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How to Develop a Currency Converter App?

As the saying goes – simple apps are often the most successful ones.

Do you remember the story of how an iPhone flashlight app became one of the most expensive apps in history after being sold for a whooping $1 million?

Sometimes, you don’t need to aim for a completely out-of-this-world solution to hit the top shelves at App Store and generate decent revenue for your business.

So, is there a formula to build a popular app?

Not exactly, but some of the most popular iPhone and Android products share the next core features:

  • They bridge the gap between the common problem and lack of a decent solution to fix it.
  • They have sleek, attractive design and UI.
  • They are being smart with monetization from day one.

In this guide, we’ll take a currency calculator app as an example of a simple and profitable project you may consider developing.

Who’s Your Target Audience?

According to App Annie – a smart app analytics platform – money converter apps are among the top 25 most downloaded paid/freemium finance apps on App Store in the US, UK, France, Spain, Australia and a number of other regions.

So, why the heck are currency converter apps are so popular all around the globe?

  • Our society is getting more mobile. Air travel has become rather affordable and simple. According to UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the international tourism arrivals are expected to hit 1186 million by the end of 2016. With the projected annual growth of 3.3% annually, by 2030 there will be 1.8 billion people travelling globally. Obviously, when you are abroad – you need a quick, no-hassle and offline solution to compare the prices in local currency to the domestic one.
  • The freelance economy is on the rise as well. 53 million people are working freelance in the US only; 1.4 million people freelance in the UK and between 6.2 million to 8.9 million are estimated to work freelance in Europe. The freelance economy knows no borders and adapting your prices in multi-currencies esp. during a real-time meeting can be a hassle unless you have an app for that.
  • Online shoppers are another massive segment of money converter app users. With free international deliveries now offered by the majority of e-tailers, ordering a cheaper product from a foreigner market is easier than ever. Considering that 43% of Internet users have purchased a product online at least once, and that mobile now accounts for 50.3% of all ecommerce traffic, currency exchange apps will continue to stay on the verge of popularity.

If you ask your friends, I’m pretty sure over 50% of them will say that they have a currency exchange app installed on their phone or have searched for related information online at least once in the past week.

Now, considering that the need for the product is obviously there, let’s have a closer look on how to create money converter app.

What Are The Features of a Great Currency Exchange Rate App?

So, that’s simple, right. To develop a currency converter app, I just need to find someone to code the backed to pull data from a 3rd party API services + an OK-ish design.

While the idea is correct, you want to build a popular and profitable app, correct?

Than it’s worth taking a few additional considerations into account:

Currency Converter or a Currency Calculator?

Do you want the app to display the latest exchange rates for supported currencies only? Or users should be able to input custom numbers into the calculator as well?

Know Rates – an app we’ve developed, allows both options.

Obviously, adding the calculator feature may slightly increase the overall cost to develop a currency calculator app, yet make it more useful at the same time.

Supported Currencies

The most popular apps support between 150 and 180 world currencies. While the more is – the merrier in this case as you can attract users from pretty much anywhere around the globe, scrolling through all the currencies in search for the right one may be a bit cumbersome.

Hence, you can either:

  • Pin the top-5 most popular currencies to the top of the list.
  • Offer users an option to save their preferred searches.

Additionally, it’s worth creating a custom currency search field, so that users can quickly find and save their preferable currencies.

Live Rates Updates:

The currency exchange data you display in-app should be timely updated. Some products go as far as offering up-to-the-second updates. However, most people use currency converter apps abroad, meaning their gadgets may not be connected to the Internet all the time for the sake of not paying huge roaming fees.

To solve this problem within your currency exchange rate app, your best bet is to offer offline mode with saved rates and allow users to auto-refresh the data based on the pre-set intervals e.g. once a day/when connected to Wi-Fi etc.

Also, make sure you’ve chosen an accurate and reliable 3rd party service for data aggregation.

Recent Conversion History:

Cash a few recent currency searches and conversions within quick access. Your app users will definitely appreciate it!

Currency Graphs and Analytics:

Suggest your users when they currency will get them the biggest bang by displaying a weekly/monthly curve of currency changes and fluctuations. You may even go one step further and alert them with custom notifications when certain currencies suddenly go down (hey Brexit and British pound) or, on the contrary, start rising.

UI Design Essentials:

The most highly downloaded money converters feature minimalist, aesthetically light design and clutter-free interface.

Your app should be really simple and you can sum up all the features in three custom screens:

  • Currency calculator.
  • Current money exchange rates for selected currencies.
  • List of available currencies with custom search tab. Adding country flags for each currency is a small attractive element to consider.

How Much Does it Cost to Build a Currency Conversion App?

The final currency converter app development cost will depend on the following factors:

  • iOS, Android or both?
  • Number of supported currencies, 3rd party integrations and technology stack used.
  • Custom animations and extra design elements.

In general, the approximate price tag will be between $5.000 and $8.000 for a sleek, modern app.

Can I Make Money from a Currency Converter App?

To justify the cost of money converter app development, you’ve already thinking of how you can monetize your product.

Here are some ideas to get started:

  • Building for iOS? Make a paid app. According to App Annie starts, iPhone users don’t mind paying for well-designed apps in this category.
  • Freemium model works well both for Android and iOS users. You can offer to removed advertising or unlock additional functionality (e.g. more than 5 default currencies) for a fixed price.
  • In-app advertising can generate you some steady passive income, but alienate certain customers.
  • While label your solution for a fixed price to a bigger company.

If you are need to hire affordable developers for a relevant project, get in touch with Alty team! We’ve previously developer similar and more advanced fintech solutions both for startups, banks and enterprise-sized companies!

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