How to Build a P2P Payment App for Your Business?

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Our lives have become a lot easier with mobile payment apps. As our society changes, we depend more and more on services like peer-to-peer (P2P) payment apps. This sort of app enables seamless, secure, and convenient transfer of funds, eliminating the need for cash or traditional banking methods. The question of P2P payment app development, in that regard, is a game-changer for financial companies and organizations.

P2P payment apps have quickly made their way into consumers’ daily lives. According to Consumer Reports research, almost 65% of consumers actively utilize P2P payment services, and the younger generation can no longer imagine living without them. Compared to 10 years ago, a lot of people just try to avoid using cash operations or check systems to complete payments. It is the key factor driving their increased interest in peer-to-peer payment apps. P2P applications have become a top-notch and trustworthy money transfer method.

In this article, we will guide you through the process of creating your own payment app for your business. We’ll delve into the critical aspects of development, from concept to deployment, and provide you with practical tips for each stage. If you are ready to embark on this exciting journey of payment P2P app development tailored to your specific business needs, let’s dive in and explore the essential steps and considerations to bring your vision to life.

What is a P2P payment application?

What is a P2P payment app?

A P2P payment application is software that acts as an intermediary to help customers send and receive money from their bank account to another account directly from their smartphones or other devices. These applications typically link to a user’s bank account, credit card, or digital wallet, facilitating the processing of the transactions and transferring the funds between two parties.

Examples of popular P2P payment apps include PayPal, Zelle, WeChat, AliPay, Cash App, Google Pay, and thousands of others. Nowadays, you can find an example of such sort of application for real-time payments in almost every corner of the world, used as a payment method on most digital commercial platforms. The concept of rapid, cross-border payments with simple on-ramps and off-ramps completely reshaped the perception of financial institutions. Instant settlements, regardless of your location and the time of the day, are a new reality.

Key market development figures

The growing importance and widespread adoption of P2P payment apps are facts that are hard to overlook. The increasing integration of P2P apps with e-commerce platforms, as well as the rise of digital wallets, drive a shift towards a more seamless and frictionless payment experience, which is proven by the numbers we see.

P2P payments market

According to Statista, the latest research showed that 47% of participants used direct money transfer services, compared to an estimated 27.9% six years earlier. And there are no indicators that we will see significant changes in this upward trend. To get a better understanding of what it is all about, let’s check the numbers. The global P2P payment market was worth almost $2 trillion yearly at the beginning of the decade and is predicted to reach nearly $10 trillion by 2030.

Although the P2P app development sphere is rapidly growing and highly promising, there are still some nuances you should know before starting to plan your own app. The market continually evolves, driven by tech advancements and changing consumer behaviors. As the volume of the peer-to-peer transactions market grows, new sophisticated approaches and solutions, as well as complicated features, are necessary to succeed.

P2P apps: business models

P2P payment apps employ numerous business models to generate revenue and sustain their operations. However, use cases vary from P2P to P2M (where M stands for Merchant) and beyond. The P2M model, closely related to P2P, has simplified transactions for freelancers, small business owners, and service providers like hairdressers, gym trainers, food deliveries, etc. The app is allowing them to grow their business. Additionally, the P2M partnerships in P2P apps are also a popular feature, blurring the lines between P2P and P2M applications.

Monetization models for P2P payment apps

The future potential of P2P apps includes expanding into investment products, remittances, payment cards, and other wealth-building tools to enhance the financial experience and make money management delightful. However, when it comes to the modern business and monetization models used by P2P apps, the most popular of them include the following:

  • Transaction fees: a small percentage or a fixed fee on each transaction conducted through the platform, generating revenue based on the volume and value of transactions processed;
  • In-app purchases: Some apps offer additional features, premium services, or value-added benefits for a fee.
  • Additional financial services: P2P apps can expand the list of their services to include peer-to-peer lending, microloans, or, basically, investment opportunities;
  • Partnerships and advertising: peer-to-peer payment apps can enter into partnerships with third-party providers, such as insurance companies, utility service providers, or e-commerce platforms, in order to offer value-added services to users;
  • Data analytics and insights: P2P apps can leverage user data to provide insights and analytics to businesses or market research firms. By anonymizing and aggregating user data (in the best-case scenario), the app can offer information on consumer behavior or trends, charging fees for access to these insights;
  • White-label solutions: Some apps offer white-label solutions, allowing businesses or financial institutions to customize and rebrand the app for the specific needs of third-party companies. The app provider charges licensing fees or revenue-sharing arrangements with partners;
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Main types of P2P apps

The main types of p2p payment apps can be categorized based on their primary functionality as well as their target audience. However, it’s worth noting that the boundaries between the following categories sometimes blur, as many P2P payment apps offer different combinations of features to cater to different user needs. Additionally, new types of P2P may emerge as the market involves and technology advances, especially when it comes to alternative means of payment.

