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Building a PFM app? Here’s why you need open banking!

Vitor Urbano
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Last editedMay 20232 min read

The growth of personal finance management apps (PFMs) has been exponential, with users showing that having control over their finances became a crucial part of their daily lives. With that, the demand for more advanced financial tools led to an increase in personal finance management apps that seek to answer all new user case scenarios.

If you are developing a new PFM app, or looking to improve your current service, there is only one way to go — open banking.

Open banking has provided many opportunities for businesses that want to make a difference in the personal finance sector, allowing for new tools and technologies to be implemented, maximising the benefits of PFM apps.

Before looking at what open banking can bring to these apps, it’s important to understand what users are looking for, when deciding to stick with a PFM app.

What tools and features need to be available for a Personal Finance app to outdo competition?

Each individual has its own unique needs when it comes to personal finance management, but we can focus on general requirements that seem to be common within the majority of the users:

  • Simple and intuitive interface

  • Access to all information from multiple sources in one place

  • Income and expenses analysis

  • Debt management

  • Savings and retirement plans

  • Spending habits tracking

  • Easy to set up budgets and goals

It’s up to every business to guarantee that all these features are available in your app/service to ensure you have the best possible chance of success.

How can open banking help you make the most of your PFM app?

By implementing open banking services in your App, you will be able to fulfil numerous needs of your customers, such as quick and easy merge of bank account information, setting up budgets, saving goals, and much more.

By relying on open banking connections (PSD2 compliant) you can be assured that your users’ sensitive information is safe — a big win when it comes to “selling your app” to new customers.

The secret ingredient to make your PFM app stand out

It may sound cliché, but the truth is that most developers end up forgetting that the most effective way to make their apps stand out from the crowd is by offering something truly unique.

When a certain market niche starts to get crowded with numerous offerings, it's inevitable that at some point most of the “players” will be offering the same portfolio of features, with minimal differences.

For that reason, the only way your new app will be able to convince users not to go with a bigger name, for example, is by offering something singular that is the secret ingredient. Probably this will be one of the hardest stages of development, but it’s crucial to identify a specific pain point users are having with their current PFM app.

By solving an issue that your competitors are having, you can rest assured that your new application will have a greater chance at success.

Open banking powered features that can help you improve your app

For your app to be successful, you’ll need to provide users with the most integrated, complete, and detailed experience. Apps that work as a one-stop solution will certainly guarantee a good audience.

When it comes to personal finance management apps (PFMs), users look for offers that allow them not only to aggregate multiple bank accounts in one place, but also that provide unique tools to manage and maximise their personal finances.

With that in mind, you should be looking for an open banking service provider that offers premium features like:

  • Advanced and extensive categorisation;

  • Data with detailed information regarding merchant, transaction type, category, etc.;

  • Identify patterns on expenses and revenue;

  • Managing subscriptions;

  • Savings & investment planning;

GoCardless Bank Account Data allows you to build exactly that and much more. If you are a developer looking into building state-of-the-art and future-proof PFM apps, feel free to browse our offerings and contact our sales team!

Over 85,000 businesses use GoCardless to get paid on time. Learn more about how you can improve payment processing at your business today.

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Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

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