begins with the discovery phase. Depending on the application’s complexity, this phase could last anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks. A product’s concept is evaluated, then transformed into a business plan and a roadmap for its development. Experts gather all the data and establish the app’s functionality, design philosophy, and user journey.

The phase of discovery was created to analyze all customer-side needs that are currently known properly and to estimate implementation-related work.

Based on the analysis, you will create an RFP containing an architecture approach, technology stack, task breakdown and estimation, team structure, and an approximate project budget and timeline. 

After you hire trading app developers, the actual implementation can begin. The phase we are discussing now is the development phase. How much does it cost to produce an online trading application, then? Check out the example below.

Assume we will create a web application enabling anyone to sell and buy securities, such as stocks, gold, and currencies.

Trading web applications should therefore enable: user accounts creation, perform financial operations like topping up account balances to trade or withdraw money using a range of integrations (Skrill, bank account, etc.), and engage in trading. These operations enable functionality like transaction history and user activity. This is the most challenging aspect of a web application since, in addition to Buy/Sell buttons, it must also enable WebSocket streaming, allow for the setting of various trade indicators, and be highly secure to prevent fraud and data theft.

The creation of stock trading software involves numerous essential processes. For the most significant outcome, ELITEX offers a quality service as a trustworthy trading app development partner.

Our dedicated development team divides the project into backend creation (including data structure) and frontend development since we need excellent tools for WebSockets and chart display. In general, the final component is the infrastructure that needs to handle heavy loads brought on by numerous client requests; as a result, it needs to incorporate some streaming services.

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Technology stack estimates

  • Cloud Provider: GCP
  • Backend: GCP Postgres (SQL), Cloud Run, NodeJS, WebSocket server library, and GCP Redis
  • Frontend: GoJS for graphics, WebSocket client library, and React.js

User interface design. Visual analytics is a critical component of trading apps. The line and bar charts, candlesticks, and other graphs are all considered by our UI designers. Their job is to use graphic and material design elements to translate those ground-breaking concepts into a visual representation. 

For usability studies or as proof of concept, the UI/UX designer may be able to produce a dynamic prototype. The logic of how the components of the stock trading app interact is also being created at this stage of development.

Development stage

At this stage, the code is written by the programmers. This is the element of developing bespoke trading software that is fundamental. Your developers should evaluate the designs at this point and translate them into code. Engineers can utilize programming languages like Javascript for front-end development. Technologies like Python, .Net, and Ruby can work their magic on the back end.

Always choose programming languages and tech stacks based on the skill level of your developers and the resources at your hands. Highly qualified engineers can also assist you in selecting the best third-party APIs to incorporate into the platform to boost security and performance.

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How long does it take to create a trading application?

It typically takes around 850 hours to create a stock trading application in the finance industry. However, it is possible to develop stock trading software for the financial industry in as little as 400 hours or as much as 1,400 hours. The exact timetable largely depends on how complex your application is. The app development will take longer if you need a complex individual design, many sophisticated features, and advanced functionality.

App backend development

Developing data structures (SQL entities and relations between them)3 days
Backend REST API to handle user requests such as account creation, money withdrawals, and balance topping up, and interfaces with various payment systems – at least two at the moment1.5 months
A WebSocket server that streams data back and forth from/to a merchant exchange service and manages user trading transactions from a web chart2.5 months
Frontend: REST API for basic CRUD operations2 weeks
Open/close trading positions and load specified securities data for various timeframes: these are operations with a WebSocket server2 months
Trading chart development (indicators, candle displays)2 months
Two weeks are needed for each payment system integration. Since we will have at least two payment methods, the answer is four weeks4 weeks
Infrastructure: Development of the deployment procedure over two weeksConfiguration of Redis, Postgres, Cloud Run, and Pub/Sub3 weeks
System troubleshooting and stabilization3 weeks

Please note that the estimation above accounts for implementation and excludes testing and bug fixing. In a desirable scenario, testing and application stabilization should contribute at least 30% to the development time.

Regarding team structure for trading app development, the following would be ideal to have:

  • One full-time backend engineer
  • One full-time frontend engineer
  • One part-time QA engineer
  • One project manager – part-time
  • One part-time DevOps engineer

In terms of timing, an application would require 6+ months to build, including one month for testing and stabilization, considering the development team structure previously indicated and the task breakdown.

Application testing

To establish the correct performance, QA experts perform comprehensive testing on various platforms and gadgets. It would be best if you guaranteed technical support, troubleshooting, and regular upgrades after releasing the software to marketplaces.

Employ QA specialists to perform end-to-end testing for each product before the release to prevent legal action and customer anger. Make that the software infrastructure is free of bugs and impervious to DDoS attacks.