Standalone merchant apps

Airfox, PayPal Zettle, Venmo, Square Cash, Alipay, M-Pesa, etc., are examples of this type of P2P and P2M payment apps independent of banking institutions, making them free to set rules and policies of their own. Sometimes, they are also called non-bank platforms. Venmo is a leading organization in this category, covering 57.5% of the market. Their Wallet features allow users to safely keep and manage their funds in the app before moving to bank accounts. 

Bank-centric solutions

Bank-centric P2P applications are typically developed with traditional banks or financial institutions. Examples of apps with bank-centric initiatives include Popmoney, Dwolla, clearXchange, Chase QuickPay, Bank of America’s Zelle, Citi Pay, and many more. The banking entity’s involvement is necessary to make money transfers via credit/debit cards. Bank-centric applications leverage the existing infrastructure and customer base of the respective financial institutions, allowing them to quickly transfer funds between accounts within the same bank or across different banks; however, in the second case, it may not be as fast as with standalone apps.

Social media platforms

There are two possible scenarios regarding social media platforms: payment features may be integrated into an existing platform (Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, Instagram, etc.), or the platforms resort to separate P2P payment app development (WeChat Pay, Line Pay, KakaoPay). The choice, in this case, will depend on the platform’s strategic goals, user behavior, regulatory considerations, and the competitive landscape. While the integrated features provide users with a seamless money transfer experience, the separated, or let’s say, transitional from standalone to social media payment tools are aimed to have broader functionality while still using social media connections. 

Mobile wallets

While not exclusively P2P payment apps, mobile wallets like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay often incorporate peer-to-peer functionality alongside contactless payments (NFC) at physical stores. Recently, a lot of mobile wallets have also expanded, including additional transfer options, such as online payments in taxi services, e-commerce platforms, etc. 

Peer-to-peer payment app examples

Let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular P2P payment apps that have revolutionized the way we send and receive money. Venmo, PayPal, and Cash App have gained immense popularity due to their convenience, user-friendly interfaces, and additional features that enhance the overall customer experience. Whether you need to split bills with friends, pay back a loan, or make secure transactions, these apps offer a range of functionalities to meet your needs.

Venmo

Venmo brings a social element to traditional P2P payment solutions. The application offers a simple and intuitive UI, making navigating and initiating transactions easier. Users can link their bank accounts and credit/debit cards to their Venmo account for seamless fund transfers as well as receive Venmo’s physical debit card.

The main feature of the app is considered a social feed that allows users to view, like, and comment on their friends’ payment activities, adding a social aspect to the app. Additionally, Venmo has expanded its capabilities to integrate with selected merchants, enabling users to make in-app purchases directly from participating merchants.

Cash App

Cash App, developed by Block, Inc. (form. Square), is a P2P payment app that focuses on simplicity and ease of use combined with a great user experience. This app offers a wide range of features far beyond the basic list of money transfer services, catering to both personal and business needs.

Basically, Cash App enables users to make instant transfers by simply entering the recipient’s $cashtag, phone number, or email address. The app allows users to link their debit cards or bank accounts to their Cash App account or use the customizable Cash Card (a physical debit card that can be ordered via the application). Also, the app has a large number of additional features, such as cryptocurrency trading, boosts (discounts system at selected merchants), direct deposits system, business accounts with analytical tools, etc.

PayPal

The story of PayPal is an illustrative example of how to build a P2P payment app that will change the world. Nowadays, it’s probably the most well-known and widely used P2P money transfer app globally. It offers a secure platform for both internal and cross-border transactions in multiple currencies just by entering the mobile number or email address of the recipient. 

PayPal doesn’t reinvent the wheel; although PayPal doesn’t chase the trends, the main emphasis on both parties’ protection and one-touch checkout is the key to the app’s success. Additionally, the app provides a “Request Money”  feature, one-touch checkout, seller tools, and other functionalities that made PayPal a household name in the payment industry.

Peer-to-peer payment apps trends

P2P payment apps continue to evolve, driven by various industry trends. It’s important to remember that P2P payment apps can hardly be called a separate industry, so some trends and tendencies are typical rather for the whole digital payments industry than specifically for P2P.

P2P payment app trends

First of all, we can see an expanding list of available financial services. P2P payment apps enhance functionality, offering services far beyond basic money transfers. Bill payments, a wide range of P2M integrations, investment options, microloans, budget management tools, cryptocurrencies, and many other financial services are being added to P2P payment apps in order to provide users with a comprehensive financial ecosystem within a single app.

On the technical side, it’s important to note that P2P payments are moving to mobile apps more year by year. So, we can see that P2P payment apps migrate to mobile-first design and architecture solutions. Security and data privacy issues remained the primary concern of the financial sector. And, of course, most developers try to do their best to eliminate these problems. 

New technologies also have a significant impact on P2P payment apps. Although blockchain, decentralized transactions, and biometric authentication aren’t know-how nowadays, many companies still develop these features to expand their payment applications. Artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms are increasingly leveraged to detect and prevent fraud and provide users with valuable insights and analytics while integrating Internet of Things (IoT) devices allows a seamless and convenient payment experience.

Social component of the peer-to-peer payment applications

Another noticeable tendency is the rapid growth of the social element of P2P payment apps. While the primary purpose of P2P payment app development is to facilitate funds transfers, at some point, developers have recognized the importance of incorporating as many social features as they can. 

Both gamification and socialization of the money transfer process can significantly enhance customer engagement and foster a sense of community between users. This trend may include social feeds or activity systems, the ability to split bills and expenses, request payments, or just collectively contribute for birthday gifts, enhancing the communication between active users. At the same time, we also see, in a sense, the opposite trend, where social media and messengers develop their own payment systems, eliminating the need for switching between apps. 

11  Features to create a P2P payment app

Must-have features for developing a P2P payment app

Custom P2P payment app development requires careful consideration of various features to add to your project. From user registration and money transactions to security measures and personalized settings, each element plays a pivotal role in shaping the functionality and effectiveness of the app. So, let’s identify a minimal set of features required to create a small yet comprehensive application.

User registration and profile management

Firstly, you must allow users to register and create their unique profiles, where users can add personal information, contact details, and preferred payment methods. Additionally, you need to create a user’s cabinet with additional features we will discuss later.

Fund transfer system

The core task of any payment application is the ability to transfer money. Users should be able to easily receive and send funds to other users, bank cards, merchants, and digital wallets and process any kind of real-time instant payments. This point also involves integrating existing payment gateways or developing a new one from scratch.

Security measures and legislative compliance

Implementing robust security measures, including encryption protocols, two-factor authentication (including biometric recognition), as well as a reliable protection system for sensitive data, is a top priority task for any developer in the sphere.

Customer support

Any payment application requires a responsive customer support system to address user queries and issues, providing assistance related to transactions or account management. In this case, both the customer and admin sides should be developed, and certain features like chatbots should be added.

Databases

Building robust databases is a critical component of any payment app development process. Besides backup, disaster recovery, and performance optimization, efficient databases may easily allow your app to provide users with bills, invoices, and statements of accounts.

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Social features

The application needs to foster a sense of community by incorporating a social component allowing users to interact with their contacts, such as viewing payments, leaving comments, splitting bills, sharing expenses, messaging features, etc. Together with the game components (the system of achievements, microgames, etc.), it can give your app a competitive edge in a rapidly evolving market.

Transaction History

Most of the modern P2P payment applications provide users with a comprehensive transaction history, including details about dates, amounts, recipient information, and other information about the transfer. Transaction history, combined with budget management tools and analytical spending reports, can be a helpful tool for users to keep track of their financial activities.

Additional financial services

In addition to core functionality and must-have features, many P2P payment apps are expanding their options list to include additional services. Services, such as P2M payments, microloans, cryptocurrencies, currency exchange, investment tools, and stock trading tools, aim to provide users with a comprehensive financial ecosystem within the single app.

Notifications

Implement real-time push notifications to keep users informed about transaction statuses, application updates, payment requests, and account changes.

Integration with digital wallets and third-party APIs

Allow users to link their P2P payment app with popular digital wallets like Apple Pay or Google Pay, providing them with more payment options. Also, integrating third-party bank or P2P systems APIs may significantly simplify interbank and international transfers.