Deployment and maintenance

Once your app is functional, it is time to step up your marketing efforts. Make marketing awareness campaigns to tell your target market about the product’s advantages. Pay close attention to and clearly express the distinctive value proposition of your platform in the marketing pitch.

After creating buzz, you can launch your trading platform on the cloud. You will still need to process customer comments and carry out updates once the product goes live to keep the system functioning.

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Cost of developing a trading app

So how much does it cost to design a stock trading app? We now look at the overall timing for a complete development cycle, including a finished prototype, UI/UX design, versions for Android and iOS, and testing. A team of 6 people will put in roughly 40 hours of work to create a trading application with an average amount of functionality.

The project’s budget is based on hourly rates. The total cost, however, can range from $25,000 to over $100,000. A trading platform for the financial industry with fewer functions will have a lower cost than an app with all of the desired capabilities.

Factors influencing stock trading app cost

Several aspects must be taken into account to estimate the price of developing a trading app. So, we have gathered the main elements that influence how much it costs to design an app listed below.

  • The concept behind the app
  • App’s features and capabilities
  • App’s level of complexity: basic, intermediate, or advanced
  • The operating system of choice for app launch
  • Technology and APIs utilized in the creation of apps
  • App testing and quality assurance for UI/UX design

The back-end and front-end development

The cost to build an app will mostly depend on the application’s front and back end. Your choice of technologies and frameworks will influence these costs. There are two methods to pick from when discussing the backend of a stock trading app: monolithic and microservice. Although Monolith is significantly more cost-effective, a Microservice backend has the potential to make your application highly scalable and long-lasting.

As an in-depth trading procedure and understanding of market behavior are involved, developing an online stock trading and investment app entails several complications. Additionally, the price of developing such cutting-edge software depends on the app development business you select.

The constraints presented by the law will be less challenging to overcome if your firm is permitted and you wish to enter the market. However, if your business is brand-new, you must consider the legal implications first.

  • Obtain a license from the regulatory organization in the nation where the trading platform is located.
  • Join regulatory organizations like SIPC and FINRA and investor protection programs to boost credibility.
  • Protect users and their funds via multi-factor authentication, enhanced encryption, AI-powered fraud prevention, and other security technologies. 
  • Comply with the PSD2 Directive and other regulations to protect consumers’ sensitive data.

Trading application benefits

You should be aware of the top advantages of the stock trading app as we talk about everything related to the price of developing it. Below are a few reasons why trading on online platforms is so advantageous.

Availability. A wide variety of financial solutions are available through online trading. You can discover what your target audience needs, whether a professional or individual trader.

It attracts a lot of investors. The number of investors using stock trading apps is rising quickly in the modern world. Since these apps are quick, secure, and offer simple transactions and real-time updates, investors prefer using stock trading apps to invest in the stock market. Users can rapidly check their targeted shares whenever they want, from any location, and make significant gains.

Great control. Users can access the exchange, monitor all operations, and take immediate control from their e-trading dashboard.

Suitability. The market for internet trade is expanding quickly and offering opportunities for firms to make money. These days, you may create an e-trading solution with a sleek user interface and a bevy of features to assist you in creating wealth from scratch.

Margins of profit. Enterprise owners can save costs by using e-trading platforms. Running a business doesn’t need renting office space or bringing more staff. You should create e-trading software and then advertise it.

Reduced transaction costs. The e-trading platform’s users conduct transactions from their accounts. Therefore, hiring additional staff to handle orders is no longer necessary.

User-centric approach. By learning about users’ objectives, philosophies, and risk tolerance, e-trading platforms may offer highly customized services to them, increasing user engagement.

24/7 operations. You can execute transactions or carry out other functions whenever and wherever you please because access to your e-trading site is available around-the-clock, every day of the week.

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Hire app developers highly experienced in the fintech industry

As the financial sector environment evolves, customer knowledge and awareness of the quality of the goods and services rise, enabling businesses to better serve their clients by offering more savvy guidance and fintech solutions.

Although creating trading software is challenging and complex, it may also be highly profitable. You need a trustworthy trading app development partner who will take into account all of your goals and niche demands if you want the development of high-quality software to be truly effective.

Building a productive trading application requires careful consideration of every detail and a systematic approach throughout the development cycle. As a custom software development company, we design trading applications under the highest standards and use powerful and modern technologies. Our IT experts also have a good understanding of the stock market’s specifics, thanks to our experience in the fintech industry.

Do you have a concept for an online trading platform and are looking to hire app developers in Ukraine? Our engineers are skilled in many areas, including backend development, artificial intelligence, automation, UX/UI design, and mobile app development. We guarantee both the affordability of our services and the high-quality end product. Contact us now, and your trading app creation will start swiftly.

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