Personalized settings

Provide users with robust customization utilities, such as notification preferences, security settings, and profile management features, allowing them to tailor the app journey to their preferences.

How to develop a P2P payment app?

The question “What is the next most critical need for the customer?” should be the primary focus while developing essential features of your P2P money transfer app. Most of the elements above are definitely a good solution for your application; however, let’s try to look wider at our task.

P2P payment app development process

Every industry in the world is complete once they tie social elements. Social integration is what makes your software valued in millions. No matter what it is, every product must have this social element so that it all seems fluid and like a natural extension of yourself. The trends and particular features mentioned above are not constant. The more exciting and engaging your app is in the eyes of your target audience, the higher the chance of success.

Regarding transactions, it is a challenging task, and the only way to succeed is to be passionate about the tiniest details. Needless to say, developing the transaction system itself requires considerable expertise and technical skills. At the same time, the excellent software you build should only have user-centric features and functionalities, and real success is always about the perfect balance between tech-savvy and user-centric approaches.

P2P payment app development is currently one of the major requirements in numerous countries. The Pacific coast of Asia, Eastern European countries, and Latin America may seem the most rapidly developing regions in these terms. It should be said that users’ preferences in these countries are markedly different from what we used to see. Checking the use cases of fintech app development from offshore regions before starting work on your own project is also a good idea.

Aspects requiring exceptional efforts

P2P payment app development aspects that require additional attention
  • The safety and security provided by AI, RPA, Blockchain trends, and tech wonders are necessary. Data security is of the utmost importance to e-wallets and P2P apps. 
  • User Interface: add a pleasant design that is engaging and quite easy to navigate to users regardless of their previous experience. Icons, images, copy, and CTA are all about being personalized. 
  • Personalized AI Recommendations: custom insights and analysis for every user should be based on their personal preferences. User behavior is different, and with the proper artificial intelligence integration, e-wallets can study and classify purchases, track spending, analyze budgets, and more to offer useful insights. 
  • Performance and Interaction. End-to-end financial payment handling implies smooth and seamless functioning, no bugs, and easy assimilation with credit cards, bank accounts, bills, tickets, and all kinds of wearable devices. 
  • It is essential to make your users stay, and creating various app-based programs for Loyalty and Rewards will work for that. Cashback, reward points, goodies, and freebies, together with social components, will make your users fall in love and be devoted.

How to build a P2P payment app: 11 key steps

Building a fintech product with a clear objective in mind is crucial for success. Understanding the market trends and incorporating relevant features is essential to meet the user’s needs; however, the specificity of your app may significantly vary depending on the target market and the audience.

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The process of P2P payment app development can be broken down into 11 main steps, which may seem complex initially but can be simplified with careful planning and execution. These steps include:

  1. Everything begins with defining the app type, purpose, and scope. Clearly articulate the objectives of the app and potential development scope.
  2. Conduct market research by analyzing the market landscape, your potential competitors, and user expectations. Identify key opportunities, challenges, and areas of differentiation.
  3. Plan the app’s architecture and decide upon the list of features you want to offer your target users. Create a comprehensive plan that aligns with the app’s objectives. Additionally, you should choose the most suitable tech stack for your project. 
  4. Create your own or find a custom software development team with deep expertise in this field compatible with the tech stack chosen at the planning stage. 
  5. Design your app. Mind that every single detail in UI/UX is essential. Create wireframes and mockups to visualize your concept. Pay special attention to the intuitiveness of navigation and seamless user journey.
  6. Develop the core structure of your application. Build the infrastructure and back/front end of your application. Focus on building a robust application for mobile platforms. 
  7. Integrate payment gateways from trusted service providers. Collaboration with such kinds of companies enables secure and efficient fund transfers between users. Also, integrate other necessary third-party APIs and SDKs for seamless integration of payment functionalities into your app.
  8. Implement reliable security features. Pay utmost attention to security issues and build a robust data security system by incorporating industry-standard encryption protocols and fraud detection algorithms. Also, pay attention to compliance with data protection regulations and local regulating laws.
  9. Testing and fixing bugs. Running a thorough QA analysis to identify and fix any bugs, usability issues, or security vulnerabilities before delivering the app to the market is essential. 
  10. Launch, deploy, and promote your app. Publish your app on relevant app stores, such as Apple App Store or Google Play Store. Adhere to respective submission guidelines and leverage effective marketing strategies to promote the project.
  11. Gather first user feedback and iterate. Encourage users to provide feedback and monitor user behavior within the app. Collect insights, conduct UX research, and make iterative improvements to enhance functionality, performance, and overall user experience.

Remember to stay updated with the latest industry trends, security practices, and customer preferences to evolve and improve your application over time continuously. Regular updates based on user feedback and market dynamics will allow you to provide users with a valuable and seamless payment experience.

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How much does it cost to create a P2P payment app?

The cost of P2P payment app development varies significantly based on several factors, including the app’s complexity, added features and functionalities, the development platform, the tech stack, the team’s location and expertise, and the overall development timeline. Typically, developing a simple app with basic features (let’s say, the minimum set of functions) through the entire development cycle, as a rough estimate, can range from $70,000 to $150,000. 

However, we are talking about a very basic app with minimal functionality. The development of additional advanced features, such as complex databases, cryptocurrency integrations, or stock trading options, can increase the cost of your app. Of course, we aren’t talking about a full-scale trading platform development; we’re just adding several simple side features to the app’s core functionality. In this case, more complex apps with advanced features can easily exceed a $150,000 budget and go up to several hundred thousand (you should additionally consider the marketing and advertising expenses).

Hiring a skilled development team or agency to handle these tasks is another factor to consider when calculating the budget. And here, the rule “the higher the development costs, the better expertise is” may not work clearly. Choosing the right development partner is not just a way to significantly reduce development costs; it’s half the success.

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Find your trusted P2P application developers with ELITEX

Merely all consumers use e-commerce nowadays. Most vendors accept Apple Pay payments or have a PayPal solution integrated into their platforms. In many markets, the majority of merchants accept payments with just two clicks on your smartphone. It makes P2P applications trendy and a must-have technology for businesses.

Applications for peer-to-peer payments are changing how consumers make payments in various ways, and they will continue to do so. P2P apps’ rising popularity reveals that customers are gradually moving away from physical forms of money like bank cards and cash toward digital money, which may be the way of the future.

This smart solution helps businesses flourish. Therefore, if you want to succeed in your niche and your market, now is the best time to develop a robust P2P payment app. You will need a reputable software development partner to adopt all its benefits and create a solid peer-to-peer payment application. P2P payment software is still a limited market that will experience tremendous change in the coming years.

Do you already have a concept for the perfect P2P app, or do you still have some questions on how to build a peer-to-peer payment app that perfectly matches your vision? Let us help bring your idea of the perfect P2P app from the market analysis and design stages to a successful launch. Get in touch with our highly skilled fintech development experts committed to understanding your specific requirements and delivering tailored solutions that exceed expectations.

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FAQ about how to build a P2P payment app

What is a P2P payment app?

A P2P payment app usually refers to mobile applications that allow users to send and receive money directly from bank accounts, digital wallets, or other app users (both individuals and businesses).

How long does it take to develop a P2P payment app?

The development time for a P2P payment app varies depending on the complexity and number of features, but it typically takes from a few months to a year to release the very first basic version of the app.

What technologies are commonly used in P2P payment app building?

P2P payment app development consists of several parts. Regarding mobile app development, Java, Swift, or Kotlin are common choices, while Node.js and Ruby on Rails are preferred backend frameworks.

Is it necessary to integrate third-party payment gateways into a P2P payment app?

Well, integrating third-party gateways is often necessary for secure and fast money transfers in P2P payment apps. Of course, you can reinvent the wheel; however, existing solutions already provide connectivity to banking systems and ensure compliance with financial regulations for a reasonable price.

How to make P2P apps scalable?

It is essential to design a flexible and modular architecture, use scalable cloud infrastructure, and optimize database management to handle increasing user demands and transaction volumes. All things combined can help you make your app scalable.

How to create a payment app, and how to monetize it?

Creating a payment app involves several steps: defining the app’s purpose and scope, conducting market research, designing an app, coding the core functionality, integrating payment gateways and third-party APIs, implementing security systems, testing, launching, and ongoing support. Monetization can be achieved through transaction fees, subscription plans, or partnerships with financial institutions.

What are the risks of using a P2P app?

Security breaches, fraudulent activities, unauthorized transactions, disputes, limited resources for users’ errors, and privacy concerns are among the most common risks of using P2P payment apps. Due to these vulnerabilities, peer-to-peer payment apps are not a very popular choice for big enterprises. However, most risks can be mitigated by basic security measures.

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